Easy Lentil Soup Without Tomatoes Recipe

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by Maggie Turansky

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Of all the soups out there, lentil soup is easily my favourite. I love legumes and bean dishes and I absolutely love a good soup, whether it be a hearty bean stew, a creamy pumpkin soup or a roasted cauliflower soup, and I’m always looking at new ways to easily incorporate them into my regular diet.

That’s why I’ve spent this time developing this easy lentil soup without tomatoes recipe so I can easily throw it together and be blessed with a delicious and healthy lunch or light dinner.

So if you’re on the hunt for a great recipe for red lentil soup, then look no further. This soup combines warm spices and the bright acidity of lemon to make one of the best (vegan!) soups you will ever have!

Easy lentil soup
Easy lentil soup

How to Make Lentil Soup Without Tomatoes

This recipe is so incredibly easy that you can whip it up in just about thirty minutes. Part of why it’s so quick to cook is that it uses small red lentils which cook up completely in about fifteen to twenty minutes.

And to give the soup a bit more texture, this recipe doesn’t even require a blender so you don’t need to bother to get out and dirty another appliance.

Core ingredients of this lentil soup recipe
Core ingredients of this recipe

To make it, you start by sweating a finely diced yellow onion. You want this onion to get nice and soft but we’re not looking for any browning. So over medium-low heat in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil until shimmering.

Add in your onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly softened and translucent but not yet browned – about three to five minutes.

Now it’s time to add your spices. This recipe uses a number of warm spices to give it a deep and complex flavour and one of the key steps is to bloom the spices in with the onion before adding the lentils and stock. It’s similar to my harira soup but much more simple.

So on top of your onions, add one and a half teaspoons of cumin, half a teaspoon of cinnamon, half a teaspoon of ground ginger, half a teaspoon of ground coriander seed, a quarter teaspoon of ground cardamom, an eighth of a teaspoon of ground cloves and an eighth of a teaspoon chilli flakes.

Cook the spices, stirring constantly, for about two minutes or until they are incredibly fragrant and completely coated in the oil.

Cooking the onions and spices
Cooking the onions and spices

Then, add your minced garlic and the zest of one lemon (make sure you zest the lemon before you juice it!), and stir until very fragrant, only about 30 seconds. Now, all you need to do is add in your lentils (about 175 grams worth) and a litre of vegetable stock (if you don’t care about making this vegetarian, then go ahead and use chicken stock here).

Adding lentils to your onion and spice mixture
Adding lentils to your onion and spice mixture

It may seem like this is too much stock or not enough lentils, but I assure you that it is. The lentils expand significantly as they cook and will thicken the soup quite a bit. If you use more lentils or less stock than the recipe calls for, then your soup will end up way too thick as the lentils begin to cook.

Bring the soup to a boil, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and allow the soup to bubble away until the lentils are completely cooked through and have begun to break down a bit, about twenty minutes or so.

Bringing the lentil soup to a boil
Bringing the lentil soup to a boil

Now it’s time to turn off the heat and take a whisk to your soup. Though this is made without a blender, you do still need to do something that will slightly puree the lentils and give the soup a natural thickness.

This is where the whisk comes in. This will break up the lentils to an extent and get the soup nice and homogenous while still allowing for a bit of texture. Whisk your soup until the lentils begin to break down a bit, about thirty seconds.

Whisking your lentil soup
Whisking your lentil soup

Now, all you need to do is stir in your lemon juice. I call for 30 millilitres or about two tablespoons, which is about half a lemon. If you don’t like that much acidity, then only add half of the lemon juice and taste to see if it needs more. Stir in the juice, taste to see if you need more salt and pepper.

The final product of this lentil soup recipe
Your lentil soup is ready to serve!

And that’s it! Serve it up piping hot with a side of crusty bread for dipping. This soup is super hearty and you can eat it either for a really fulfilling lunch or even or a lighter dinner, especially in the winter months where you need something super warming.

All of the warm spices meld brilliantly with the brightness of the lemon that this is sure to become one of your absolute favourites.

Easy lentil soup without tomatoes

Lentil Soup Without Tomatoes

This lentil soup is hearty and delicious, filled with warm spices and a subtle heat that will keep you warm even in the coldest of months. It's also super easy to throw together, uses easy to find ingredients and is completely vegan.
4.6 from 59 votes
Servings 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes



  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat until shimmering. Add onion and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened but not taken on any colour, about 5-10 minutes.
  • Add cumin, cinnamon, ginger, coriander, cardamom, cloves and chilli flakes. Cook, stirring constantly, until the spices have darkened and turned very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and lemon zest and cook for another 30 seconds
    Cooking the onions and spices
  • Add lentils, stir to combine in the onion and spices mixture, then pour over vegetable stock. Increase the heat to medium, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are very tender and begin to break down, about 20 minutes.
    Bringing the lentil soup to a boil
  • Once the lentils have cooked through, vigorously whisk the soup until it is slightly pureed, thickened and homogenous, about 30 seconds. Stir in the lemon juice, adjust for seasoning and serve.
    Whisking your lentil soup



Calories: 193kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 503mg | Fiber: 16g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 67IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 4mg

Disclaimer: Nutritional information is automatically generated and provided as guidance only. Accuracy is not guaranteed.

Tried this recipe or have questions?Click here to leave a comment!

If you’re looking for the best lentil soup recipe then you needn’t look further! This easy recipe is so warming and flavourful that you won’t ever want to look at making a more complicated kind of soup again!

Are you on the hunt for an easy recipe for lentil soup? Do you have any questions? Let me know in the comments!

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Maggie is the creator behind No Frills Kitchen. She is a world traveller, home cook and recipe developer who loves to experiment with new cuisines and techniques at every chance she gets. No stranger to improvising and making do with the equipment and ingredients she has available, she is passionate about sharing her knowledge with others. Read More


    • Hi Melissa, I’ve not tried to make this in a pressure cooker or instapot, however, I’m not sure if it’s necessary. The soup is incredibly quick cooking as it is 🙂

  1. I addded fresh peeled garlic fermented in honey for 30 days.. broccoli.. Red, orange and yellow peppers.. soy sauce.. fresh ginger and fresh brussel sprouts! Holy deliciousness!

    • I wouldn’t recommend using green lentils here – they keep their shape better than red lentils and the consistency would be off.

  2. I really don’t like tomatoes — or at least, they don’t seem to like me. Thank you for this YUMMY soup that liberates me from them!! 🙂

  3. Hi Maggie 🙂
    I am so grateful to you for creating such a yummy veggie lentil soup that doesn’t involve tomatoes.
    I made this in my soup maker and it turned out fabulous ;P
    It will be my go to lentil soup recipe from now on!
    Sue xx

4.56 from 59 votes (59 ratings without comment)

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