Carrot soup is a classic recipe and one that everyone should have in their repertoire. This version sneaks in red lentils to add a boost of plant-based protein and fiber. Perfectly seasoned with fresh ginger, garlic and toasted cumin seeds, this soup is soon to become a new favorite.
If you enjoyed my Butternut Squash and Lentil Soup you are going to love this recipe! Red lentils are a perfect way to increase the protein and fiber in any soup and you won't even notice they are there! This might be the creamiest soup you've ever tried even though no cream or milk of any kind is used. There's a trick - adding a touch of baking soda to the simmering vegetables achieves a silky, smooth, restaurant quality texture without having to use cream or a strainer.
Why you will love this recipe
- It has the silkiest texture without the use of cream or a strainer.
- Packed with protein and fiber.
- Low in calories but will keep you satisfied for hours.
- Even your kids will love it!
- It uses easy to find ingredients and is perfect for cooking on a budget.
- It's fast and easy to prepare and freezes perfectly.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Please refer to the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and quantities.
- Red lentils - dried lentils work perfectly as they take no time to cook and are less expensive then canned. However, canned can be substituted. Be sure to rinse well.
- Fresh ginger - the ginger flavor is very mild in this soup so feel free to add more if you prefer more of a ginger punch. If substituting with ground ginger you will need ¼ tsp. Extra fresh ginger can be stored in the freezer and can be grated from frozen for future recipes.
- White onion - yellow, Spanish onion, or leeks can be used instead. White onion just happens to be my go-to.
- Vegetable broth - you can also use chicken stock or even water. If using water you may want to bump up the ginger, garlic, and spices to add extra flavor.
- Baking soda is the secret ingredient that creates the silky, smooth texture of this soup. It's a small enough amount that you won't taste it at all.
- Apple cider vinegar - adding a touch of vinegar balances out the sweetness of the carrots. White wine vinegar or rice vinegar can be substituted.
- Toasted cumin seeds - if you only add one garnish I highly recommend the toasted cumin seeds. They are the bomb!
How to make this recipe
Please see full instructions in the recipe card below.
- Sauté onions until they are soft and "glassy".
2. Stir in the carrots, lentils, ginger, garlic, ground cumin, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
3. Add the broth and baking soda. Stir and bring to a gentle simmer. The baking soda will foam up but will decrease as it cooks. Let simmer for 15 minutes or until carrots and lentils are soft.
4. Working in batches, transfer everything to a blender and blend until smooth.
5. Transfer soup back to a pot and stir in apple cider vinegar. Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
- Adding a small amount of baking soda breaks down the structure of the carrots and lentils creating a very smooth texture when pureed.
- Extra fresh ginger can be stored in the freezer and grated from frozen for future recipes.
- If using a food processor to blend your soup be sure to only put in small amounts at a time to avoid overflowing.
Frequently Asked Questions
One of the convenient things about lentils compared to beans is that they don't need to be soaked before cooking. Simply rinse well under cold water, drain and add right into your soup.
Lentils are a plant-based protein powerhouse. Lentils contain approximately 18 grams of protein per cup (different types of lentils vary slightly in protein). They are also high in iron and fiber. Fiber rich foods are excellent for promoting gut health. Lentils are also an excellent source of B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Lentils are an excellent meat alternative.
Lentils mix well with almost anything! They have a mild flavor and can be used in many dishes with any flavor combination. Try adding them to soups, stews, curries, stir-frys or as a salad topping.
This soup will last for 5 days in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer. Reheat on the stovetop on medium-low heat or in the microwave. Allow to cool completely before freezing and freeze in appropriately sized containers for convenience. To reheat from frozen, let thaw at room temperature, enough to empty it into a soup pot. Heat slowly until warm. Or microwave from frozen.
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Carrot and Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large white or yellow onion diced
- 2 lbs carrots chopped
- 1 cup red lentils rinsed well and drained
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth, no or low-sodium
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- Plain yogurt, sour cream, coconut milk
- Toasted cumin seeds
- Fresh parsley or cilantro
- Cayenne pepper
- In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until onions are soft and glassy.
- Stir in carrots, lentils, garlic, ginger, ground cumin, salt, and pepper and continue cooking for 2 more minutes.
- Add broth, and baking soda. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and, working in batches, transfer to a blender and blend to a smooth consistency.
- Transfer back to a soup pot and stir in vinegar. Taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve garnished with optional toppings if desired.
Really enjoyed. Will make again. Always look forward to your recipes.
I LOVE this soup!! It’s now on my regular rotation!! Thanks Andrea!
My pleasure! So happy you enjoyed it!
Sue Cratchley says
I have now made this soup 4 times family keep requesting it 👍a new favourite. Thank you
How wonderful! I'm so happy everyone is enjoying the soup!
Daisy Richer says
Loved this one too! Thanks Andrea.
I hate to cook but I always want to eat healthy, enjoy what I'm eating and not spend too much time preparing. Your recipes give me all of that 🙂
That is the best compliment Daisy! I'm so happy my recipes are giving you all that you need.
Great soup recipe loaded with flavour! The cumin really takes it up a notch. Thanks. Very filling. I’m really enjoying your site. Trying your creamy brussel sprouts with prosciutto tonight 😋
I'm so happy you enjoyed it Heather! Thanks for commenting!
Darlene McKenzie says
Great soup made with ingredients I had in the house. Loved the expert tip using baking soda to break down the vegetables. I will make it again.
A hit with me and my husband. A bit less with the kids, but they still ate it. 🙂 Very filling! Love your recipes!
Jen Mendoza says
This is another hit Andrea! You are so right about the baking soda! Delicious!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Soup is my favourite food and this is easy and flavourful!
Virginia Samuel says
Sue Cratchley says
Andrea thank you this is another keeper. I love this soup! You are so talented with flavours. Sue
Sharon Van Dyke says
Hi Andrea, could I use regular lentils if I didn’t have red?
Yes you can but they may just take a bit longer to cook. Just make sure they are nice and soft. Let me know how it turns out!
Once again Andrea , you nailed this! Honestly, I only make your soups-always the best! Keep it up!!
Thanks so much Michelle! I'm so happy you are enjoying the soups! 🤗
Jeanine Baker says
Made this delicious soup this morning...wow, love it!
I used my immersion blender, (because I was too lazy to use my regular blender 😉), and other than a few spots on my glasses it came out silky smooth.
Tomorrow when I serve it at lunch I will add the toasted cumin, and a dollop of sour cream.
Thank you once again for another great recipe!
Im so happy you enjoyed it and thanks for commenting!
Joan B says
delish! so easy to make
thanks again Andrea... another successful recipe