Ramadhan recipes/ Soups

Red Lentil soup

Red lentil soup

This simple and nutritious vegan Red Lentil soup is perfect if you want a delicious and light meat free meal.

It also makes a perfect first course in Ramadhan and can be served with Daltjies Spinach and Corn fritters or Cape Malay pancakes with coconut for iftar.

My first taste of Arabic lentil soup was on a business trip to Oman a few years ago. After a long day I was tired and hungry, but not inclined to go down to the hotel restaurant for dinner. I ended up ordering Arabic red lentil soup and kibbeh from the room service menu.

I subsequently tried making Arabic lentil soup using green lentils, but it looked more like dishwater and did not taste any better.

I found a recipe for lentil soup that looked very easy, on the Chef in Disguise website (along with many easy and authentic Middle Eastern recipes). This red lentil soup is nutritious and has a creamy, rich flavor that is elevated with a sprinkling of parsley and grating of lemon zest, if you have it available.

Another adaptation includes 1/2 cup of chopped celery and 1/2 cup of chopped carrots added when sautéing the onions. A third included only carrots. For now I prefer the third version with the carrots and without the celery as I find the celery too overpowering a flavor. It may be that fasting makes my taste buds ultra sensitive because even the chili seems spicier than before.

You may find that even the soup avoiders in your family will love this. When we made it in Cape Town this past Winter my family could not believe how easy it is to make and how quickly it was ready. The longest part of the recipe is the soaking time of the lentils!

Red lentil soup

Red Lentil soup

Course: Soups
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Soaking time: 2 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 4
Author: Razena Schroeder
Simple and nutritious vegan red lentil soup that makes delicious light meal



  • 250 ml dried and split red lentils approximately 1 cup
  • 60 ml olive oil divided, approximately ¼ cup
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 15 ml flour approximately 1 tablespoon
  • 500 ml vegetable stock approximately 2 cups
  • 500 ml water approximately 2 cups
  • 1 clove garlic sliced
  • 1.25 ml chili flakes approximately ¼ teaspoon
  • 2.5 ml Salt adjust to taste
  • Black pepper

Garnish optional

  • 30 ml Parsley chopped
  • 1/2 Lemon juice and rind, to taste


  1. Rinse the lentils twice then soak for at least 2 hours.
  2. Heat 30 ml of olive oil in a soup pot and sauté the onions until soft.
  3. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute before adding the drained lentils, garlic and chili flakes.
  4. Add the stock or water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until the lentils are soft.
  5. Blend the soup until creamy and completely smooth. I used a stick blender.
  6. Add the remaining 30 ml oil and blend until incorporated.
  7. Adjust the thickness with more hot stock or water, if required.
  8. Check the seasoning and add salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  9. Serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley and lemon zest and a wedge lemon.

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  • Reply
    December 28, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Pinning this! I love the trick of adding flour prior to the lentils in order to get a thick, creamy result ♥

    • Reply
      Razena Schroeder
      December 28, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      It is not much flour but it does ensure that the soup doesn’t split and go all watery when you reheat it. People with gluten intolerance could the substitute wheat flour with rice or corn flour using half the amount stated in the recipe.

  • Reply
    Levan @ Crazy Vegan Kitchen
    August 21, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    Immensely tempting soup! Thanks for sharing! Love red lentil 🙂

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 6:54 pm

      You are most welcome. Try it some time and let me know what you think 🙂

  • Reply
    August 21, 2015 at 12:20 am

    Lentils are one of my favourite foods, so lentil soup or dhal is quite a common meal for us in the winter. That should hopefully sustain you through your days of no eating.

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 5:49 am

      I ate this soup almost every day night in Ramadhan (during Summer) because it was so easy and very nutritious 🙂

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 11:52 pm

    Healthy warm soup..looks pergect

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 5:52 am

      Thank you, you should try it some time 🙂

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    This is lovely! So easy but sounds comforting.
    i will try this soon. 🙂

    • Reply
      August 21, 2015 at 5:51 am

      When I showed my family how to make this they couldn’t believe how easy it was. One of my cousins sent me a text last week saying she was feeling ill and still managed to make this soup for dinner 🙂

  • Reply
    August 20, 2015 at 10:19 pm

    I am having soups these days .. I will try out this one too.. looks delicious and simple.

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