Spiced Red Lentil Soup with Preserved Lemons and Tomatoes

Spiced Red Lentil Soup

This easy but flavorful vegan spiced red lentil soup recipe can be made with a few simple ingredients. The preserved lemon and cherry tomatoes stirred in at the end results in a a serious flavor bomb- you’ll be biting into tender juicy cherry tomato halves and tangy bits of preserved lemon with every spoonful of brothy spiced red lentils.


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 5 cups water or stock
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 2 preserved lemons
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp red pepper flakes


  1. Peel the outer skin off your onion and chop off both ends. Roughly chop it and add it to a food processor. Roughly chop 2 stalks of celery and 2 medium carrots and add them to the food processor as well. Pulse several times to start chopping the veggies, then run the food processor on low until the vegetables are finely chopped but be sure to stop before they start to turn into a paste.
  2. Heat a large soup pot over medium to medium high and add the olive oil. Scrape the contents of the food processor into the pot along with 1/2 tsp of salt and 1/2 tsp of black pepper and stir well. Saute for 10 minutes. The vegetables will seem like a lot at first but they’ll shrink down as they cook.
  3. Meanwhile, smash, peel, and mince 3 cloves of garlic. Gather your cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne. Rinse your red lentils.
  4. Add the garlic and spices to the soup pot and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Use a splash of water or stock to deglaze the pan if necessary, then add the rest of the liquid (I used a vegan chicken broth) and the red lentils to the pot.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
  6. While the soup cooks, halve a pint of cherry tomatoes and add them to a medium bowl. Chop 2 preserved lemons and try to remove most of the seeds. Add the chopped lemons to the halved tomatoes along with the red pepper flakes and stir well. Set aside.
  7. Remove the lid and give the soup a good stir. You might want to cook longer to let it thicken up more, or you might want to add a bit of hot water to make the soup a little more brothy.
  8. Stir most of the tomato salad (reserve about 1/2 for topping individual servings) into the soup and taste to see if it needs more salt, acid, or heat. Serve topped with the reserved tomatoes and extra black pepper and red pepper flakes if desired.