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Red Pepper and Lentil Soup

Red pepper and lentil soup is so easy to make and is thick, creamy and so satisfying. This red pepper lentil soup is super budget friendly and made with pantry ingredients in under 30 minutes for a comforting lunch or dinner.

Red lentil and red pepper soup in a bowl with drizzle of cashew cream.

Why you will love this recipe

  • Creamy without cream! This creamy roasted red pepper and lentil soup is made creamy thanks to the red split lentils! They blend up to make the creamiest soup, no cream needed! That makes this recipe vegan and dairy free!
  • Easy to make, just one pot! This one pot lentil and pepper soup uses jarred roasted red peppers to make this recipe so easy. Everything simmers together in a large pot then is blended at the end for a thick, creamy soup that everyone will love.
  • Simple ingredients – you likely have all these pantry ingredients on hand right now! This red pepper and lentil soup is perfect for those nights when you haven’t been to the grocery store in awhile but don’t want to order out. These ingredients are easy to keep on hand and this soup is so satisfying, you won’t miss going out!
  • Budget friendly recipe – the base of this red lentil and red pepper soup is red split lentils, which are super budget friendly! You can make your own vegetable broth using leftover scrap ingredients to make this recipe even more budget friendly!
Ingredients to make red pepper and lentil soup on marble countertop.
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Ingredients

  • Olive oil – olive oil is used to cook the onion and garlic in. You could also use avocado oil for this.
  • Red onion and garlic – onion and garlic help to create the base of flavor for this red pepper lentil soup. I love the flavor of red onion, but you could also use white onions or yellow onions. Be sure to cook the onions for a few minutes before adding the garlic to ensure the garlic doesn’t burn.
  • Tomato paste – tomato paste adds a deep, rich tomato flavor without overpowering the red pepper in the soup. Tomato paste adds a ton of umami to the soup.
  • Vegetable broth – vegetable broth adds so much flavor to the soup. Vegetable broth is a great way to add a deep layer of flavor to soup. Vegetable broth is my go to ingredient to add a ton of flavor in a short period of time. You can also use chicken broth or chicken stock instead of vegetable broth if you are not vegan/vegetarian.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder, italian seasoning – these spices help to add flavor to the soup. Salt is required to help elevate all the ingredients and bring the flavors together. Garlic powder adds another layer of garlic flavor and also provides more umami to the dish. Italian seasoning is my go-to seasoning to add so much flavor to soup.
  • Red split lentils – red split lentils are sometimes just labeled as red lentils. Red split lentils are quick cooking since they are split. Red lentils cook in about 8-10 minutes and when they are cooked they become soft and creamy. Red lentils are great in soup since they break down easily and cook up quickly.
  • Roasted red peppers – I used jarred roasted red peppers for this recipe. Be sure to drain the liquid and rinse them off before adding them to the soup. If you only have fresh bell peppers, you can roast bell peppers in the air fryer or roast the peppers with the onions in the oven at 450F for 15 minutes.

How to make red pepper and lentil soup

Preheat a large pot over medium heat.

Chop the red onion and slice the garlic. Once the pot is preheated, add the olive oil and add the chopped red onions. Cook for 3-4 minutes then add the garlic and cook 1-2 minutes.

After the garlic has cooked for 1-2 minutes, add the tomato paste and stir well. Cook 1-2 minutes.

Add ½ cup of vegetable broth to the pot with the onion, garlic and tomato paste. Scrape the bottom of the pot before adding the rest of the ingredients.

Rinse the red lentils in a mesh strainer then add them to the pot with the rest of the vegetable broth, spices and roasted red peppers.

Roasted red peppers, red lentils and spices in pot with vegetable broth.

Put a lid on the pot and allow to cook the soup for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cooked red lentils and peppers in a large pot.

After 20 minutes, turn off the heat and blend the soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

Immersion blender blending up the red pepper lentil soup.

Top tips

  • Rinse the lentils before cooking them to help make them easier to digest.
  • Use jarred roasted red peppers to make this as easy as possible. If you don’t have roasted red peppers, you can make them yourself in the air fryer or oven.
  • I recommend using an immersion blender to blend soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender and blend in batches (be sure to vent the blender so that pressure doesn’t build up from the steam).
  • This lentil red pepper soup will thicken as it cools, especially when stored in the fridge overnight. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water or stock to the soup when reheating to get the right consistency.
  • If the soup is too thick, you can add some water or stock (about 1/2 cup at a time until the soup reaches your desired consistency).
  • If the soup is too thin, simmer it on the stove for a few minutes, as the liquid evaporates, the soup will get thicker. Also the soup will thicken as it’s stored in the fridge overnight.
Silver ladle picking up lentil and red pepper soup from the pot.

What to serve with red pepper and lentil soup

Different spices to add

I love the simple flavors of the italian seasoning in this soup. Here are some other spices you could use

  • Greek: Add a teaspoon of dried oregano and the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Moroccan: Omit the italian seasoning and instead add 1 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Curry: Omit the italian seasoning and add 1 teaspoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Spicy: Add 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper

Common questions

Do lentils need to be soaked?

No, lentils require no soaking before using them in soup.

What if you don’t have red split lentils?

If you don’t have red lentils, you could also use green/brown lentils, however they will need to cook longer. Once the soup comes to a boil, cook for 15 minutes (this will add about 10 minutes to the cooking time).

You could also use canned white beans (cannellini, great northern white beans , navy beans or butter beans) in place of the red lentils. You will want about 2 cans (15 oz cans). Reduce the liquid from 4 cups to 2.5 cups (since the beans are already cooked). Once the soup is simmering, you can take it off the heat (this will cut the cooking time by 5-7 minutes).

Spoon in a large bowl of sweet potato lentil soup.

Other recipes with red lentils

What if you don’t have jarred roasted red peppers?

You can roast red peppers in the air fryer to use in this soup or you can roast the peppers in the oven with the onions while the lentils cook on the stove. The veggies will take about 15 minutes in a 450F oven.

Can you double this recipe?

Yes! You can easily double this recipe, and it won’t add much more cooking time.

Is this lentil red pepper soup good for meal prep?

Yes! This lentil pepper soup is perfect for meal prep! You can make a double batch and enjoy it all week for lunch or you can even freeze it for later in the month.

Spoon in a bowl of red pepper lentil soup with cashew cream sauce.

Storing leftovers

  • Fridge: Store leftover red pepper and lentil soup in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
  • Freezer: Freeze leftover lentil red pepper soup for up to 3 months. I love to use Soupercubes to freeze leftover soup. Once frozen, transfer the cubes into a freezer safe bag or container and store up to 3 months.

Substitutions

  • Red onion and garlic – you can use white onions, yellow onions or red onions in this recipe. If you don’t have onions and garlic on hand, you can omit them.
  • Olive oil – the olive oil is used to cook the onions and garlic. You can also use avocado oil or simply spray the pot before cooking the veggies.
  • Tomato paste – if you don’t have any tomato paste on hand, you can use a small can of diced tomatoes (drained) to give a similar flavor to the soup.
  • Vegetable broth – you can use chicken broth or chicken stock in place of the vegetable broth. You could also use water in place of the vegetable broth.  
  • Red split lentils – red lentils cook quickly and are perfect in this soup since they break down and get creamy when cooked. You can also use regular lentils (increase the time the lentils cook from 20 minutes to 30 minutes). You can also use white beans (cannellini beans, great northern white beans, butter beans or navy beans) in place of the red split lentils. Be sure to reduce the liquid from 4 cups to 2.5 cups.
  • Roasted red peppers – I prefer to use jarred roasted red peppers but you can also roast your own peppers using the air fryer or roast the peppers and red onions in a 450F oven for 15 minutes.
White pot filled with red lentil and red pepper soup.

If you love this recipe, you should try

Vegan Tomato Gnocchi Soup

Sweet Potato Red Pepper Soup

Butter Bean Stew

Greek Chickpea Soup

Instant Pot White Bean Soup

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Cashew cream drizzled over red pepper lentil soup.

Red Pepper and Lentil Soup

Red pepper and lentil soup is thick, creamy and so delicious. This healthy red lentil and pepper soup is ready in about 25 minutes and made with simple pantry ingredients. This lentil and red pepper soup is vegan, dairy free and gluten free.
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Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Italian
Keyword: red pepper and lentil soup, red pepper and red lentil soup, red pepper lentil soup
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 21 mins
Total Time: 23 mins
Servings: 4

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Preheat a large pot over medium heat.
  • Chop the red onion and slice the garlic. Once the pot is preheated, add the olive oil and red onion. Cook 3-4 minutes then add the garlic and cook 1-2 more minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste to the onion and garlic mixture. Stir well and cook 1-2 minutes.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of vegetable broth to the pot and scrape the bottom of the pot.
  • Rinse the lentils in a mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Add the lentils, the rest of the vegetable broth, spices and roasted red peppers (drained) to the pot.
  • Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir well one or two times during cooking.
  • After 15 minutes, blend the soup with an immersion blender in the pot.

Notes

Top tips
  • Rinse the lentils before cooking them to help make them easier to digest.
  • Use jarred roasted red peppers to make this as easy as possible. If you don’t have roasted red peppers, you can make them yourself in the air fryer or oven.
  • I recommend using an immersion blender to blend soup. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can carefully transfer the hot soup to a blender and blend in batches (be sure to vent the blender so that pressure doesn’t build up from the steam).
  • This lentil red pepper soup will thicken as it cools, especially when stored in the fridge overnight. You may need to add a few tablespoons of water or stock to the soup when reheating to get the right consistency.
  • If the soup is too thick, you can add some water or stock (about 1/2 cup at a time until the soup reaches your desired consistency).
  • If the soup is too thin, simmer it on the stove for a few minutes, as the liquid evaporates, the soup will get thicker. Also the soup will thicken as it’s stored in the fridge overnight.
What if you don’t have jarred roasted red peppers?
You can roast red peppers in the air fryer to use in this soup or you can roast the peppers in the oven with the onions while the lentils cook on the stove. The veggies will take about 15 minutes in a 450F oven.
Storing leftovers
  • Fridge: Store leftover red pepper and lentil soup in the fridge in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
  • Freezer: Freeze leftover lentil red pepper soup for up to 3 months. I love to use Soupercubes to freeze leftover soup. Once frozen, transfer the cubes into a freezer safe bag or container and store up to 3 months.
See how I calculate food cost.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts
Amount per Serving
Calories
309
Fat
 
6
g
Carbohydrates
 
46
g
Fiber
 
20
g
Sugar
 
4
g
Protein
 
21
g
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.
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