5 from 3 votes

Best Tomato and Lentil Soup Recipe (With Red Lentils)

Jump to Recipe
This tomato and lentil soup is a deliciously hearty and healthy winter soup that’s full of vegetables and easy to make. Great for chilly weather!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
£1.11
Makes: 4
mains
British
Freezable

This hearty tomato and lentil soup is the ultimate satisfying comfort food. It’s made with filling lentils and acidic tomatoes that pair perfectly together. This soup is perfect for a cold fall or winter night, making it an uber-cosy recipe for cold weather weeknight. It’s also vegan-friendly (just leave off the crème fraiche!).

A patterned bowl full of red lentil soup with roasted cherry tomatoes, some dill and a dollop of creme fraiche.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Warm and Comforting – There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of vegetable soup when it’s chilly, making this the perfect option to help you stay warm through fall and winter.

Hearty and Healthy – Lentils and veggies help keep this tomato and lentil soup healthy yet filling.

Quick and Easy – You’ll need less than an hour to whip up this lentil and tomato soup. It has only five steps, so it’s an easy recipe for weeknight meals.

Love a comforting soup? Here are a few more cosy soups to try: Creamy Parsnip Soup, Easy Carrot and Coriander Soup, or Creamy Broccoli and Cauliflower Soup.

What are lentils?

Lentils, like in this tomato and red lentil soup, are a type of legume. They’re in the same family as beans, sugar snap peas, and green peas. They’re available in quite a few colours, including red, brown, green, and black. Each variety has a slightly different flavour, some sweeter or earthier than others.

Do they all cook the same? Red lentils don’t have a skin like other varieties. So, they break down more when cooking, creating a thicker stew-like soup. Other types with skins, like green lentils, will hold their shape better and create a thinner soup.

What is the best colour lentil for this soup?
I recommend using red lentils for soup because they break down when cooked. This provides the tomato and lentil soup with a heartier, more comforting consistency.

Use leftover lentils for these tasty dishes: Easy Lentil & Bacon Soup , Lentil & Chickpea Curry, or Easy Red Lentil Dahl with Coconut Milk.

Cooking with Lentils

Because they are small, they often are packaged with debris, dirt, and even small rocks as it’s challenging to sort them out during the packing process. Be sure to check for any tiny rocks as you rinse the lentils.

You do not need to soak lentils before cooking them in tomato lentil soup. However, it can shorten the cooking time. Soak rinsed lentils in warm water for 30 minutes if you’re in a rush. Then, boil until cooked.

Lentils are cooked when they have an “al dente” consistency (similar to pasta). Avoid overcooking them, as they’ll turn into mush, especially when using lentils which do not have skins.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make a tomato and lentil soup, laid out on a pale blue background and labelled.

Variations/ Adaptations

Use these variations to turn this red lentil and tomato soup into your new favourite recipe! Instead of fresh or canned/diced tomatoes, add passata to the tomato and lentil soup. You’ll need to decrease the stock a bit with this swap. To get a bolder tomato flavour, include a tablespoon of tomato paste. For additional nutrients, add other veggies like carrots and leeks. You can use any veg you have on hand.

This recipe is easy to make gluten-free. Simply use a stock that is certified gluten-free; the rest of the ingredients are naturally gluten-free. To make this a dairy-free vegan tomato lentil soup, skip the crème fraiche or use a dollop of dairy-free sour cream instead. Create a bolder flavour in this soup with smoked paprika. For a different consistency/flavour, swap out red lentils for other lentil varieties. Toss in chicken or smoked sausage to increase the protein in this soup.

How to make the best tomato and lentil soup:

  1. Start by adding your cherry tomatoes into a baking dish/tray. Coat with 1 tbsp of oil and season with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes (Image 1).
  2. Once roasted set aside (Image 2).
2 step by step photos, the first with cherry tomatoes in a white baking dish and the second with the cherry tomatoes roasted.

3. Meanwhile, to a large saucepan, add the remaining oil (1 tbsp), onion and celery into the pot. Season with salt and pepper and fry over medium for 5 minutes (Image 3).

4. Next, add the garlic and carrots to fry for a minute (Image 4).

2 step by step photos, the first with chopped onions frying in a saucepan and the second with the chopped carrots added to the pan.

5. Add the spices and mix together to bloom (Image 5).

6. Then pour in the chopped tomatoes and fry for a further 5 minutes (Image 6).

2 step by step photos, the first with chopped onions, carrots and spices frying in a saucepan and the second with the chopped tomatoes added to the pan.

7. Mix together to break down the tomatoes and continue frying (Image 7).

8. Then, add the vegetable stock and lentils. Stir to combine and cover with a lid (Image 8).

2 step by step photos, the first with chopped onions, carrots and tomatoes frying in a saucepan and the second with the stock added to the pan.

9. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are fully cooked and the carrots tender. Taste to adjust seasoning (Image 9).

10. Once the cherry tomatoes are roasted, stir half into the soup, reserving the remaining to top. Serve up the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, a few cherry tomatoes and a crack of black pepper. Enjoy!  (Image 10).

2 step by step photos, the first with cooked red lentil soup in the saucepan with a wooden spoon and the second with the soup served in a bowl with roasted cherry tomatoes and a dollop of cream.

Serving Suggestions

I love serving this tomato and lentil soup with crusty bread to scoop up any leftover broth. It’s also great with rice, mashed potatoes, or jacket potatoes. You can also add protein on the side, like chicken or fish, for an even more filling version of this vegetarian dish. Or, serve this absolutely delicious recipe with a grilled cheese for a more comforting meal.

Leftover Storage and Reheat Instructions

Leftover lentil tomato soup will stay good in the fridge for up to four days. Be sure to pack it in an airtight container once it’s fully cooled first. Then, you can zap it in the microwave to reheat it. Or, you can reheat it on a medium heat on the stove.

Can you freeze it?
Yes! This tomato and lentil soup is a great freezer recipe. Allow the soup to cool fully before packing it in an airtight container. Then, store the soup in the freezer for up to three months.

Defrost the soup by letting it sit in the fridge overnight. Pack the leftover soup in separate containers with 1-2 portions in each to make defrosting easier.

A patterned bowl full of red lentil soup with carrots, roasted cherry tomatoes, some dill and a dollop of creme fraiche.

Tips for the best result

Use red or yellow lentils for a thicker soup. The type of lentil you use for tomato and lentil soup is important, as it changes the dish’s consistency. Opt for yellow or red lentils for a thicker, heartier soup.

Rinse/clean the lentils before adding them to the soup. Lentils often come with dust and debris because of the way they’re harvested. Be sure to always rinse them before using them in any recipe.

Roast the tomatoes for extra flavour. While you don’t need to roast the tomatoes if you’re short on time, I recommend not skipping this step for the best soup flavour. Roasting them helps bring out their sweetness, providing this recipe with an even richer tomato flavour.

Pair this tomato and lentil soup with a main meal. Here are some ideas: Grinder Salad, Easy Boursin Cheese Baked Pasta or Creamy Mustard Chicken

FAQs

Do I need to rinse lentils before making soup?

Yes, you should always rinse lentils before making any recipes to remove dust and debris.

Are lentils good for you?

Yes, lentils are good for you. They have quite a few nutrients in them, and they’re also a great vegan/vegetarian protein source. Since they have fibre, they’ll help keep you full for longer.

How do you thicken lentil soup?

If you’re creating tomato and lentil soup, you can make it thicker by using lentils without skin. You can also create a thicker consistency by adding some heavy cream and using less chicken broth or vegetable broth.

How do you thin lentil soup?

Use lentils with skin for a thinner lentil soup. If your soup is too thick, you can increase the amount of stock in the pot to help thin it out.

A patterned bowl full of red lentil soup with roasted cherry tomatoes, some dill and a dollop of creme fraiche with a baking tray with roasted tomatoes in partial view.

If you tried this Tomato and Red Lentil Soup, it would be mean so much to me if you could leave a review & a star rating to let me know how you found it! I love hearing about your experiences – it motivates me to keep creating more and more recipes for you guys 💛 Let’s get cooking! – Mimi x

Best Tomato and Lentil Soup Recipe (With Red Lentils)

Print
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
£1.11
mains
British
Freezable
Servings: 4
This tomato and lentil soup is a deliciously hearty and healthy winter soup that’s full of vegetables and easy to make. Great for chilly weather!

Ingredients

  • 500 g cherry tomatoes (£0.69×2)=(£1.38)
  • 1 onion, diced (£0.15)
  • 1 stick of celery, thinly sliced (£0.69/4)=(£0.17)
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated (£0.60)
  • 2 carrots (£0.18)
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced (£0.39)
  • 400 g can of chopped tomatoes (£0.35)
  • 250 g red lentils (£1.90/2)=(£0.95)
  • Dollop of creme fraiche to serve (£0.89/2)=(£0.44)

Cupboard Essentials

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.3 litres litres vegetable stock
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • Salt and Pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven to 360°F (180°C FAN/ 200°C conventional)
  • Start by adding your cherry tomatoes into a baking tray. Coat with 1 tbsp of oil and season with salt and pepper. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, to a large saucepan, add the remaining oil (1 tbsp), onion and celery into the pot. Season with salt and pepper and fry over medium for 5 minutes.
  • Next, add the garlic, ginger, paprika and carrots to fry for a minute before adding the chopped tomatoes.
  • Fry for a further 5 minutes to cook out the tomatoes. Then, add the vegetable stock and lentils. Stir to combine and cover with a lid. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are fully cooked and the carrots tender. Taste to adjust seasoning.
  • Once the cherry tomatoes are roasted, stir half into the soup, reserving the remaining to top. Serve up the soup with a dollop of creme fraiche, a few cherry tomatoes and a crack of black pepper. Enjoy!

Notes

  • I opted for red lentils when making this tomato and lentil soup for a thicker/heartier consistency, as the type of lentil used significantly impacts the thickness of the soup.
  • Rinse lentils before adding to soup.
  • For the best soup flavour, roast tomatoes to bring out their sweetness, elevating the richness of the tomato and lentil soup with a deeper, more flavourful dish.

Nutrition

Servings: 4 servings
Fat: 14g
Calories: 358kcal
Carbohydrates: 31g
Protein: 19g

Leave a comment and a rating!

Thank you so much for trying my recipe! I hope you loved it. I’d be so grateful if you could leave a comment/rating - it makes my day hearing your feedback!

Recipe Rating




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Weekly meal plans with a £20 budget
  • 150+ exclusive recipes
  • Personal dashboard
  • Exclusive step by step videos
  • Shopping list tools
  • Advert Free experience

JOIN NOW LEARN MORE

Never miss a recipe!

Sign up to my weekly newsletter to get all of Beat the Budget's recent recipes, so you never miss out!

Development Alchemy + Aim
Share to...