Madras Lentil Soup

This healthy vegetarian madras lentil soup channels the flavor of my favorite crock-pot lentil dish in a delicious vegan soup!

This healthy vegetarian madras lentil soup channels the flavor of my favorite crock-pot lentil dish in a delicious vegan soup! 

Paul and I are in complete disagreement over this recipe. He insists it’s a stew, while I stand firmly behind my belief that I soup-ified my beloved Crock-pot Madras Lentils.

Whatever you decide to call it, you’re going to want to put it’s number on speed dial. Don’t even think about waiting the obligatory 3-4 days to call after your first date either. Just dive on in like the eager and overzealous foodie we all know you are.

Just me? Fine, I’m projecting.

Regardless you’re going to want a bowl of this stuff in your face, stat.

The recipe makes  quite a few servings so feel free to experiment by adding more broth to some bowls to make it more like the soup I insist it is, then swirl some freshly steamed rice into the others for the ultimate stew experience.

This healthy vegetarian madras lentil soup channels the flavor of my favorite crock-pot lentil dish in a delicious vegan soup! 

Paul has 24-hour duty currently, but I swear I can feel him breathing over my shoulder whispering “You better call it a stew, Jenny. Tell them to add rice. I want it with rice. Will you make it for me with rice next time? No, no you’re typing soup. Don’t call it soup. STEW, Jenny. Stew.

To that I reply: SOUP THERE IT IS!

Let’s do this!

Madras Lentil Soup

:: pin it ::

This healthy vegetarian madras lentil soup channels the flavor of my favorite crock-pot lentil dish in a delicious vegan soup! 

3 votes


Madras Lentil Soup




Yield 8-10 servings

This healthy lentil soup channels the flavor of my favorite crock-pot madras lentil dish in a delicious vegan soup! It's also fantastic served over rice!


  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly minced garlic (2 large cloves)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (1 qt)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can fire roasted tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 lb red potatoes
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 oregano
  • 1/4 turmeric
  • 1/4 cumin
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/8 cayenne
  • 1/8 thyme
  • extra 1 TBSP olive oil


  • red kidney beans would be a great addition
  • whipped goat cheese or greek yogurt for topping (skip for vegan)
  • fresh parsley for topping
  • an extra drizzle of olive oil
  • curry paste, to taste
  • curry powder, to taste


  1. Heat a large pot to medium-high heat.
  2. Add olive oil and diced onion, and sauté until tender, adding the garlic towards the end to prevent burning.
  3. Next add veggie broth and diced tomatoes.
  4. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until pureed.
  5. No immersion blender? No problem! Add the garlic, onion, and tomatoes to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add the mixture into the pot with your veggie broth and get cooking!
  6. Increase the heat to high, then add dried lentils, diced red potato, and all your herbs and spices.
  7. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium heat and cover.
  8. Cook for 30 minutes on medium [mine was on setting 4] then additional 10 min on low, to simmer.
  9. Top soup with a swirl of goat cheese, sour cream, or greek yogurt and a sprinkle of parsley. You can even add rice! Go nuts!


I used Muir Glen's no salt added fire roasted tomatoes for this recipe. The flavor is stellar and the cans are BPA-free, which I adore. If you're working with what you have on hand, any 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes will work for this recipe, if needed as well as pureed/crushed tomatoes, which are a great substitution if you don't have an immersion blender or would like to speed things along!

Recipe yields 8-10 one cup servings or 4-5 bowls of soup. Enjoy!

special diets and swaps

  • t-rex chefs: Chicken broth will also work for this recipe, have at it!
  • vegansaurus chefs: Skip the swirl of goat cheese at the end and this soup is gloriously vegan!

 This healthy vegetarian madras lentil soup channels the flavor of my favorite crock-pot lentil dish in a delicious vegan soup!

so . . . how was it?

I have the stinking’ Lego Movie song stuck in my head so, in a word, AWESOME! Now will someone please erase that song from my head forever? Pretty please? I’ll make you soup.

This stuff rocks. It’s hearty and filling and positively perfect for these last few weeks of Winter. It’s also gloriously freezer-friendly, so tuck a bowl or two away in the freezer for a busy weeknight and rock. those. lentils!

hungry for more?

Loving lentils latley? (oh alliteration, I cannot quit thee) check out my crock-pot lentils, lentil tortilla soup, lentil chili, and these super-yummy lentil-veggie tacos!


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David @ CookingChat

Looks great! Pinning and Facebooking! (scheduled for lunch time over on Cooking Chat)


    Thanks so much David! <3 You're the best!

Taca @ A Side Of Dessert

Definitely pinning this for meal planning! Thanks for sharing!


    Thanks Taca!

Liz @ I Heart Vegetables

This sounds SO good! I’m definitely bookmarking this one for later 🙂


    Dooooooo itttttt! <3


It certainly looks like soup (I imagine stew much more thick and meaty usually)

P.S. Imaginary Paul seems kinda creepy.. you should really talk to him about that 😉


    I told him what imaginary Paul said to me and he frowned. “I would have called you Bird.”

Angie @ A Mother's Pace

Seriously, perfect timing with this one. My husband just asked me last night about making a lentil soup. I’m going to try out your recipe ASAP!


    Yay!!!! It was meant to be! Thanks Angie!


Yum this looks great! I just send my sister a link to your website because I think she will love it too!! You are seriously so amazing and creative with your recipes! 🙂

Miss Polkadot

Honestly? I don’t care if it’s a soup or stew as long as you pass a bowl right along. Legume aficionado is my second name. Okay, and on second looks: it’s a soup. Definitely.


    That’s a pretty stellar middle name. I say you put it on your business cards 😉 xoxo


I have all of these things in the pantry or fridge as I type…even the rice, although don’t tell Paul. It looks super soupy to me. Can’t wait to take this bad boy for a spin.


    I’ll await your verdict oh recipe tester! <3 Love you like whoah!

Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious

Soup or stew…either way this looks delicious!

Marnie @ SuperSmartMama

Mmm I like the idea of adding the red kidney beans… thanks for the great options!


    Thanks Marnie! =)

Arman @ thebigmansworld

Wow. Your pictures are gorgeous Jenn! I tried to photo a soup recipe and it looked like punishment!

I say stew. #wolfpack


    Soup is SO HARD TO PHOTOGRAPH!!! Ohmygosh I feel you! You should see how bad some of these shots are, lol

Colleen @ Keep it Real Clean

I love lentils sooooo much. Thanks for “reminding” me 😉 All of these recipes look amazing!!

Donna Watkins

Another great recipe from Peasandcrayons! Oh my, this was good! The sprinkling of goat cheese added a great finish to the soup. Can’t wait to make it again!


How about you guys meet halfway way and call it a stoup? Regardless.. I’m calling it a bowl of deliciousness! Loving what you have going on here And I’m definitely going to me making this soon! Thanks for sharing♡

Thalia @ butter and brioche

I love all the spices and aromatic flavours going on in this madras lentil soup. It looks so warming, comforting and delicious – perfect for the weather now.


Looks yummy.
Do the dried lentils not need to soak?


    Thanks Mo! In this dish I don’t soak them and it comes out great! If you’d like to soak + drain while you’re prepping ingredients you absolutely can. 🙂

Robyn @ Simply Fresh Dinners

Stunning photos of a delicious soup, Jenn! This will definitely go into one of my weekly meal plans. I love the idea of adding rice or maybe some barley because I have a thing for that. Can’t wait to try these flavors – LOVE! Sharing all over 🙂


    It’s so so good with rice! Once I’m off whole30 I’m ricing it up <3 Thanks so much Robyn!


I made this recipe and loved it about 2 months ago, but now I forget what I decided to do when I saw this issue: For most of the spices, it just says 1/4 or 1/8, but it doesn’t say teaspoons or tablespoons. I know I just picked one or the other and it turned out great, but if you could clarify which you meant (or point me to where you did, if you already have), that’d be fantastic! Thanks (:


    Hi Michele! I’m so glad you love the soup! A few months ago I switched recipe plugins and a few things seemed to go missing during the change-over. It’s all fixed now! Thank you so so much for alerting me to this, much appreciated! 🙂


This was delicious!! My 6 and 3 year old loved it! Thank you so much for having so many vegetarian options on your site!!