Creamy Red Lentil and Tomato Soup

creamy red lentil and tomato soup

This “creamy red lentil and tomato soup” is similar to tomato bisque that my kids love, with a touch of warmth from red lentils and spices.

Red lentils are one of the foods I only tried once I was well in adulthood. That is after moving to the States. Although Korean cuisine uses a variety of legumes, the red, green, or brown lentils common in the States weren’t readily available in Korea. Because of that, lentils are one of the ingredients that feel foreign to me.

When the Covid shutdown happened three years ago, rice and flour were out of stock everywhere. In panic mode, I hoarded bags of lentils in my pantry as a backup. And as my bags of lentils were about to expire, I started experimenting with various recipes. After many rejections from my kids, we finally have a winning recipe- a hybrid of lentil soup and tomato bisque.

red lentil and tomato soup with a slice of baguette

An immersion blender makes blending soups a breeze

My kids will only eat legumes or tomatoes that are pureed into soup or sauce at the moment, so I blend the soup until the texture is completely creamy. An immersion blender makes this job a breeze. You can blend the soup right in the pot when it’s still piping hot. (If you’re using a traditional blender, make sure to cool down the soup before blending. Hot liquid can create pressure and blow the lid off.) I got my Braun immersion blender when making purees for my daughters, but it continues to be a handy tool in my kitchen.

If you like texture in your soup, you can vigorously whisk with a hand whisk until the lentils and tomatoes are broken down.

sweet pea eating baguette dipped in red lentil and tomato soup

Pair with sourdough, baguette, or grilled cheese

My kids love to dip bread into this red lentil and tomato soup; Sourdough or baguette pairs well! We enjoy this soup as a main dish for a weekend brunch, and I find it pretty filling. But if you’d like to make it more substantial, try serving it with a side of grilled cheese sandwich.

Also, check out Butternut Squash Soup recipe.

If you enjoyed this recipe, I would love to hear from you!

5 from 1 vote

Creamy Red Lentil and Tomato Soup

Course Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Author whiteblankspace


  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (total 43.5 oz)
  • 1 cup red lentils rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • juice from one medium-sized lemon
  • optional fresh cilantro for garnish


  1. Melt butter in a dutch oven or a large saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onion and salt. Cook until onions are softened.
  3. Add coriander, cumin, cinnamon, pepper, tomato paste, sugar, and garlic. Cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add red lentils, tomatoes, broth, and water and bring to simmer. Simmer for about 15~20 minutes while stirring occasionally.
  5. Puree soup with an immersion blender or a regular blender. If using a regular blender, blend in several batches, filling the blender only halfway at a time. Return soup to the pot.
  6. Add lemon juice, heavy cream, and more salt to taste. Serve with toasted sourdough and enjoy.

2 Responses

  1. 5 stars
    Loved this (I used half and half instead of heavy cream because I had some I needed to put to good use and since I didn’t have lemon juice – oops – I decreased the sugar to 1 teaspoon)

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