Red lentil, chickpea & chilli soup

Red lentil, chickpea & chilli soup

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(523 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 25 mins


Serves 4

Come home to a warming bowlful of this filling, low-fat soup

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal222
  • fat5g
  • saturates0g
  • carbs33g
  • sugars6g
  • fibre6g
  • protein13g
  • salt0.87g
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  • 2 tsp cumin seed
  • large pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 140g red split lentils
  • 850ml vegetable stock or water
  • 400g can tomatoes, whole or chopped



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 200g can chickpeas or ½ a can, rinsed and drained (freeze leftovers)
  • small bunch coriander, roughly chopped (save a few leaves, to serve)
  • 4 tbsp 0% Greek yogurt, to serve


  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas. Add the oil and onion, and cook for 5 mins. Stir in the lentils, stock and tomatoes, then bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have softened.

  2. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until it is a rough purée, pour back into the pan and add the chickpeas. Heat gently, season well and stir in the coriander. Finish with a dollop of yogurt and coriander leaves.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Jan, 2018
Really smooth but properly filling soup. Also used a whole can of chickpeas - half before blending and half after. Will be lovely with a bit of naan bread or similar to dip in as well.
4th Jan, 2018
I've just turned vegetarian this week so I cooked this soup for my lunches. It is honestly delicious and so easy to make! Like most other people I used a full can of chickpeas to make the soup more filling, I think it works better with a full can tbh. Definitely one I'll be making again, I'm pretty sure my non-veggie family members will love it too! Can't recommend this one enough, it has just the right amount of thickness and flavour to keep you nice and full.
28th Dec, 2017
Easy and tasty recipe, I personally omit the chickpeas as I am not a fan, but this is great to freeze and use another day too.
5th Dec, 2017
I normally like soups with a meaty flavour but this was delicious, like others I used the whole can of chickpeas before blending,which gave a lovely thick texture, I also used a diced fresh chilli instead of flakes, 1tsp of paprika, small touch of cayenne and a squirt of tomato puree. I had no yoghurt but still loved this with crusty bread, will be making this on a regular basis as pretty much all the ingredients were "in stock" in the cupboards
21st Nov, 2017
This is good. I threw in a few mustard seeds too just because why the hell not. You can use quark in place of yogurt, but the softness of the cheese/yogurt is definitely needed in my view. Put all the chickpeas in - No point messing about. And it's all protein at the end of the day.
4th Nov, 2017
Superb soup. Everyone loved it. It's now in our top 3 soups. Added whole tin chickpeas too. Stopped dry frying the spices cos it sets the smoke alarm off and the whole house can't stop coughing for a half hour! Just add them in with the tomatoes. Still tastes the same. Making it today for the 4th time. Definitely making weekly til springtime.
3rd Nov, 2017
I'm planning to make this today, I plan to put in most of the can of chickpeas before blending, and toss in a handful for a bit of bite afterwards. Will try as is, but it looks like frying up some chorizo at the start with the spices would go nicely for anyone who likes it.
30th Oct, 2017
Love this soup. So easy to make.
Stu Barfoot
15th Oct, 2017
I've made this with green lentils instead and it's come out top-notch!
6th Jul, 2017
awesome easy soup. Although had to modify slightly. I wanted to make a batch so doubled everything, however there were no where near enough chickpeas. I didn't have any more in the cupboard so ended up adding 2 400g tins of cannellini beans. Also added a large tbsp of marmite and 2 tbsp of smoked paprika.


Samuel Lesslie
5th Aug, 2016
Our blender has broke do you know if it will still be the same without using it?
goodfoodteam's picture
9th Aug, 2016
Hi Samuel, thanks for the question. The lentils do tend to break down but you won't achieve the same smooth consistency as you would with the blender. It will still be tasty though!
1st Jul, 2016
Do these work if the lentils are blue?
Caroline Hire_GF
8th Aug, 2016
Thank you for your question. We haven't tested this recipe using different lentils. This would change the cooking time, texture and colour, therefore we suggest sticking with the red lentils. Hope this helps.
21st Nov, 2013
Hi is the nutritional info including the tablespoon of greek yoghurt or not? Just wondering as lactose intolerant and need to know for protein requirements are around 30g per meal. thanks.
Gurjinder Bhamera's picture
Gurjinder Bhamera
17th Jan, 2018
I added a whole tin of chick peas and half a red pepper before adding the stock, tomatoes and lentils. Worked out really well!
20th Aug, 2017
Rubbed some zaatar mixed with oil and a bit of salt on flat breads and toasted in the oven as a side. Yum!
21st Feb, 2017
In my experience a middle eastern anything would include garlic, I added 2 crushed/chopped cloves with the onion. Also, I used home-made chicken stock. Agree re chick peas.
handycrowd's picture
20th Jan, 2017
Totally befuddled by the 'it's bland' comments?? It's a cracking soup, easy, quick, cheap, healthy and tastes fantastic! What's not to like? My tips/modifications is to add the 'spare' half a tin of chick peas when you add the stock etc. Improves the texture no end and no half tin of chick peas in the fridge! Second, I added one veg and one chook stock cubes and omitted any additional salt. The fresh coriander and natural yogurt at the end is a must.
15th Oct, 2016
This is a lovely tasty soup. Surprised some feel it bland -- I suggest the following: use 2 heaped tsp cumin seed and liberal amount chilli flakes, add some lemon juice at the end to taste, and be generous with the coriander. I also used a whole tin of chickpeas. Serve with naan bread.
30th Jul, 2015
I love this soup! I make it at least once a week. I chuck in a few chopped carrots and a pepper with the onions and garlic. I also leave the soup chunky and add a whole tin of chickpeas at the same stage as the lentils. Really delicious, even my carnivore brother loves it.
8th Feb, 2015
I think this tastes even better if you don't blend it but just add the chickpeas and coriander and tuck in! Great on a cold day!