Spiced carrot & lentil soup in a bowl

Spiced carrot & lentil soup

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(904 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4

A delicious, spicy blend, packed full of iron and low fat to boot. It's ready in under half an hour or can be made in a slow cooker

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian


  • kcal238
  • fat7g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs34g
  • sugars0g
  • fibre5g
  • protein11g
  • salt0.25g
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  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 2 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…

  • 600g carrots, washed and coarsely grated (no need to peel)



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 140g split red lentils
  • 1l hot vegetable stock (from a cube is fine)
  • 125ml milk (to make it dairy-free, see 'try' below)



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • plain yogurt and naan bread, to serve



    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…


  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry 2 tsp cumin seeds and a pinch of chilli flakes for 1 min, or until they start to jump around the pan and release their aromas.

  2. Scoop out about half with a spoon and set aside. Add 2 tbsp olive oil, 600g coarsely grated carrots, 140g split red lentils, 1l hot vegetable stock and 125ml milk to the pan and bring to the boil. 

  3. Simmer for 15 mins until the lentils have swollen and softened.

  4. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth (or leave it chunky if you prefer).

  5. Season to taste and finish with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices. Serve with warmed naan breads.

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Comments, questions and tips

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ichristie's picture
18th Nov, 2019
I added a chopped onion and a clove of garlic and sweated them in the oil first then added the chopped carrot and continued to sweat the mixture until softened. I feel this may have contributed towards a better depth of flavour.
8th Nov, 2019
Sorry but this soup was spectacularly revolting. I make a lot of soups and ended up having to throw it away which is a first. Think I will stick to my favorite Prue Leith carrot and coriander Soup recipe in future which is delicious.
TastyCat's picture
30th Oct, 2019
A great warming soup for a cold day. The whole family enjoyed it. Beautiful with a warm garlic naan to dip in. I added a fresh red chilli, simply because I had some. Will definitely be making again during these colder months.
29th Oct, 2019
Really nice soup. Just like my local Falafel shop. I made it vegan by adding a whole can of Coconut Milk.
Ieva Mickevičiūtė's picture
Ieva Mickevičiūtė
17th Oct, 2019
This soup recipe is the best!!! All of my family loved it especially my two older sisters even my grandmother (she is very picky with food), who live apart from me, asked me to cook this soup for her. Also, it’s super easy to make.
17th Aug, 2019
Super easy and can be doctored up if you like it with more of a kick. I added ginger, garlic, coriander seed (instead of cumin seed) and cumin powder. I chopped the carrots instead of grating and it was totally fine. An easy go to!
A 88's picture
A 88
3rd Aug, 2019
Maybe it was the carrots I used but this soup was so bland and tasteless. I followed the recipe to a T but I found I had to add a bunch of yoghurt and extra spices to be able to eat it (but even then it was still bland). All I could taste was the lentils and the soup was really grainy. I think it needs another vegetable other than carrots and less lentils to get a bit more depth of flavour. I make a different soup every week in winter but this is probably the worst I've had...Easy to make but not sure why it has such high reviews
Andria Weil's picture
Andria Weil
30th Jul, 2019
Made this for the first time tonight and the family loved it. Super easy for a weeknight meal. My husband loved the limited clean up! I made it vegan - substituting coconut milk for regular milk using a full can vs. the recipe recommendation which called for less liquid. It seemed too thick to me. Added some salt to taste at the end which perked it up. Also added in a thumb of fresh ginger (shredded) as I love ginger. Added the ginger with the carrots, etc. so it could all cook together. Used an immersion blender to smooth it all out. I don’t love super hot stuff so found the spice at the right level but can understand if others want more kick from the red pepper. That’s an easy enough adjustment to make but don’t feel I need to for my family’s taste. Definitely try it - super cheap, easy and healthy!!!
23rd Jul, 2019
Delicious ! All the family enjoyed . Made it vegan by using almond milk and leaving out yogurt . Cooked it a little longer before spinning in the processor and yes it’s good to increase the cumin seeds and Chili a little . Wished I had made twice as much to use next day.
4th Jul, 2019
So bland! I added at least twice, if not three times as much spice but still couldn't stand it. Ended up throwing it away.


26th Oct, 2019
Hi, I am making this for the first time and wondering whether it needs garlic/coriander seeds/ginger or any of the above? Sometimes simple recipes can be better for flavour but other times they need something extra or risk being bland and I'm just wondering what people who have tried this recipe thought? Many thanks!
26th Oct, 2019
I am making this for the first time. The ingredients look a little basic but sometimes the nicest things are simple. Do people generally feel this needs garlic or ginger or coriander or is the cumin and chilli enough for flavour? Much appreciate anyone's tips! Great way to use up extra carrots when buy too many and avoid buying soup in plastic tubs - thank you.
12th Jun, 2019
Can I freeze this recipie?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Jun, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can freeze this recipe. All our freezable recipe are marked with a blue star above the nutritional information. Freeze before adding the yogurt.
Alastair King
23rd Jan, 2019
When i add the oil to the hot pan it burns the seeds. Is it ok to add the oil after the stock?
23rd Jan, 2019
I don't have cumin seeds, but I do have ground cumin. Can I substitute this? If so, how much would I need for 2 tsp cumin seeds?
goodfoodteam's picture
25th Jan, 2019
Thanks, yes you can substitute it. We'd recommend using 1 - 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin at the beginning, depending on taste.
13th Oct, 2018
Hi, can you tell me how long I can safely store the soup in the fridge?
goodfoodteam's picture
17th Oct, 2018
Thanks for your question. We recommend keeping the soup for up to 2 days in the fridge or freezing it for a later date.
14th Aug, 2017
would this be ok to chill and freeze please?


7th Apr, 2019
I added a tin a of 5 bean salad and parsnips for a variation on a great recipe
19th Mar, 2019
This soup was excellent although I did fry off some onions with fresh red chillies before adding the carrots & lentils. Great texture once blended. Will definitely make again.
Rochelle Beech's picture
Rochelle Beech
5th Mar, 2018
tasty, used a teaspoon of harrisa instead of chilli flakes.
16th Jan, 2017
I have made this soup many times but my latest batch was the tastiest yet. I forgot to remove the scoop of toasted seeds so had double the amount in the pot from the start. I had two parsnips which needed used so I added them keeping the original amount of carrots but adding more water. I like the soup even better now, it's subtly different in a nice way.
notnixon's picture
23rd Sep, 2016
Delicious! I used coconut milk (the drinking kind) rather than cows milk. The hint of coconut really helped the flavour.
27th Apr, 2016
Fantastic recipe - cheap, easy, tasty and healthy - I made it vegan by swapping the dairy milk for a tin of coconut milk. This has become a regular of mine and has been a big hit with friends.
10th Sep, 2015
If you are going to blend at the end there is really no need to grate the carrots to begin with just chop quickly and throw in to pot!
ollynewport's picture
1st Mar, 2015
If you prefer a chunky soup, cut the the carrots into small cubes, keeping the rest of the ingredients the same. If you wish to have meat: take several slices of smoked streaky bacon, cut into small pieces, fry until crispy, and add to the saucepan along with the carrot, lentils, milk and stock.
6th Dec, 2014
A great soup, very filling. I have it as a snack as it has good balance of veg and vegetarian protein.
27th Jun, 2013
This soup is lovely, but much nicer if you add extra spices and a bit of smoked paprika (as others have said). Be very meagre with the chilli flakes however, as the frying at the start really brings out the spice!
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