This Protein-Packed Red Lentil Soup Will Brighten Up Your Winter Days

When you're in need of a warm-up, skip the can of chicken noodle and instead make this red lentil soup, which comes together in just 30 minutes.

Red lentil soup with beets
Photo: Jennifer Causey

Soup is wonderful anytime of year, but winter is when its warming, soothing goodness really shines. And while you can't go wrong with chicken noodle, switch things up this hibernation season by concocting this innovative red lentil soup.

In this plant-based bowl, beets, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, chili powder, and red lentils combine to create a bold-flavored, eye-catching soup that also packs a punch of nutrients. The lentils, for example, offer nearly 23 grams of protein and 10 grams of fiber per half-cup, while a cup of the beets provide another 4 grams of fiber, so the dish is sure to soothe your growling stomach. For a touch of crunch and tang, the red lentil soup is topped off with a pomegranate and beet salad.

Even though it packs deep, earthy flavors and a satisfying mix of textures, the red lentil soup takes just 30 minutes to concoct — and only 10 of those minutes require some elbow grease. Translation: You'll be able to dish up a big bowl and dig in in no time. (

Beet and Red Lentil Soup

Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds beets (about 6 medium), 4 cut into 1/2-in. cubes, 2 sliced into thin matchsticks
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped (1 cup)
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils (10 oz.)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat 1/4 cup oil over medium-high. Add the cubed beets, onion, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until onion is soft, about 5 min.
  2. Add chili powder and cinnamon. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 10 sec.
  3. Pour in the broth, and stir in the lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until lentils are tender, about 20 min. Then, stir in 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Meanwhile, toss the beet matchsticks with the pomegranate, dill, lemon zest, and remaining 2 tablespoons each of lemon juice and oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Top soup with beet salad, and serve.
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