Red Lentil Soup with Garlic and Rosemary

By Judi Bushala | December 3, 2020
Makes 3-4 servings
The first time I made red lentils, I was so surprised when they turned yellow! They also break down completely if you let them simmer, just like split peas, which I wasn’t expecting. I think my plan at the time was to eat them over rice, thinking they’d be on the harder side like green or brown lentils. When I saw them disappearing, I remember being disappointed. But then I decided to add veggie broth, rosemary and garlic because it sounded good and stunned myself when I made a bowl of one of the most delicious soups I had ever made. I love happy accidents.


1 pound red lentils, dry
6 cups vegetable broth, low sodium, divided
10 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
1 dash crushed red pepper flakes, optional for heat


  1. Put the lentils, 4 cups of the veggie broth, and the garlic into a large pot. If you have a spice bag, put your rosemary in it and add to the pot. If you don’t have a spice bag, you can tie the rosemary up tightly with kitchen string so the needles don’t break away from the stem and get into the soup too much. Add the rosemary to the pot. Add the salt and pepper.

  2. Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, until the lentils start to break down. Add the 2 additional cups of veggie broth and cook another 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft. If the soup looks too thick, add more veggie broth to get it to the consistency you like. I like mine a bit on the thicker side.

  3. Remove the rosemary.

  4. Remove all of the garlic—you may have to dig around a bit—and 2 cups of the soup and transfer to a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add this back to the pot and stir to combine. Add more veggie broth if it’s still too thick. You can also use an immersion blender to blend up the garlic and get the lentils to the creaminess you like.

  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and maybe a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Serve with a crusty whole grain bread.

Recipe Notes

The garlic softens and becomes more mild as it cooks, so even though there are 10 cloves, it’s not overly garlicy. It’s delicious! But if you’d like to cut down on the garlic, remove a few cloves before blending.

You might enjoy these recipes

Select a day to add

 Add to Meal Plan