Get Baked: Lemony Lentil Soup

Sometimes you want to be fancy and use the freshest ingredients and make the best food possible, and sometimes you want to make a giant pot of something quick that will taste exactly the same for the next five days of your lunch without you having to think about it. This soup is for those times. (It also tastes great.)


Lentil Soup

Adapted from Sophie Dahl


2 cups red lentils
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
3 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
2 scallion whites, sliced
4 celery stalks, chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
3 lemons worth of fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
4 cups spinach, washed


1. Put the lentils in a large pot, and cover them with stock. Add the bay leaves (if you have a spice ball, this is a good time to remember to use it). Bring it all to a boil and then let it simmer, uncovered, for about 30 to 40 minutes, or for however long it takes for the lentils to get pretty soft.

2. While you wait, heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan. Add the onion and scallions and cook over very low heat for about 10 minutes. Then add the celery, sprinkle in the cumin, stir and cook for about five minutes. It’s okay to add more oil if you need to, or a quick splash of water if things are really sticking.

3. After five minutes, add everything in the pan to the lentils. Also add the lemon juice. Fish out the bay leaves if you can find them. Season with additional olive oil, lemon juice, salt or freshly ground black pepper to taste.

4. If you’re a big fan of pureed soups, just go ahead and puree it. Let it cool for a bit and then either act like a magician with a hand blender or worry about accidentally wrecking your kitchen with a normal blender (not all of us are skilled with lids). You can adjust the consistency with a bit of extra stock, or with water. Put the soup on low to reheat it when you’re done. If you don’t want to puree it, just take it off the heat.

5. Serve over handfuls of spinach and top with cilantro.


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Ryan Yates

Ryan Yates was the NSFW Editor (2013–2018) and Literary Editor for, with bylines in Nylon, Refinery29, The Toast, Bitch, The Daily Beast, Jezebel, and elsewhere. They live in Los Angeles and also on twitter and instagram.

Ryan has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Love this, I have a lot of feelings about lentils as a soup ingredient/ an ingredient in anything! The best (and, um, only) start-from-scratch soup I’ve ever made was a lentil base with tomato and chorizo and my girlfriend and I both loved it. Viva las lentils, et cetera, ad nauseam.

  2. I wish I could eat Spinach!! Alas, I can not, so I shall have to find an alternative to be able to try this

  3. Oooh lemons & lentils & cilantro & greens are four of my fave food things, so i’m excited to try this!

  4. This looks delicious! I feel like a bad vegan for not having a huge sack of red lentils in my cupboard.

  5. Your Get Baked recipes always perfectly match my needs/tastes (cheap vegetarian/vegan, protein-friendly recipes). Thank you so much! I’ll try this soup as soon as I can.

  6. This is pretty similar to my go-to red lentil soup recipe (if, um, anyone would like to gift me a mortar and pestle [which I need for said recipe, beating things with a rock hammer isn’t really ideal] for my birthday, it is in 2 months and I will bake you all manner of things in thanks). The lemon sounds really really good. TO THE STORE!

    • I have a sort-of collection of very wonderful mortar and pestles, none of which I have paid more than twenty dollars for! My favorite local fair-trade shop is where I pick up most of them. Check it out!

  7. Delicious! Eating this right now with Nasturtium blossoms & leaves as I had no spinach. Simple and great.

  8. Me, my hand blender and a pot of bubbly hot soup never can quite get our shit together. It’s a sad, messy relationship that I keep trying to fool myself will improve over time but alas….

  9. Okay, so I just made this, and it was super tasty! But my lentils sucked up all the water right away and turned to mush within 10 minutes. I’m new to cooking lentils, is this a normal lentil thing?

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