If you're looking for an easy 1-pot red pepper and lentil soup, you've found it! Any red pepper lover will love this thick, creamy and smokey soup. It's made with caramelized peppers, tomato paste, vegetable broth and red lentils. If you like soups that are a little out of the ordinary, you may also enjoy this cabbage soup with sun-dried tomatoes.
Why you'll love this soup
- You can make this red pepper and lentil soup any season of the year and eat it hot or cold.
- This is not your usual vegetable soup! Did you ever think about making a soup from red peppers? Probably not. That's exactly why we are sure you'll love it! Simply because it will make you discover soup in a different way!
- This recipe comes together in one pot. No need to cook the lentils separately before adding them to the soup. You can cook them in the same pot.
- It is high in fiber (18 g/serving) and in protein (15 g/serving), which makes it super filling and nutritious!
- This soup is vegan, gluten-free and nut-free.
Key ingredients and substitutions
Onion and garlic: the base of this soup is composed of onion and garlic. We recommend using yellow onions (as white onions can be a little too pungent) and adding as many cloves of garlic as you'd like.
Tomato paste: adding tomato paste to the onion and garlic will intensify the flavors of the soup. It's a key ingredient that you shouldn't substitute.
Smoked paprika: Similar to the tomato paste, smoked paprika adds depth and smokiness to the soup. You can replace it with mild paprika powder if you prefer.
Red peppers: use organic red pepper if possible. You can replace some of the red peppers with yellow and orange bell peppers. Avoid green peppers.
Maple syrup: You will need maple syrup to caramelize the red peppers. You can replace the maple syrup with brown sugar.
Vegetable broth: you can use any vegetable broth you like. Since this soup is extremely flavorful, you could even use water if you don't have vegetable broth. Another alternative would be to make your own vegetable broth from vegetable scraps. This broth tends to be relatively mild in flavor and would be a great choice for this red pepper soup recipe.
Red lentils: what we love about red lentils is that they cook relatively quickly compared to green and brown lentils. Always rinse them under cold water before cooking them. If you're short on time, you can replace them with a can of brown lentils. Simply rinse them and add them to the soup after blending.
- Caramelize the red peppers. Caramelizing the peppers with a little bit of maple syrup (or brown sugar) adds a sweet touch to the soup that goes incredibly well with the smokiness of the paprika powder.
- Blend the soup before you cook the lentils. We love to taste the lentils when eating this soup, which is why we would recommend blending the peppers with the broth before you add in the lentils. If you prefer perfectly smooth soups, you can blend the soup once the lentils are cooked.
- Use canned lentils to save time. If you need this soup to be done in less than 30 minutes, simply drain and rinse a can of lentils and add them to the soup once it's cooked.
If you have trouble digesting red peppers, here's what you can do: instead of cutting up the peppers and caramelizing them in the pan, place them on a baking dish and roast them at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool slightly. When they are cold enough to be touched, peel off their skin and remove the core. Add them to the pot with the sautéed onions and follow the remaining instructions.
Step-by-step with pictures
Chop the vegetables. Roughly chop the onion and crush the garlic cloves with the flat side of a knife. Core the red peppers and cut them into strips. No need to be precise as everything will be blended afterward.
Sauté the onion and garlic. Add some coconut oil (or your preferred cooking oil) to a large pot or Dutch oven. When hot, sauté the onion and the garlic until soft.
Add in the tomato paste and smoked paprika. Let it cook over medium-high heat until it starts to stick to the bottom of the pot and become fragrant.
Caramelize the red peppers. Add the peppers and maple syrup (or brown sugar) to the pot. Sauté for 5 to 7 minutes until the skin of the peppers starts to turn golden in some places. Stir frequently to prevent the peppers from burning and sticking to the pot.
Add in the vegetable broth. Cover with a lid and simmer until the peppers are soft. This should take somewhere between 10 and 15 minutes.
Blend the soup. When the peppers are tender (check softness with a fork), blend the soup with an immersion blender. It should be really thin as it will thicken when we add in the lentils.
Add in the lentils. Rinse the red lentils in a fine-mesh sieve under cold water. Add them to the pot and cover with a lid. Wait until the lentils are cooked (15 to 20 minutes).
You can eat the soup as is or blend it again when the lentils are cooked if you prefer smooth soups. Add a pinch of salt if necessary. You can also thin out the soup with a little more vegetable broth or water until it reaches the desired consistency.
This red pepper and lentil soup will last in the fridge for up to 4 days if stored in air-tight containers.
Yes, you can freeze red pepper and lentil soup for up to 3 months.
Simply reheat individual bowls of soup in the microwave or reheat larger portions over low heat on the stove.
Don’t forget to join the Cooking With Elo newsletter. You’ll get gluten-free and vegan dinner ideas sent right to your inbox.
Red Pepper And Lentil Soup
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Dutch oven or large pot
- Immersion blender
- 4 red peppers
- 1 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or preferred cooking oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika or mild paprika
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or brown sugar
- 4 cups (950 ml) vegetable broth or water
- 1 cup (210 g) red lentils or 1 can (15 oz, 400 g) brown lentils
- Plant-based yogurt
- 1 handful chopped parsley
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes
- Wash the red peppers. Remove the core and chop them into medium-sized pieces.
- Peel the onion and the garlic cloves. Roughly chop the onion and crush the garlic with the flat side of your knife (see step-by-step pictures in post above).
- Heat a Dutch oven or a stockpot with coconut oil (or your preferred cooking oil). When hot, sauté the onion and garlic over medium-high until translucent.
- Add in the tomato paste and smoked paprika powder. Stir for 1 minute until fragrant. Add the red peppers and maple syrup to the pot and sauté for a 5 minutes over medium heat while stirring frequently.
- Pour in the vegetable broth. Give it a good stir. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15 minutes. The pepper should be soft.
- Use an immersion blender to blend the peppers until smooth. The soup should be very thin, as part of the liquid will be absorbed by the lentils as they cook.
- Add in the lentils and cover with a lid. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. When cooked, you can blend the lentils or leave the soup as it is.
- Serve with some plant-based yogurt, fresh parsley and chili flakes if desired.
- If you have trouble digesting red peppers, here's what you can do: instead of cutting up the peppers and caramelizing them in the pan, place them on a baking dish and roast them at 350°F (180°C) for 30 minutes. Take them out of the oven and let them cool slightly. When they are cold enough to be touched, peel off their skin and remove the core. Add them to the pot with the sautéed onions and follow the remaining instructions.
- Vegetable broth: you can use any vegetable broth you like. Since this soup is extremely flavorful, you could even use water if you don't have vegetable broth. Another alternative would be to make your own vegetable broth from vegetable scraps.
- If you're short on time, you can replace them with a can of brown lentils. Simply rinse them and add them to the soup after blending.
- Storage tips: this red pepper and lentil soup will last in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for 3 months.
More hearty soup recipes
Join the 3-week soup challenge! Sign up here to get 3 soup recipes, grocery lists and bonuses sent to your inbox during the next 3 weeks! This challenge is a great way to get back into a routine and start meal prepping. You'll discover 9 nutritious, filling and delicious soups to make for yourself or your family.
Loved it? Please rate it!
If you tried this recipe or any other recipe from the blog, make sure to let us know how you liked it by leaving a star rating and a comment below! Your feedback really matters! To never miss a recipe, follow me on Instragram, Pinterest and Facebook.