Red Lentil Lemon Soup

Soup is love! Consider this post a big hug from me!!

Pescatarian’s enjoy a plant based diet supplemented with seafood. One of the easiest and most delicious ways to get in your daily intake of vegetables is a hearty soup. This gorgeous red lentil lemon soup cooks up in about 30 minutes and will make you wonder why you don’t cook lentils more often!

Red lentil and lemon soup

This is a Middle Eastern – inspired recipe that is one of my favorite comfort meals. It’s a super flavorful plant-based soup that uses simple ingredients along one fancy one – preserved lemons.

Moroccan Preserved Lemons
Moroccan preserved lemons after 8 months of fermentation

What are preserved lemons?

Preserved lemons are essentially lemons preserved in salt and lemon juice and allowed to ferment for at least 3 weeks and up to 1 year. This process results in highly concentrated lemon flavor with a bit of a bite.

Lemons were originally preserved for the same reason most things are preserved—to store and eat them past their season. According to the Encyclopedia Of Kitchen History the earliest mention of preserved lemons dates back to the 11th century in North Africa – Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. Read more here.

You can purchase preserved lemons in some markets or order jars online, however it’s very easy to make them at home. I use organic Meyer lemons for my recipe. They are the closest to the variety of lemons used in Morocco, beldi lemons, which is the mecca of preserved lemons. I will be posting a video tutorial on making preserved lemons soon.

Organic Meyer lemons. A gift from my sister!

Red lentils cook quickly and have a slightly sweet flavor. They are rich if fiber and protein and packed with folate, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and potassium

Red lentils



In a medium sized heavy bottom pot add the olive oil, onion, celery and carrot. Cook until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Toss in the ground coriander, cumin, paprika and turmeric and cook for another minute. Keep in mind that turmeric can stain coking utensil and counter tops so take care.

Pour in the water, vegetable broth and add the tomato paste, and thyme. Stir to combine and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the red lentils, preserved lemon and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. 

Turn off the heat and use an immersion or “stick” blender and blend for 5-10 seconds . The soup should remain slightly chunky, were looking to smooth it out just a bit. If using a blender or food processor, add half of the soup to the container and give it few pulsed the add back to the pot. 

Turn the heat to a low simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add a little more water if the soup is too thick. Squeeze the juice of the Meyer lemon over the soup, careful not to add seeds. Stir and serve immediately with toasted pita if desired. 


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2 thoughts on “Red Lentil Lemon Soup”

  1. Hi! This is my first comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts. Can you recommend any other Soul Healing blogs that go over the same topics? Thanks a ton!

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I’m Stephanie Harris-Uyidi, affectionately known as The Posh Pescatarian. I’m a sustainable seafood enthusiast and love sharing recipes, education, and tips for making incredible pescatarian meals. I am an industry expert and an authoritative voice on the pescatarian lifestyle. When I’m not working on new recipes in my lab (AKA: my kitchen!) I enjoy traveling and learning about people, places and culture through food, ingredients, and cooking techniques. I share some of my experiences on my TV show Appetite for Adventure!



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