Turmeric Red Lentil Soup with Kale

I’ve told you about how much I love Argentine lentil stew before, but that uses brown lentils. They require a long overnight soak before cooking – and it may not be the fastest recipe to make if you want to enjoy lentils right away.

Close up top down view of a bowl of red lentil soup with turmeric and kale.

Lentils are high in protein, rich in fiber, and low in fat. And for vegetarians who don’t include animal protein in their diets, these legumes make a great staple.

Today’s vegetarian recipe uses red ones, which require a much shorter cooking time than other varieties, become tender very quickly, and are perfect for making a rich, thick soup that can easily be enjoyed as a full meal.

Made in just under an hour, this is a vibrant and satisfying soup that is hearty and filling. It is also anti-inflammatory for even more superfood goodness, thanks to the turmeric and fresh kale.

A white ceramic spoon is being used to scoop out a mouthful of turmeric and kale lentil soup from its serving bowl.

If you’ve never eaten red lentils before, this is the perfect recipe to start with. I strongly urge you to make a big batch of this and freeze it into individual portions, so you can enjoy it whenever you like!

Need some delicious soup to warm you up? Here’s how you can make a big pot today:

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Recipe for Red Lentil Stew | Foodal.com

Turmeric Red Lentil Soup with Kale

  • Author: Felicia Lim
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Tender red lentils cooked in a soup flavored with turmeric and cumin – a recipe that’s super simple, yet hearty enough to fill you up and keep you warm.


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 cloves large garlic (minced)
  • 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15-ounce can peeled Roma tomatoes (chopped)
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups chopped kale leaves (stems removed)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat up the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the diced onions and minced garlic until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
  2. Add the ground turmeric and cumin and stir with a wooden spoon until fragrant, approximately 1 minute.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock, and red lentils. Stir well to combine. Increase heat to high, and then bring the ingredients to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and let simmer uncovered for approximately 20 minutes, until the legumes are tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the kale, stirring until just wilted. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Moroccan Fusion

Keywords: lentils, turmeric, kale, soup

Nutritional Information*

Nutrition Facts
The Best Turmeric Red Lentil Soup with Kale
Amount Per Serving
Calories 295 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Sodium 877mg 37%
Potassium 544mg 16%
Total Carbohydrates 45g 15%
Dietary Fiber 15g 60%
Sugars 6g
Protein 14g 28%
Vitamin A 166%
Vitamin C 119%
Calcium 13%
Iron 36%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prepare Your Mise en Place

The ingredients needed to make the soup all measured out in their own bowls.

Measure out the vegetable oil, ground turmeric, ground cumin, lentils, vegetable stock, and fresh lemon juice.

Set out the onion, garlic, tomatoes, kale, salt, and pepper.

Step 2 – Dice, Mince, and Chop

Chopping up onions, kale, and garlic and slicing up lemon on a wooden cutting board.

Cut the vegetables. Dice the onions and mince the garlic as finely as you possibly can. Roughly chop the Roma tomatoes and kale leaves.

Step 3 – Saute and Simmer

Sauteing onions and garlic in a nonstick sauce pan.

Begin by heating up the oil in a large pot over medium heat and saute the garlic and onions, until the onions are translucent and you can smell the fragrance of the garlic. This will take you around 2 minutes.

Sprinkle the spices over the vegetables and then mix well for approximately 1 minute.

Close up of the soup before simmering.

Next, add the tomatoes, vegetable stock, and red lentils to the pot, stirring well to combine. Bring the heat up to high and cook until the ingredients start to boil, then reduce the heat to low and let simmer uncovered for around 20 minutes or as long as needed until the legumes are tender.

Step 4 – Add Kale and Season

A bowl of the turmeric and kale lentil soup with a wedge of lemon and a spoon.

Switch off the heat and then throw in the kale leaves, mixing with a wooden spoon until leaves are just wilted. Squeeze in the lemon juice and add salt and pepper to taste.

Vibrant and Comforting Soup for the Soul

A bowl of thick, tasty soup like this is perfect to warm us up and satisfy our tummies when the cold season chills us to the bone.

A spoon is inserted into the tumeric and kale red lentil soup. Close up shot.

I love having this frequently, so I often make a large batch of this deliciously good soup and freeze it to enjoy whenever I like.

Loving lentils? Continue the pulse parade by using them in our recipe for vegetarian shepherd’s pie, Italian lentil soup, and our vegan dal or lentil and mushroom soup served in bread bowls.

Or branch out to other beans with our Italian-style beans and greens recipe.

For even more vegetarian soups, try these recipes:

Have you cooked with red lentils before? What’s your favorite way to enjoy them? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Don’t forget to Pin It!

A collage of photos showing different views of the turmeric and kale red lentil soup.

Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally posted October 21st, 2017. Last revised and updated September 27th, 2019.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Felicia Lim

Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.

7 thoughts on “Turmeric Red Lentil Soup with Kale”

  1. This is soooo good. I tried it last night. I use turmeric as it is to fight inflammation. This will be a once a week dish for me!

  2. I made this soup today. It is absolutely wonderful. I would only make one adjustment as suggested in the recipe. Next time, I will use spinach as opposed to kale.

  3. I have to say, I really didn’t like it. I used only 2 teaspoons of turmeric and that was still way too much. It had a bitter taste to it

  4. I made this for the first time tonight. The flavour was beautiful and it was surprisingly quick to make! All done in about 35 mins. Thank you for a great recipe. Will definitely make again.

  5. I have only one problem with this recipe, it has kale in it. I just can not stand the taste of kale. I am going to use spinach or baby spinach. Maybe even a spring mix of leaves. I do not think it will change the taste much, and I will eat it this way. Thank You for such a great post!


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