Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup

5 stars based on 37 votes


If you’re in need of a little pick-me-up, this soul-satisfying soup is just the ticket. Here’s what I love about it: you can make it with ingredients you likely have on hand; it’s ready in 30 minutes yet tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen; it’s vegetarian and healthy; and it’s hearty enough, along with a salad and loaf of good bread, to be a complete meal.


Before we get started, a few words about the ingredients. It’s important to use red lentils, as opposed to another variety: they cook quickly, add wonderful flavor and thicken the soup nicely. The recipe only calls for a third of a cup; don’t be tempted to add more or your soup will turn to sludge. As for the green vegetables, I like to use frozen peas and green beans but you can use any quick cooking, frozen or leftover vegetables you have on hand. The recipe is very flexible!


Begin by cooking the onions in olive oil until soft. Add the carrots, garlic, smoked paprika and cumin and cook until fragrant, a few minutes.


Add the broth, lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and pepper.


Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes.


Add the chickpeas and cook for ten minutes more, or until the lentils are cooked and the carrots are tender.


Remove a few cups of the soup and purée until smooth.


Pour the puréed soup back into the pot. Stir and taste; if you want the soup to be thicker, purée a bit more.


Add the vegetables.


Bring the soup back to a simmer and serve.


Smoky Chickpea, Red Lentil & Vegetable Soup

Servings: 6
Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup cooked vegetables, frozen peas or chopped fresh greens (or any combination)


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, carrots, smoked paprika and cumin; cook, stirring frequently so the garlic doesn't brown, about 2 minutes more.
  2. Add the broth, diced tomatoes, red lentils, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer; cook for ten minutes. Add the chickpeas, cover the pot and cook 10 minutes more. Fish out the bay leaves, then transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender and purée until smooth. Add the puréed soup back to the pot and stir. Taste; if you want the soup to be thicker, purée a bit more soup. Add the cooked vegetables, frozen peas or chopped greens and simmer until the soup is hot and the vegetables are warmed through. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 222
  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 32g
  • Sugar: 7g
  • Fiber: 10g
  • Protein: 10g
  • Sodium: 622mg

Reviews & Comments

  • Wow! This soup was great and so versatile. I really enjoy your website. Thank you very much for your great recipes! I didn’t want to put chickpeas in so I used white kidney beans. I also didn’t have canned tomatoes so I cut up 3 small ones instead. I used frozen peas for the frozen veggie. Excellent! Even my super picky son ate a small bowl.

    - Shannon Poellmann on April 1, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe had such a unique adult flavor. Neither the cumin nor the paprika dominated the soup, but each added multiple layers of flavor. my husband and I loved it but not our kids. I added 1/4 or less of paprika. I’d make it again!

    - Nancy on March 27, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is another soup we make for a work week of dinners. We double the recipe, precook about 3 C of rice, and over the week have the soup mixed with some rice. Perfect complimentary protein. GREAT weekday meals. Never boring.

    - Sue Ebbers on March 26, 2015 Reply
  • loved the colour and texture of the soup… i was looking for the soup for my young one and it was perfect !!!! can we add some cream ??

    - SINDHU on March 23, 2015 Reply
    • Sure, go for it!

      - Jenn on March 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I was looking for a quick vegan soup recipe and this worked out perfectly. It was easy to make and was delicious. I followed the ingredients as written, using vegetable broth and green beans for the green vegetable.

    - Diane Z. on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This soup is now my go-to recipe for a vegetarian meal! Even my carnivorous son eats it (not with as much gusto as the rest of the family, but that’s definitely saying a lot!). The contrast in colors is so beautiful! To thicken the soup, I added some instant potato flakes.

    - Mimi on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love this recipe. In addition to tasting delicious, it is very pretty to look at. Nice combination of colors. My husband decided it needed a little something else so he put a few splashes of hot sauce in it and declared it perfect! I couldn’t find smoked paprika and used Hungarian paprika. I wonder if that was why it was a little lacking…

    - Barbara on March 19, 2015 Reply
    • Yes, Barbara, the smoked paprika makes a big difference.

      - Jenn on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Had a few ladies over for lunch and made this soup to go along with a salad. It was a big hit. So much flavor. The only problem was I wish I had doubled the recipe so I could have more for dinner and to share it with my family! Next time…

    - Betsy on March 19, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Amazing! Perfect as written. My second time making it I realized I was out of chickpeas, so I used cannelini beans and threw in 3 slices of sliced bacon when sautéing the onions. That was good as well. I love a recipe that adjusts to my pantry.

    - Meriam Good on March 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Jenn- if I want to make his for a large group (24) would I just quadruple the recipe?

    - Sue Rumer on March 7, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Sue, Yes, that will work fine.

      - Jenn on March 7, 2015 Reply
  • hi ..i was wondering..i am going to make this for supper…have you ever doubled the recipe? if so did it turn out ok? i love all the different recipes:) thanks …lisa

    - lisa campbell on March 3, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Lisa, yes, it is fine to double the recipe. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 3, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Chef, A question about curry powder…I cooked a chicken curry last night following, more or less, your recipe and found it needed significant additions of garam masala, red pepper flakes, turmeic and madras curry powder to have enough flavor for our unsophisticated taste. The curry powder I used was the ‘off the shelf’ Durkee blend. I think these commercial curry powders are to Indian cooking what Chef Boyardee is to Italian food…but I don’t know where to find a real recipe. So the question is: What do you use in your curry powder? Thank you. (I very much like your site and your approach to cooking)

    - Bill Simons on February 24, 2015 Reply
  • Hi jenn

    This looks scrummy , but as I’m from england can you tell me what a cup is the equivalent of in say ounces or grams ? I really want to make this ! Thank you so much ! Nicci

    - Nicci on February 22, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Nicci, For the broth, the amount would be 32 ounces, but I don’t know equivalents for the other ingredients. Hope that helps!

      - Jenn on February 23, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is the third lentil soup I have made in the last couple of weeks and I loved this recipe because of the combination of the soup/puree making the texture in the middle (not to runny not too thick). It was so easy to make and extremely tasty! I will be making this recipe again. I used the peas this time but want to try it with greens the next time. Also I made the Grilled Moroccan Chicken the same night and chopped up some of the chicken and added to the soup just for the fun of it and that was amazing too. It is good with or without the chicken!

    - Karen on February 16, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is a very hearty soup and I love the trick of blending some of it to give it that extra bit of thickness! Will definitely make again

    - Valerie on February 11, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    So yummy and easy to prepare! Perfectly spiced. Thank you! Have made it twice already. Very happy to have found your site.

    - Grace on February 5, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was a great winter soup. No alterations are necessary…I made it without changing the ingredients with the exception of 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley to brighten the savory flavor. Cilantro might also be a good addition instead of parsley. I also upped the amounts of frozen peas and green beans by another 50% as the given amounts seemed a bit meager. It was easy to make and perfect with crusty sourdough bread.

    - Sean S. on February 4, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is excellent!! We loved it and will make again. Thank you for a terrific recipe and an outstanding website. Looking forward to trying more recipes.

    - Jean Casey on January 29, 2015 Reply
  • Could I substitute regular paprika for the smoked paprika when making the smoky chickpea, lentil, and vegetable soup or will it make a big difference? Thank you.

    - Joan on January 29, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Joan, Unfortunately, the smoked paprika makes a big difference. If you have chipotle chili powder, you could use that as a substitute but it will add a little extra spice.

      - Jenn on January 29, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    A quick note: I misplaced my chick pea soup recipe and rather than spend more time looking for it went to find another. That was a good decision because your recipe was better. I also make a red lentil soup. Your recipe combines the chic peas and red lentils. My former two recipes will now be put aside and your tasty soup will be my go to recipe hence forth.

    - Ulrike Johnston on January 27, 2015 Reply
  • I’ve almost made all of your soups and they’re all delicious! Please can we have more!!!

    - Virginia on January 21, 2015 Reply
  • I’d like to start using dry chickpeas and beans rather than cans (when time permits) but I have no idea how you cook dry chickpeas or other beans. Can you tell me how to adjust the recipe if you do not used canned chickpeas?

    - gigi on January 20, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love this soup! Make it at least once a week and making it today for Christian’s husband who does vegan for the month of January. Thanks. Have forwarded your newsletter to several friends.

    - Peg Hancuff on January 17, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this soup for my kids……(teenagers) it was such a hit, that I made it as a starter for Christmas dinner. Another hit!! Everyone loved it and it tastes delicious and so easy to make…

    - Dolores Valdez on January 16, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Yesterday was cool and overcast in SoFl, our version of winter…it was soup day at my house…the chickpea and. Veg, and the blackbean were amazing…i doubled the. Amt of blackbean…Five star all the way! I cook once a week for my very busy daughter( she teaches and has two teenagers) and she and my granddaughter are vegetarian…these soups were hearty enough for the two non veg. Males! Love the layers of flavor!!!! Your recipes are so well thought out! I will work my way through all of them! I look forward to your weekly newsletter!! Thank you so very much!

    - Gayann on January 15, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hi Jenn. Just made a batch of this and it’s delicious! I added a squeeze of lemon to bring up the flavor. Does the soup freeze well? I hope so, because there’s a lot of it!
    Thanks for another great recipe.

    - Janet on January 12, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Janet, Glad you enjoyed! The soup does freeze well :)

      - Jenn on January 12, 2015 Reply
  • Hi Jenn-

    I am on week two of only cooking recipes on your website-and i haven’t made a bad dinner yet!! I have made this stew twice before but this week added chorizo sausage and spinach as well as peas. It turned out amazing and my husband loved it.

    Your recipes never disappoint. Tonight I am making your BBQ chicken wings which were already a huge hit at my NYE party so everyone is looking forward to them again. Go Buckeyes!!

    - Betsy on January 12, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Betsy, So glad you’re enjoying the recipes! Love your idea to add chorizo to the soup…I’ll be trying that :)

      - Jenn on January 12, 2015 Reply
  • Can I just use regular paprika and not smoked?? I’m having a hard time finding smoked paprika…

    - Carissa on January 10, 2015 Reply
    • Hi Carissa, Yes, that’s fine; just won’t be smoky in flavor.

      - Jenn on January 10, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Fabulous soup. I have made it three times including for very picky company and everyone loved it and wanted the recipe!

    - Nikki Barnes on January 8, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Absolutely wonderful! The kitchen smelled fantastic and the soup was amazing!

    My husband and kids did not enjoy it as much as I did (clearly they have no taste at all). But this is a win/win for me because now I have it frozen and ready for some great lunches at work!

    I will definitely make this again…just for me! yay!

    - pmm on January 7, 2015 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This soup was so delicious! Thank you for the recipe.

    - Charmaine on December 17, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    The smoky paprika adds just the right flavor to this delicious soup. Yet another delicious recipe that I will definately make again.

    - Linda Remick on December 12, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve made this soup twice – so delicious and feel nicely nourished after a bowl. Subbed curry for the smoked paprika, and it was a hit!

    - Paige on December 9, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My husband and I are trying to introduce some healthier foods to our diet. I’ve never enjoyed lentils, but I knew he did so I decided to try this recipe…the photos looked so delicious. I made it exactly as directed, using frozen snow peas and green peas, and it was fabulous! We’ ‘ll be adding this to our meals often and I intend to share it with family and friends! Thank you!

    - Susan on December 8, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this soup today. Another home run! I loved the smokey flavor. I was able to buy the red lentils at my local Kroger. I added Kale instead of mixed veggies. I also used homemade broth as I usually have some in the freezer. It all came together really quick.

    - Donna on December 7, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Hands down the best lentil soup I have made! So many layers of yum and it tasted as if it had cooked for hours, they blended that well. I will go to this recipe again and again and can’t wait for summer veggies to add. The only alteration I did was to use homemade veggie broth, all else was according to recipe. Love your site! :)

    - Joy on December 4, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This soup was great! I made it last night for my boyfriend and I. He loved it even though he’s wary of lentil and bean soups (they look gross? haha) I served it over ditalini and it was excellent.

    - Julie on November 19, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Easy and delicious. I used regular paprika and a bit of chipotle powder since I had it on hand. I also subbed mixed frozen veggies. Fresh would have been more beautiful but it was easy to just pour out of a bag for a quick and hearty soup. Definitely making this again.

    - April on November 15, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’m so delighted to have found your blog! Your pictures are just beautiful and the recipes are so well organized.
    This soup was SO delicious, healthy, frugal, quick and easy, and my toddler loved it. Thank you for sharing!

    - Lynnessa on October 23, 2014 Reply
    • Thank you, Lynnessa! So glad you enjoyed the soup :)

      - Jenn on October 23, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I never write reviews for recipes but this one absolutely deserves a raving one!!! I just tried it tonight for the first time and my husband and I LOVED it!!! It’s delicious and full of flavor! Definitely a keeper :)
    Thank you!!

    - Ale on October 18, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was a huge success in our house! I cut half a left-over chorizo ring into thin slices and fried until crisp. Took the chorizo out ofvthe frying pan and stir-fried some thinly sliced savoy cabbage in the chorizo oil and added both to the soup. My men demolished it and told me I could make it again! Great on a cold night.

    - Christine on October 13, 2014 Reply
  • I don’t see amounts for the ingredients. Where can i find them?

    - Arlene on October 12, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Arlene, Click on the “recipe” tab and you’ll find the ingredients.

      - Jenn on October 12, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Another great recipe. I love smoked paprika so this is my kind of soup. Only one change: added a little sugar, 1-2 tsp.

    - Paula Jones on October 11, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Yet another delicious recipe! I made this yesterday morning for dinner last night. My husband was circling the pot while it simmered! I added some leftover Peruvian roast chicken and it was very, very good. Jen, every recipe I have tried from your blog has been a hit. After 50 years of cooking, I’m ready for some new recipes. Thank-you!

    - Linda on September 30, 2014 Reply
  • I love your recipes. Some of them include calorie count and some don’t. We’re doing a diet where two days out of the week we limit our calorie intake to 500-600 calories. I’m always looking for good low calorie dinner options and this soup looks like a good one, but there’s no calorie count. Do you have a rough idea? Thank you so much! (I haven’t tried it yet so can’t rate)

    - Elizabeth on August 29, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Elizabeth, Yes, I just recently started adding nutritional data to my recipes; I’m still slowly going back through the archives and updating my older recipes. I’ve just added it to this one. Let me know if there are any others you’re interested in and I’ll bump them to the top of the list. Hope that helps :)

      - Jenn on August 29, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Again, another great recipe Thanks

    - Suzan on July 23, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is such a flavorful soup. I love the combination of chick peas and lentils. I made a double batch for my family and when we had the leftovers I added a little bit of cut up smoked sausage I had. The smokiness of it went well with this soup. Nice fall meal

    - Debbie Chiet on July 22, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Really easy and nice soup, thankyou

    - Lyn on July 14, 2014 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Great soup. I am a soup lover all year round, made this last week with summer veggies. Delish!!!

    - Lisa Mullen on July 10, 2014 Reply
  • Wonderful soup! I will definitely make it again.

    - Paula on April 11, 2014 Reply
  • Great soup enjoyed by the whole family!

    - Lucy on March 26, 2014 Reply
  • So simple to make,, was delicious, good soup for. Cold day.

    - Fran on March 16, 2014 Reply
  • Made this, excellent, wouldn’t change anything.

    - Fran on March 8, 2014 Reply
  • My husband and I don’t care for smoked paprika. Can we substitute something else, or just leave it out? I’m concerned that it might be an important ingredient to the overall flavor of this soup. I really enjoy your site and have made and enjoyed several of your recipes.

    - Nan on March 8, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Nan, The recipe doesn’t call for a lot so the flavor is pretty subtle but it’s fine to leave it out; the soup will still have plenty of flavor. And you can always add some more spice or fresh herbs at the end if you think it needs a little something. Hope that helps and please let me know how it turns out!

      - Jenn on March 8, 2014 Reply
  • We made this soup two nights ago. Delicious! I had never used red lentils before, but found them at my local Whole Foods store. I used sliced beet greens for the veggies and we served the soup with some warm naan bread. Wonderful flavor, great visual appeal and a nice hearty soup for Winter’s last icy kick at us! Leftovers were even better the next day for lunch. We have enjoyed a constant rotation of your soup recipes this winter. Thank you, Jenn.

    - Liesel on March 7, 2014 Reply
  • This soup is a keeper, especially the next day. Had to add more chicken broth the second day because the soup does thicken up a bit so you feel like you are having a stew. For my veggies, I did peas and baby kale and added a dash of cayenne. Sooooo good and guilt free!

    - Terri Braine on March 4, 2014 Reply
  • This was delicious and simple..loved it! Thank you

    - Phyllis on March 2, 2014 Reply
  • Made this tonight. Very good! Thanks for the recipe!

    - Danielle Werchowsky on March 2, 2014 Reply
  • I made this the other night. It was fantastic!!!! Thanks so much for the recipe.

    - barbara on March 1, 2014 Reply
  • I just finished putting this together and it is fantastic!!! Very flavorful and different. My husband and I loved it! Thanks, Jenn!! You’ve done it again!

    - Eileen on February 28, 2014 Reply
  • Sounds wonderful. On elimination diet– no tomatoes. Any other suggestions?

    - Susan on February 27, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Susan, Just add more broth and veggies; it will still be wonderful. The recipe is incredibly forgiving.

      - Jenn on February 27, 2014 Reply
  • Sounds great, I’ll try it soon. I also make a quick snack out of just the chick peas by rinsing them (canned), and then drizzeling them with a little olive oil, and sprinkling them with a mixture of kosher salt and a garlic/pepper mix and roasting them in the toaster oven for about five minutes. Great snack, (and it keeps me out of the peanuts )!!

    - Pete on February 27, 2014 Reply
    • Hi Pete, I love roasted chickpeas too. Hope you enjoy the soup!

      - Jenn on February 27, 2014 Reply
  • This soup sounds wonderful!! Am anxious to make it since winter is blasting us again, even here in Florida.

    - Jane Palmer on February 27, 2014 Reply
    • Jane Palmer: I’m in Florida too, and it’s only 68 here in Port St. Lucie.

      - Pete on February 27, 2014 Reply

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