Mexican Lentil Soup


  • Total Time1 hr 15 mins
  • Makes8 to 10 servings
*PLUS Cooking time: 40 minutes
Mexican Lentil Soup

(Photo: Christie Vuong; Food Styling: Sage Dakota; Prop Styling: Andrea McCrindle)

Chatelaine Triple Tested

Earthy cumin, hot peppers and a heap of seasonings give a heady boost to this soup that's hearty enough to serve as a vegetarian entrée.


  • 400-g bag red lentils

  • 1 large onion

  • 2 red or green bell peppers

  • 4 carrots

  • 2 celery stalks

  • 3 jalapenos

  • 4 large garlic cloves

  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 8 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or bouillon

  • 1 tbsp chili powder

  • 2 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp dried oregano leaves

  • 1/2 to 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp black pepper

Toppings (optional)

  • sliced avocado

  • sliced jalapeño

  • chopped cilantro

  • sliced limes


  • Wash lentils in a sieve, discarding any twigs and stones. Finely chop onion. Cut red peppers in half, remove seeds and chop into 1/4-inch (0.5-cm) pieces. Peel carrots. Chop carrots and celery into 1/4-inch (0.5-cm) pieces. Core and seed jalapeños, then mince along with garlic.

  • Heat oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat. Add onion, red peppers, carrots, celery, jalapeños and garlic. Stir-fry until vegetables are slightly soft, about 8 minutes. Stir in lentils, broth, chili powder, cumin, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring often. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils and vegetables are tender, from 30 to 40 minutes. Taste and add more salt and seasonings, if needed.

  • For a heartier consistency, remove about one-quarter of soup and place in bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Whirl until mixture is puréed. You may need to add a little water if mixture is too thick. Stir purée back into soup. Serve hot with a crusty baguette. Soup will keep well, covered, in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 3 months.

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories 176, Protein 12.9g, Carbohydrates 26.3g, Fat 2.7g, Fibre 5.6g, Sodium 741mg.

Pair with our classic cornbread and tortilla chips.

Get more of our best soup recipes.