Cairo comfort lentil soup

  • Yield:

    serves 4
  • Cooking Method:

  • Prep Time:

    15 mins
  • Cook Time:

    40 mins
Cairo comfort lentil soup

This is my ultimate calming, comforting food; a very autumnal, cosy dish from my childhood in Cairo - lentil soup. It is argued by some Egyptians that this is "The Soup" Joseph sold his birth-right for - I know nor care not, but totally understand why they think it's The One! This soup is lush. I add cayenne pepper as I like the little bit of heat it adds, but as a child we were always given it with just cumin flavouring the oil. 


  • 1 big white onion
  • 1 big stick of celery
  • 1 large carrot
  • ¾ lb dry red split lentils 
  • 1 Tbs oil - olive or coconut
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbs tomato paste
  • 3 pints of veg stock (I use vegan Swiss Bullion as it is fast, easy and tasty)
  • 1 lemon
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Rinse ¾ lb dry red split lentils and leave to drain. Chop the onion, celery, carrot into chunks. 

  2. Place a large heavy based pan on a low-medium flame, add the oil and then the cumin and cayenne pepper; allow them to heat and when they begin to emit their fragrance  add the chopped onion, celery and carrot to sauté in in the oil for about 7 mins.

  3. Next stir in the red split lentils until they are covered in the spices and the tomato paste. When it starts to stick to the pan stir in the veg stock and then boil until the lentils go soft - about 20-30 mins.

  4. Pour the lot into a liquidiser and blitz briefly so that some texture remains. Pop the thick soup back into the pan, stir in the lemon's juice along with salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls - I like to squeeze more lemon on top of my serving as well as a grind of salt & pepper.


Get comfy & and enjoy this thick, colourful, comforting soup. It goes great with my pumpkin muffins