Red lentil soup spiced with turmeric, garlic, and lots of harissa. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and made in a slow cooker!

Red Lentil Soup with Harissa | Serendipity by Sara Lynn
Slow cooker lentil stew

A couple weeks ago, I asked who ate soup year-round, and to my delight, 89% of you said yes, and the remaining 11% were wrong. Just kidding, kind of. We might still let you sit with us, idk yet. I’ll consult with the team and get back to you. Anyways! Since it has literally been raining for at least a week straight, I have decided soup season is still in full swing. Don’t @ me, I need this. I am a winter girl at heart after all. Plus I feel like I have a scratchy throat today and I am *not* messing with a cold right now. I simply can’t do it.

To prevent said colds, I have been self-medicating in the following ways. First, an occasional hot toddy + drizzling lots of foods with bourbon hot honey. It helps probably! Secondly, staying up-to-date on Bachelorette and starting season 2 of Game of Thrones. I have a lot of hot takes on GOT, I could probably write a whole blog post on it. And third, red lentil soup + tea + vitamin C powder. This is the actual medicine part. On a 1-10 scale of “adulting”, I’m probably like, a solid 6.

Easy vegan soup recipes

Red lentil soup is a common meal around my house. It’s one of my Meatless Monday go-tos and makes plenty of leftovers for not-sad-desk-lunches. Plus, this one is vegan, gluten-free, filled with kale, and made in a slow cooker! Do I win an award for this? I don’t even know who I am anymore. But on the other hand, I’m v proud of myself. I wasn’t even trying to make a super food soup, it just happened. And it’s filled with turmeric, garlic, and harissa which is possibly my favorite hot sauce (paste?). It’s smoky, not-too-hot (so you can control the spice), and so umami-ish. I’m obsessed.

A few notes: I added some chopped jalapeno to mine for extra heat but it’s not necessary. If you don’t love spicy, leave out the jalapeno. Also, harissa pastes vary on spiciness level depending on the brand. So start with less and add more as necessary. The turmeric and garlic are for immune-support, but feel free to change up spices (or veggies!). In addition to kale, this red lentil soup has carrots, sweet potatoes, celery, and onions. The sweet potato adds some sweetness to the soup (imagine that), but if you want a more savory dish, use russets or Yukons. (However, I recently read that harissa pairs amazingly with sweeter vegetables, so I feel ahead of the game). Anyways, this red lentil soup is quite possibly the healthiest ever. But, of course, I serve mine with crusty whole wheat loaf and a healthy pat of butter. For *balance*, duh.

Vegan Red Lentil Soup

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An overhead image of a white bowl of red lentil stew garnished with cream, cilantro, and a lemon wedge on a marble counter next to slices of bread and a beige linen.
5 from 1 vote

Red Lentil Soup with Harissa

Yield: 8 bowls
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Cozy, slightly spicy red lentil stew makes for the perfect fall meal! Filled with lots of veggies and kale, it also happens to be vegan.


For the soup…

  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1/2 lb sweet potatoes (about 1 large)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cup red lentils (green lentils, split peas, or a mix would work too)
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 small jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 2 tsp harissa paste
  • 8 cup vegetable broth
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

To finish…

  • 4 cup kale
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • (coconut) cream, (coconut) yogurt, lemon slices, cilantro, etc. for serving


  • Combine all of the soup ingredients in a large slow cooker. Cook on high 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours, until the vegetables and lentils are tender.
  • Optional: Using an immersion (or regular) blender, puree about half of the soup. (Note: If using a regular blender, don’t fill it too much, or you will have a soup explosion on your hands!). Add it back to the pot and stir well. *This step is not necessary*. I just like the texture, but it’s good either way!
  • Stir the kale and lemon juice into the soup. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until the kale is wilted but not soggy. Serve with a drizzle of cream or yogurt (coconut works great to keep it vegan!), lemons, cilantro, and crusty bread.


I like to prepare this red lentil soup in my slow cooker the night before and start it in the morning before work! Then all I have to do when I come home is add some kale and lemon juice – so easy.
Cuisine: American
Course: Soup
Serving: 1bowl, Calories: 292kcal, Carbohydrates: 48.3g, Protein: 19.8g, Fat: 2.4g, Saturated Fat: 0.5g, Sodium: 848mg, Potassium: 1262mg, Fiber: 17.9g, Sugar: 4.3g, Calcium: 116mg, Iron: 6mg
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xo Sara Lynn

*Song of the day: Fool by Frankie Cosmos

Vegan, gluten-free lentil soup made in a slow cooker and spiced with harissa, garlic, and turmeric.
Slow cooker lentil stew with harissa, garlic, and turmeric.
Red Lentil Soup with Harissa | Serendipity by Sara Lynn