Deliciously Hearty Red Lentil Soup Recipe

Greetings and welcome to my latest creation! In today’s recipe, I am excited to share with you my Red Lentil, Zucchini & Couscous Soup. As an Israeli chef, I take great pleasure in crafting soups that are both healthy and flavorful, and this recipe does not disappoint.

Now, you may be thinking, why a soup in the midst of summer? Well, let me tell you that this soup is perfect for any time of the year. Whether you’re looking for a comforting bowl of warmth on a chilly evening or just need something light and refreshing during the warmer months, this recipe has got you covered.

One of the many things I love about this soup is how versatile it is. Not only can it be a hearty meal on its own, but it also pairs exceptionally well with a crusty piece of bread or a side salad. And if you have leftovers, it makes for an exceptional lunch option the next day.

What sets this soup apart from other lentil soups is the combination of zucchini and couscous. The zucchini adds a lovely texture while the couscous gives it just the right amount of body. And let’s not forget about the flavors! With dried basil and ground pepper bringing depth to the mixture, your taste buds will be grateful.

So come along with me on this culinary journey and learn how to make this delicious Red Lentil, Zucchini & Couscous Soup. Trust me when I say that once you’ve tried it, it’ll become one of your go-to soup recipes all year round.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Red Lentil, Zucchini & Couscous Soup
Red Lentil, Zucchini & Couscous Soup

My dear readers, allow me to introduce you to a delightful and comforting dish that will steal your heart: Red Lentil, Zucchini & Couscous Soup Recipe. This soup recipe is capable of satisfying even the most discerning taste buds while providing nourishment and warmth for the body and soul.

Firstly, this recipe is incredibly quick and easy to prepare with just a few simple steps. Within 30 minutes, you’ll have a delicious pot of soup simmering on the stove. Moreover, it requires minimal clean-up since it only calls for one large pot to cook everything in. It’s perfect for those busy weeknights when you crave something warm and homemade but don’t have an ample amount of time to spend in the kitchen.

Secondly, this soup recipe is incredibly versatile! You can easily modify this recipe to suit your personal taste preferences or dietary needs. For example, if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can make this recipe vegan by simply using vegetable broth and removing the chicken sausage. Similarly, if you don’t like zucchini, you can substitute it with another vegetable such as butternut squash or carrots. Truly, there are endless possibilities when it comes to customizing this soup recipe!

Lastly, this soup recipe offers a significant health benefit since it’s packed with protein-rich red lentils and plenty of vegetables such as zucchinis, onions, celery, and carrots. It’s an excellent way to fuel your body with nutrients while filling you up and keeping hunger at bay.

In conclusion, Red Lentil, Zucchini & Couscous Soup Recipe is an extraordinary dish that offers convenience, versatility, and nutrition all rolled into one delicious bowl. I am confident that once you try this incredible recipe, it will become your new favorite soup recipe!

Ingredient List

 A cozy bowl of comfort made with love from my kitchen to yours!
A cozy bowl of comfort made with love from my kitchen to yours!

The ingredient list for this red lentil, zucchini & couscous soup recipe is straightforward and consists mainly of vegetables, legumes, and grains.

Here is what you will need:

  • Red Lentils: You will need one cup of dried red lentils, which are ideal for soups as they cook down quickly and have a creamy texture.
  • Zucchini: You will need one medium zucchini that should be sliced into chunks or cubes.
  • Couscous: You will need 1/4 cup of uncooked couscous to add some texture to your soup.
  • Vegetables: One large onion, two medium carrots, one stalk of celery are needed.
  • Olive oil: For sautéing the vegetables and adding flavor to the soup. You’ll need about two tablespoons for the whole recipe.
  • Seasonings: To add flavor to the soup, you’ll need salt, ground pepper, dried basil. These seasonings can also be adjusted to your liking depending on your taste preference.
  • Broth and Water: The recipe calls for 4 cups of vegetable broth and 2 cups cold water. You can use chicken broth or beef broth if you want to give it meatier flavors. Alternatively, you can use water instead of broth for a vegan version of the recipe.

These are all the ingredients required to create this wonderful dish; now it’s time to move onto how it’s done!

The Recipe How-To

 This colorful soup is the perfect way to brighten up any gloomy day.
This colorful soup is the perfect way to brighten up any gloomy day.

Preparing the Red Lentil, Zucchini & Couscous Soup

Note: This recipe requires approximately 30 minutes of preparation time and 50 minutes of cooking time.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients

Before starting, make sure all necessary ingredients have been gathered. These include:
1 cup dried red lentils
1 large zucchini, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable broth
4 cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup olive oil

Step 2: Prepare the Soup Base

In a large soup pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. Once heated, add the onions and celery and sauté until the vegetables have softened.

Next, add the garlic and continue to sauté for an additional minute.

Then, add the zucchini and carrots and continue to sauté everything together for roughly 5 minutes.

Step 3: Cook the Lentils and Couscous

Once all vegetables have been properly sautéed and seasoned with salt and pepper to taste (additionally adding any more herbs desired), add in the dried red lentils with both the vegetable broth and the water, bringing everything to a boil together.

Cover with a lid and lower to simmer for around 30 minutes or until the red lentils are tender.

While this is cooking down, cook the couscous separately as instructed on its packaging. Set aside once fully cooked.

Step 4: Combine Both Mixtures

After allowing time for the flavors to meld together while cooking on low heat for approximately 20 minutes.

Add in pre-cooked couscous into soup mixture as desired (pro tip: less amounts for thicker soup/ more for soupier consistency).

Continuously stir everything together until fully combined (roughly an additional 5 minutes).

Step 5: Adjust Seasonings and Serve

Finally, adjust any seasoning as desired with additional salt or pepper to taste (or whatever other choice seasoning one prefers).

Serve warm promptly; prepare good crusty bread on the side if desired. Buen Provecho!

Substitutions and Variations

 Creamy and satisfying, this soup is like a warm hug in a bowl.
Creamy and satisfying, this soup is like a warm hug in a bowl.

Dear reader, if you’re feeling adventurous and looking to switch things up or simply searching for options because of dietary restrictions, I’ve got you covered. This recipe is versatile and can be adapted to fit your needs.

If you’re not a fan of red lentils, you can swap them out for brown lentils. You may need to adjust the cooking time to account for the difference in cooking times between the two types of lentils.

For a vegan version of this dish, replace the vegetable broth with water and omit the chicken sausage. You can use any other plant-based protein source like chickpeas or tofu, or simply add more veggies for a lighter option.

If you don’t have zucchini on hand, feel free to use any type of summer squash instead. For example, yellow squash would work well in this recipe and add a bright pop of color to the soup.

If you prefer a heartier soup, try adding in additional vegetables such as butternut squash or carrots. You can also experiment with different types of couscous like pearl or Israeli couscous for an alternative texture.

Lastly, if you’re a fan of spice, add in some harissa or crushed red pepper flakes for an extra kick. Alternately, if you’d like a touch of sweetness, try stirring in some honey or maple syrup.

I strongly encourage you to play around with various combinations and ingredients that work for you. There are so many ways to make this recipe your own while still enjoying its deliciousness.

Serving and Pairing

 Looking for a healthy meal that doesn't skimp on flavor? This soup has got you covered.
Looking for a healthy meal that doesn’t skimp on flavor? This soup has got you covered.

Gather round friends! Once the simmering pot of red lentil, zucchini, and couscous soup is ready, it’s time to serve and enjoy this scrumptious dish!

Firstly, make sure to ladle the soup into your favorite soup bowls. I prefer a deep ceramic bowl with white stripes to showcase the vibrant colors of the soup. Don’t forget to sprinkle freshly chopped parsley or cilantro on top of the soup for that extra pop of green color.

This hearty soup is loaded with nutrients and makes for an excellent low-fat and low-calorie meal option. The red lentil, zucchini, and couscous combo provide plenty of plant-based protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates to keep you feeling satiated for hours.

I recommend pairing this soup with some warm crusty bread to complete your meal. It could be a fluffy slice of sourdough or a buttery baguette – either one will work perfectly with the aromatic broth of the soup.

For those who like a bit more excitement on their plate, you could add a spoonful of sour cream or Greek yogurt on top of the fresh herbs. This will add a rich creaminess that will compliment the earthy flavors of the red lentils and vegetables.

If you are hosting a dinner party, this soup is an excellent first course that will warm your guest’s bellies and set the stage for a memorable dining experience. Pair with a crisp Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc to bring out the zestiness in the vegetables.

In conclusion, serving red lentil, zucchini, and couscous soup has never been easier – simply ladle into bowls and don’t forget the garnishes! Pair with warm crusty bread and a chilled glass of white wine for the best flavor experience.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Prepare to bowl over your taste buds with this deliciously wholesome soup.
Prepare to bowl over your taste buds with this deliciously wholesome soup.

One of the greatest benefits of this red lentil, zucchini and couscous soup recipe is that it can be made ahead of time and stored for later enjoyment. In fact, I actually prefer to make a large pot of this soup on the weekend and store it in the refrigerator, so that I have a delicious and easy meal ready throughout the week.

To store this soup properly, it is important to let it cool down to room temperature before transferring it to an airtight container. Once sealed, the soup may be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat the soup, simply place it in a saucepan over medium-low heat on the stove, stirring frequently until heated through. Alternatively, you can reheat it in the microwave or using an instant pot.

One tip for reheating is to add additional liquid, such as water or vegetable broth, to help thin out the soup if it has become too thick during storage. It is also recommended to season with salt and pepper once again before serving.

Regardless of whether you decide to store this soup or serve it immediately after cooking, I guarantee that its bold flavors and nourishing ingredients will delight your taste buds and warm your soul.

Tips for Perfect Results

When making this red lentil, zucchini, and couscous soup, there are a few tips I swear by to ensure a perfect end result. To start, it’s crucial to rinse your lentils and couscous in cold water before cooking them. This will help get rid of any excess starch or debris that may be present.

Another important tip is to properly season your soup. Don’t be afraid to add more salt, pepper, or dried basil if needed. You can always adjust the seasoning as you go – just be sure to taste test frequently.

One of my personal favorite tips is to let the soup simmer for at least 30 minutes. This will allow all of the flavors to really meld together and create a richer, more complex flavor profile. If you have extra time on your hands, try letting it simmer for an hour or more – you won’t regret it!

If you’re looking to make this recipe even more nutritious, consider adding some chicken sausage or shredded rotisserie chicken for an extra hit of protein. Alternatively, you can make it vegan by omitting any animal products.

Finally, don’t be afraid to switch up the types of lentils or vegetables you use in this recipe! Try using green or brown lentils instead of red for a different texture, or swap out the zucchini for butternut squash for a sweet twist. The possibilities are endless!


As with any recipe, there may be some uncertainties or questions that arise along the way. In this FAQ section, we aim to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about this red lentil, zucchini & couscous soup recipe to ensure that you can make the best soup possible. So, whether you are a seasoned cook looking for new ideas or a beginner in the kitchen, read on to get all your questions answered.

Do lentils need to be soaked before making soup?

Here’s the thing: unlike beans, lentils don’t require any soaking beforehand, just make sure you sort and rinse them before cooking. However, keep in mind that various types of lentils have different cooking times. If you’re in a rush, give red lentils a try; they cook up the fastest and break down into a creamy consistency perfect for soups.

How long should I soak red lentils for soup?

To prepare your lentils, begin by placing them in a spacious pot before immersing them in cold water. It is advisable to let them soak for approximately 4 hours, or better still, overnight, to achieve optimal outcomes. When the soaking time is up, empty the water and give your lentils a swift rinse with cold water before deciding on a cooking method.

What is better for soup red or green lentils?

Lentils are quite versatile but different types are better suited for certain recipes than others. Red and yellow lentils are ideal for soups and stews due to their soft texture, while green and brown lentils can hold their shape well after cooking and are perfect for salads, sides or casseroles.

Are red or brown lentils better for soup?

When it comes to lentils, there are a few varieties to choose from, but for this particular soup, it’s best to go with red lentils. They have the perfect cooking time to add a creamy texture to the broth without disintegrating too quickly.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, red lentil, zucchini & couscous soup is one of the best vegetable soups that I have ever tried. This soup recipe is loaded with healthy ingredients that not only taste great but also provide numerous health benefits. Whether you’re a vegan or meat-lover, this soup is ideal for everyone. Additionally, it’s versatile, easy to make, and can be stored and reheated efficiently.

So why not try this recipe? It’s an excellent way to include vegetables in your diet without sacrificing taste. You won’t regret it! From the silky texture of the lentils to the vibrant flavor of the zucchini, this soup is everything your taste buds have been searching for.

Remember, cooking is all about experimentation, and substitutions are always welcome. Feel free to make changes that suit your taste buds, and don’t forget to share them with us. With red lentil, zucchini & couscous soup in your recipe book, you’ll never run out of meal ideas. So go ahead, grab your apron and ladle – let’s get cooking!

Red Lentil, Zucchini & Couscous Soup

Red Lentil, Zucchini & Couscous Soup Recipe

Don't let the name turn you off! This soup has a nice thick consistency that is nice and flavorful. A perfect blend of vegetables, legumes and grains. I personally do not like the texture of couscous when eaten like rice or pasta yet I LOVE this soup! Leftovers freeze well. Recipe from "Meal Lean i Yum!"
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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Soup
Cuisine Fusion
Calories 144.4 kcal


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup red lentil, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups vegetable broth or 6 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, to taste (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/3 cup couscous


  • Grate carrots and zucchini, set aside.
  • Heat oil in a 5 quart soup pot; add onions and celery; saute on medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes or until golden.
  • If vegetables begin to stick, add a tbsp or two of water.
  • Add all ingredients except couscous to the pot, increase to high heat to bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer partially covered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add couscous and simmer an additional 10 minutes.
  • If soup is too thick, thin it with a little bit of water.
  • Adjust seasonings to taste.
  • Yield 8 servings - per serving: 134cal, 1g fat, 8g protein, 24g carb, 3mg iron, 8g fibre.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 135gCalories: 144.4kcalCarbohydrates: 26.2gProtein: 8.1gFat: 1.4gSaturated Fat: 0.2gSodium: 32.2mgFiber: 4.8gSugar: 3.6g
Keyword < 4 Hours, Beans, Inexpensive, Lentils, Potluck, Savory, Stove Top, Vegan, Vegetable, Winter
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