Red Lentil and Harissa Soup

Quick to prepare, this soup is made with ingredients that you probably have in your store cupboard and the harissa paste brings a great warm spiciness. It packs a punch of flavour and warms the cockles on a cold day. Gremolata is just a nice little seasoning of garlic, lemon and parsley to add a bit of oomph to the soup.

Red Lentil and Harissa Soup


Prep time
10 minutes
Cooking time
30 minutes
166 per serving


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander stems
  • 1–2 tbsp harissa paste (depending on how much heat you want)
  • 200g red lentils, rinsed 1 litre vegetable stock
  • 400g can of tomatoes squeeze of lemon (optional)
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • Gremolata
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • coriander leaves, finely chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook it over a gentle heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then stir in the coriander stems and the harissa paste. 

  2. Add the lentils and stir until they are coated with the paste, then pour over the stock and season with salt and pepper. Bring the stock to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the tomatoes and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir and check the consistency of the soup – add a splash more water if it seems too thick. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a squeeze of lemon juice if you think the soup needs it. 

  3. To make the gremolata, finely chop the lemon zest, garlic and coriander together until well combined. 

  4. Blend the soup if you want it smooth – the lentils will have broken down enough to thicken it, but there will still be some texture from the onions and tomatoes. Serve with the gremolata spooned over the top.