Red Lentil Soup with Cauliflower Rice
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4.84 from 12 votes

Red Lentil Soup with Cauliflower Rice

This richly spiced but not spicy red lentil soup is made thicker and heartier by the addition of cauliflower rice. It’s a complete vegan meal in a bowl, but serve it with a little naan or pita bread if you like.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian, Oil-Free, Vegan
Keyword: red lentil soup
Servings: 4
Calories: 334kcal
Author: Susan Voisin


  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons ginger root peeled and grated or minced
  • 1 large carrot (1 1/2 cup shredded)
  • 1/2 cup green or red bell pepper finely chopped
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 12 ounces riced cauliflower (one bag, frozen)
  • 3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes and green chilies (such as Rotel brand, see note)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • sumac optional, to taste


  • Check the lentils for debris and rinse well. Put them in a large pot with the water, garlic, and ginger root and begin heating over high heat.
  • While the water is warming, shred the carrot and chop the pepper and add them to the pot. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Keep warm.
  • While the lentils cook, heat a large non-stick skillet and add the onion to it. Cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to brown. Add a splash of water if the onion sticks or browns too much on the bottom. 
  • When the onion is a caramel color, add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute. Add the riced cauliflower to the pan and stir, scraping the bottom. Cook until the cauliflower is warm.
    Browned onions and spices
  • Add the contents of the skillet to the lentils along with the tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, to allow the flavors to blend. Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and garam masala. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with sumac, if desired.


Canned tomatoes and green chilies are made by several companies, primarily Rotel, which has several options including mild and original (fairly spicy). Use the one that fits your heat preference.
If you'd rather, you can use chopped fresh or canned diced tomatoes and just increase the cayenne pepper.
12 ounces of frozen riced cauliflower equals about 3 cups of riced cauliflower made at home (probably less than one head of cauliflower). You do not need to thaw it beforehand.
Nutritional info below is based on 4 large, 2-cup servings.
Any size serving is zero points on the Weight Watchers Freestyle program.


Serving: 2cups | Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 2.26g | Saturated Fat: 0.48g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 235mg | Potassium: 1047mg | Fiber: 12g | Sugar: 5g