lentil soup

Love this healing plant based soup for the soul.


I know it is supposed to be sunny and warm and summery, but when the rain comes, soup can be the perfect easy meal. This soup is my go to when I’m in need of a boost! For headaches, for fatigue, for wanting to feel healthy after eating too much cake, this soup really is for the soul! This recipe is based on a traditional Kurdish recipe (called Neesk / Nisk / Neesek) and the great thing is you can tailor it to you and your families needs.

lentil soup
Plant based soup for the soul


Red lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition, boasting a wealth of health benefits. Packed with protein, fibre, and essential vitamins like folate and iron, they promote heart health, aid digestion, and contribute to stable blood sugar levels. These nutritional powerhouses are also low in fat and rich in antioxidants, making them perfect for a plant-based version of nourishing soup for the soul. Red lentils can also provide relief from migraines and fatigue owing to their high magnesium content, which supports nerve function and reduces muscle tension. Incorporating these lentils into your diet can significantly enhance overall wellbeing, providing sustained energy and nurturing a sense of vitality.

The Soup for the Soul Recipe

This soup uses split red lentils (although whole red lentils work too).

Split red lentils by Lukasz Rawa on Unsplash

You need a lot of water and then salt and black pepper. We like to add a bit of garlic and mint too, but you can omit these if you wish. After cooking you can each add your own extras, like red chilli flakes, yogurt, fresh herbs. In Kurdistan it’s traditional to heat some oil and spoon it on top just before serving but I prefer mine without.

Soup for the soul

A plant based version of soup for the soul made with split red lentils.

Course: main, Snack, starter
Cuisine: kurdish
Keyword: Kurdish recipe, lentils,, neesk, nisk, soup
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • 200 g split red lentils (whole red lentils work too)
  • 1 litres boiling water
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • *additional extras garlic powder/dried mint/chilli flakes
  1. Wash the lentils thoroughly in a sieve then add to a large pan.

  2. Put the heat on high and carefully add the boiling water and the salt.

  3. Bring the lentils back to the boil, reduce the heat to simmer, cover and leave for 30-40 minutes.

  4. Add the black pepper, then check the consistency is as desired and the seasoning is good. For a thicker soup, cook a bit longer, or add more water if you prefer a more liquid soup.

  5. Serve hot or warm (I like it cold too)!

  6. Enjoy!

What do I need?

This section would usually show you a selection of items I think would help you create this recipe. However, as Amazon have updated their links, please bear with me until I sort them out! Instead you can search here for items such as big saucepans, soup bowls, kettles, red lentils and other items which you might need.


Serve your soup with your favourite toppings! Try yogurt, seeds, nuts, fresh herbs or try the hot oil! I also love this soup with a spoonful of diced salad on top! As with any soup, adding a fresh crusty bread to serve it with is always a winner. Why not try this very popular Kurdish Kulicha (biscuit) recipe – they’re well worth the effort!

lentil soup topped with yogurt
Lentil Soup topped with yogurt & basil


This lentil soup can be kept for up to five days refrigerated. Bear in mind it may get thicker on storage and you may need to add some more water to thin it down. You could also portion this and store in the freezer – although the time it takes to defrost you could have made a fresh batch!


This is a great soup to make for when impromptu guests arrive! Let me know if you’re trying it, or if it’s something you already make!

lentil soup 2 ways
Customise your soup to your liking

As always, I love hearing about any recipes of mine you try, any ideas you adapt or suggestions you have for future recipes. Please share and tag me @LifeDietHealth or using #LifeDietHealth on InstagramPinterest,  Facebook or X.

Leave me a comment below… I love to chat!

I hope to speak with you soon

Laurena x

a spoonful of lentil soup
A spoonful of soup for the soul!


  • evagallon 16th May 2024 at 19:08

    Hi Laurena, it’s similar to what I would call Louvana- we’d eat it with black olives and long bread sticks lol. No olive oil but I like that addition🙂

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 23rd May 2024 at 10:31

      Ooo, ‘Louvana’? I’ll have to look that up! Yum to black olives!

  • evagallon 16th May 2024 at 19:10

    And lots of lemon in the typical Cypriot way😋

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 23rd May 2024 at 10:32

      haha, of course!


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