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Bowl of Hungarian Red Lentil Soup topped with a few broken crackers.
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5 from 5 votes

Hungarian Red Lentil Soup

Dinner doesn't have to take forever. This recipe comes together fast, thanks to red lentils and easy ingredients. The Hungarian paprika, dry mustard, and tomato paste give this simple dish a wonderful depth of flavor. This soup goes great with some fresh crusty bread!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time23 mins
Total Time38 mins
Course: Entrées, Soups, Stews, and Chilis
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegan
Servings: 5
Calories: 223kcal


  • 1 packed cup (160g) diced yellow onion
  • 3 medium carrots (154g) cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 3 (15g) large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 cup (209g) dry red lentils rinsed well with cold water
  • 6 tablespoons (90g) tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon (2g) dry mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (9g) fine salt
  • ¼ teaspoon (1g) ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (240g) canned "lite" coconut milk well shaken


  • Add the onion, carrots, garlic, and 1 cup (240g) water to a medium pot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 8 minutes, stirring a couple of times during, or until the veggies are tender but not overly so. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lentils, 2 ½ cups (600g) water, tomato paste, paprika, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Stir well and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Add the milk and increase the heat to medium-low; cook 5 to 10 minutes or until the lentils are tender yet still firm and the soup thickens some. Stir often and do not overcook, as you don't want the lentils to become mushy. Taste and add more salt, if desired. Serve immediately. 


~Make sure the paprika you are using is not hot paprika. 
~For the milk, it is important to use a creamy milk like cashew or "lite" coconut milk here for best results. The "lite" coconut milk is very creamy but yields no coconut taste. Almond and rice milks don't do well, and  definitely don't use full-fat coconut milk as it is too rich and thick and will ruin the flavor.


Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 878mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 6g