Red Lentil Soup with Potatoes and Rice

April 6, 2011 (Last Updated: June 30, 2020)
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a closeup of a spoonful of red lentil soup with cubes of potato and rice

After the popularity of my Armenian Meatball Soup recipe I shared last week, I decided to share another of my family’s favorite soups. This time, it’s my grandma’s red lentil soup, studded with cubes of potato, grains of rice, and spiced up with a bit of ground cumin.

Anyone who has worked with red lentils before knows that unlike other lentils, these break down and do not hold their shape. Thus this soup is very thick, almost stew-like, because the lentils break down and thicken the broth. The rice and potato add some nice additional texture and between those starches and the lentils, this is definitely a filling bowl of comfort. Thanks, grandma!

overhead view of a bowl of red lentil soup with cubes of potato
a closeup of a spoonful of red lentil soup with cubes of potato and rice

Red Lentil Soup with Potatoes and Rice

A hearty Armenian soup featuring red lentils, potatoes, rice, and delicious spices. It's comfort in a bowl.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Armenian, Middle Eastern
Servings 6 servings
Calories 379 kcal


  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 4 cups chicken broth (replace with vegetable broth or water for vegetarian option)
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups red lentils picked over and rinsed
  • 1/3 cup medium-grain rice
  • 2 small or 1 large golden or yellow potato peeled and diced into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • In a medium-sized pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the chopped onion, cook until softened. Add the broth and water, raise the heat and bring to a boil.
  • Then add the lentils, rice, potato, garlic, cumin, and paprika. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. When the mixture returns to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick, for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the lentils, rice, and potatoes are tender.
  • Readjust seasonings as needed and serve.

Notes & Nutrition

Servings 6.0 * calories 379 * Total Fat 8 g * Saturated Fat 5 g * Monounsaturated Fat 2 g * Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g * Trans Fat 0 g * Cholesterol 23 mg * Sodium 711 mg * Potassium 162 mg * Total Carbohydrate 56 g * Dietary Fiber 13 g * Sugars 4 g * Protein 19 g
*All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary with brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes and more.*
a bowl of red lentil soup with cubes of potato with a spoon lifting some out

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