2 Versions of Oma's Red Lentil Soup Recipe – Rote Linsensuppe

Oma Gerhild

by: Gerhild Fulson  /  Cookbook Author, Blogger, German Oma!

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A hearty red lentil soup recipe, aka Rote Linsensuppe, is so easy to make. In fact, I giving two recipes that both cook in 30 minutes.

Once cooked, the red lentils take on a reddish-golden color and taste similar to yellow split pea soup. It's a staple in winter, but is good all year round. 

Traditional German Red Lentil Soup made just like Oma!

You can use many types of meat such as smoked meat, kielbasa, sausage, ham, or even any kind of wieners you may have. Wunderbar!

A bit of this and a bit of that ...

  • Like a bit of spice? I love adding Montreal Steak Spice to my soups, and that's what I added here. Don't like it too spicy? Then just omit this and season will with salt and pepper.
  • Can't buy Vegeta Food Seasoning? Then season with extra salt and pepper. Perhaps some paprika would be nice. Or, use a seasoning salt that you have on hand.
  • How to make this within 30 minutes? Put the kettle on to boil first. Put oil in saucepan and turn on. Meanwhile dice onion. Add onion to saucepan. While that is sautéing, dice the carrots and celery. Add to saucepan and crush garlic on top. Stir. Add boiling water and you're on your way for making this red lentil soup recipe!

Lentils .... red, green, grey ...

The only lentil soup I grew up with was made with grey/green lentils. It's all my Mutti made.

So, it was all I made until just a few years ago. That's when I discovered these wonderful red lentils. Not only healthy, these cook up so quickly and are so mild in flavor. Everyone loves these soups!

Oma says:

Cut the meat into bite-sized pieces. If you want to leave the sausage whole for serving, pierce it several times to let flavors mingle into the soup.

When I normally think of lentil soup, I know I'll be adding vinegar to my bowl of soup. Just not with this soup. Red lentils are very delicate in flavor and the vinegar would overpower it.

Vinegar goes with green or brown lentil soup, not the red (at least in my opinion!)

Then why use red? They cook so much quicker!

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How to make soup ... my way ... your way

Basically, I looked what was in my crisper and cleaned it out with this soup. If I only would have had 1 carrot and the bottom of the celery stalk and perhaps a parsnip or two, that's what I would have used.

If no celery, I would have added some celery seed to the soup, about 1/2 teaspoon.

I think about similar cooking times and most root vegetables are similar. Sautéing all the veggies first heightens the flavor, so that's what I did. If I didn't have time for that, I'd skip that step. 

If needed, I would add a bouillon cube, but this time I didn't need it. The Vegeta Food Seasoning added a really nice taste.

For the meat, I looked into my freezer to see what needed to be used. This time it was some cooked Bavarian White Sausage ... an unusual choice, but, it worked.

They tasted like regular wieners in this soup. If I would have had some cooked beef, or pork, or kielbasa, or ham ... that would have been really nice as well.

That's my thinking process when creating my own soups. Rarely do I get exactly the same flavor twice. And that's OK. This time, I noted what I used so that I could share it with you, my very own red lentil soup recipe.

Be creative. It's fun

Ready to make these lentil soups?

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1. Oma's Red Lentil Soup Recipe

A hearty red lentil soup recipe, aka rote Linsensuppe, is so easy to make. Once cooked, the red lentils take on a reddish-golden color and taste similar to yellow split pea soup. It's a staple in winter, but is good all year round. 

Prep Time

5 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes

Total Time

25 minutes


  • 1 package (1 pound) red lentils, rinsed
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 - 3 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1 onion, large dice 
  • 2 carrots, large dice 
  • 1 - 2 stalks celery, large dice
  • 2 - 3 raw potatoes, large dice 
  • 1 pound (approx.) meat (such as smoked meat, kielbasa, sausage, ham, or wieners )
  • salt, pepper 


  1. Put rinsed lentils in large stock pot. Add water, bouillon cubes, onion, carrots, celery, potatoes, and meat.
  2. Bring to boil. Cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Season to taste. 


  • If soup is too thick, add extra water. If it's too thin, stir in some instant mashed potato flakes.
  • You can adjust the quantities of potatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and onion to your taste.
  • If you like, add some chopped garlic or garlic powder. 
  • Green (or brown) lentil soup is made the same way - you may need to add extra water. This will also take longer to cook - I usually simmer this for about one hour. Stir occasionally. 
  • Check out this vegan lentil soup that I make this one in the slow cooker.
  • Instead of the bouillon cubes, I often just use Vegeta powder to taste, before I season with salt.

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Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma |

Or try this red lentil soup recipe?

2. German Red Lentil Soup Recipe

A hearty red lentil soup recipe, aka rote Linsensuppe, is so easy to make. Once cooked, the red lentils take on a reddish-golden color and taste similar to yellow split pea soup. It's a staple in winter, but is good all year round. 

Prep Time

10 minutes

Cook Time

25 minutes

Total Time

35 minutes


Makes 8 servings


  • 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 cups water, hot or boiling
  • 2 cups rinsed red lentils
  • 3 bay leaves
  • pinch curry powder
  • Montreal Steak Spice (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon Vegeta* Food Seasoning
  • smoked sausages or wieners (about 3 or 4)
  • salt, pepper


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Sauté onions until translucent.
  2. Add carrots, celery and garlic. Continue sautéing for several minutes.
  3. Add hot water, lentils, bay leaves and pinch curry powder.
  4. Bring to boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes or until lentils are soft and veggies are tender.
  5. Add sliced sausages or wieners. Simmer for a few minutes to heat the meat.
  6. Season with salt, pepper and Montreal Steak Spice.
  7. Remove bay leaves and serve.

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Unless otherwise noted recipe, images and content © Just like Oma |

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Traditional German Red Lentil Soup made just like Oma!

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