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Survivor/During Treatment |355 calories per serving|50 minute recipe

Colorful Lentil Soup

This content was last updated on May 4, 2020

This simple lentil soup is bursting with colors and flavors and is easy to prepare in one pot. Red lentils are a small, orange colored legume that are high in fiber and protein. The celery, carrots and zucchini also provide an abundance of fiber and nutrients that are helpful for head and neck cancer patients to keep the immune system strong and promote regular bowel movements. If your mouth is sore or irritated, you can omit the lime juice and reduce or omit the tomatoes.

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  • 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
  • 1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, diced
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained (use a smaller size can or omit, if mouth irritation)
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed well
  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup baby kale or spinach, chopped
  • Juice of 1/2 a lime, or to taste (omit if mouth sores are present)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 355 calories, 13 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), -1 mg cholesterol, 46 g carbohydrates, 20 g protein, 17 g dietary fiber.


  1. Warm olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally until onions have softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, dice and slice celery, carrots and zucchini. Add to onion mixture. Add salt, turmeric, cumin and thyme.
  3. Stir often and cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. To the pot, add tomatoes, lentils, broth, water and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer, partially covered.
  5. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  6. Add the chopped greens. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until greens have wilted.
  7. Remove pot from heat and stir in lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve immediately.


Recipe in partnership with Cancer Support Community.

Cacner support community

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Rated 5.0 out of 5
December 9, 2022

Can you jar and process for later use or send to a friend?