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Lentil soup, which is usually served hot, may be vegetarian, but can also be made with meat stock or pieces of meat. Red or green lentils may be used. Other ingredients may include vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, celery, parsley, and onion. Common added flavorings include garlic, cumin, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar. It is sometimes garnished with croutons or chopped herbs.

Lentil soup was once a food for the poor. Today, it is recognized as highly nutritious, particularly as a good source of protein, dietary fiber, iron and potassium.

Lentil soup is mentioned in the Bible: In Genesis 25:34, Esau is prepared to give up his birthright for a pot of fragrant red lentil soup (a "mess of pottage") being cooked by his brother, Jacob.

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