Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's a lot of things, but pretty ain't one of them Curried Red Lentil Soup

My husband loves curry. I mean l-o-v-e-s it. Just about any dish that has the word "curry" in the title or is included as a major ingredient immediately elicits an "ohhh, that sounds good" from his mouth. We've also discovered in the last year or so that we both really enjoy a Spicy Chicken Lentils and Rice dish from a most delicious local restaurant, Nazareth Restaurant and Deli.  While we love the lentils there, the idea of actually making lentils at home was intimidating until I happened upon a recipe in Eating Well for Curried Red Lentil Soup. For whatever reason, a soup didn't seem so scary. And in Nate's mind: Curry = Good; Lentils = Good; Soup = Good; Curried Lentil Soup = Really Good; so it was earmarked to try. And let me tell you, it's a good thing he likes curry so much because our house just might smell like it for the rest of the week. ;)

Here's how I did it: (Full recipe is below. Sorry about the dark pics. Indoor lighting is the bane of my blogging existence for the record.)

Chop up one onion and saute in 1 Tbsp. of canola oil till it's softened.

Grate ginger, chop jalapeno, avoid rubbing eyes, get out cumin, curry, cinnamon, bay leaves, garlic and broth.

Saute prepared spices and aromatics. Turn on the fan. I didn't and that was a mistake. :)

Rinse and pick over the lentils.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer partially covered for what feels like forever, but is actually closer to one hour.

Prepare a lemon for juicing and chop up a handful of cilantro leaves (or parsley, but who would do such a thing when cilantro is so delicious??)

Add cilantro and lemon juice to the soup.

Stir, top with chutney (I picked up a spicy tomato chutney at the farm market today that worked out fabulously), yogurt (optional) and enjoy. And say a prayer that the intense curry smell dissipates in the very near future.

Curried Red Lentil Soup


  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large onion,chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic,minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed and picked over (see Note)
  • 8 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, or parsley
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons mango chutney
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup plain nonfat yogurt


  1. Heat oil in a heavy stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeno, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin and bay leaves and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes longer.
  2. Stir in lentils and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are tender, about an hour minutes.
  3. Discard bay leaves. Stir in cilantro (or parsley), lemon juice and chutney. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with yogurt.

Tips and Notes

  • Note: Red lentils are a useful addition to your pantry because they cook in just 10 to 15 minutes. They are excellent in soups, salads and vegetarian stews. You can find them in the natural-foods section of your supermarket or through online sources.


Per serving: 268 calories; 4 g fat (1 g sat, 2 g mono); 7 mg cholesterol; 40 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 16 g fiber; 332 mg sodium; 549 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Folate (60% daily value), Iron (25% dv), Magnesium (17% dv), Potassium & Zinc (16% dv), Vitamin C (15% dv).

Source: Eating Well, Sept./Oct. 2010


  1. They haven't tried it yet. I finished it up after they were done with dinner. I do know that they didn't really seem to enjoy the curry/cinnamon/cumin smell, so it's a long shot.

  2. I can't remember for sure, but I think I was able to get red lentils at Raisin Rack from their bulk bins. I was super excited since I can take in my own containers, so no waste!

    Also, your pics put my blog pics to shame! If only we could have Cath take pictures of all our creations. :)

  3. That's really exciting to hear Tam! I found the bag at Weiland's, but it was probably quite a bit pricier there. I will definitely check it out.

    LOL - My pictures still need professional help. :) She has a way of taking pictures of food that just make you want to eat it off the page.