Curried Lentil Soup

by Anjali @ The Picky Eater on January 21, 2013

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Lentil soup might be one of the easiest recipes to make at home.

I’ve always been a huge fan of lentils: there are so many different types, each with a unique flavor; they’re a lean protein with tons of fiber; and they’re so integral to Indian cooking. For the longest time when I was growing up, I didn’t realize that the Indian version of this soup (dal) is basically the same thing as a lentil soup!

There are a few minor differences between this recipe and a traditional dal, but its flavor profile is very similar. The most notable difference is that this recipe uses pre-cooked steamed lentils with no salt or fat added, cutting your cooking time in half! (I like the one from Trader Joe’s – see picture below).

I often like to add vegetables into my soups because that makes it really easy to get your veggies!

This soup has fresh baby spinach wilted slightly by the heat of the soup.

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I served it with some whole grain pita chips, and the husband loved it! He said the flavors were great and that it was really hearty. One minor thing to note: the husband has some really specific texture issues, so he didn’t like the wilted spinach (“too squishy,” he said), but I really liked the spinach in the soup.

If you’re like my husband, you might want to try serving the spinach on the side in the form of a salad :)

But if you’re like me, just throw it all into the soup!

Top it with a dollop of 2% Greek Yogurt and some cilantro, and you’ve got the perfect weeknight dinner.

Note: This recipe is from CookingLight, with some minor modifications to the directions (by me) to make it a little bit quicker and easier. 

The Ingredients

  • 1 tsp organic, nonGMO canola oil (or you can use grapeseed oil, or olive oil)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1.5 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 16 oz package steamed lentils (see Trader Joe’s picture below)
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (use about 1 tsp per serving)
  • 1/4 cup plain 2% greek yogurt (use about 1 Tbsp per serving)
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The Directions
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Step 1: Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil to pan, add onion, saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, saute 1 minute. Add curry powder and cayenne pepper, cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
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Step 2: Add broth, vinegar and lentils. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes.
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Step 3: Take an immersion blender and blend the lentil mixture. Add in spinach, salt, and pepper to the pot, stir until spinach wilts.
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Step 4: Stir in 2 Tbsp cilantro. Serve with yogurt and remaining cilantro.
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This recipe literally took me 20 minutes to make – I couldn’t believe how easy and fast it was!
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The yogurt added a great element of creaminess and coolness to the soup, which complemented the spice really well. Both me and the husband went back for seconds – we couldn’t get enough!
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Thanks CookingLight for a great recipe!
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Curried Lentil Soup

Yield: 4 servings

Serving Size: 1.5 cups of soup + 1 Tbsp yogurt

Calories per serving: 221

Fat per serving: 5g

Nutritional Info Per Serving: 221 Calories, 5g Fat, 31.7g Carbs, 488mg Sodium, 13.3g Protein, 11g Fiber

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp canola oil (or you can use grapeseed oil, or olive oil)
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 Tbsp minced fresh garlic (about 4 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1.5 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable broth, low sodium
  • 1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 16 oz package steamed lentils (see Trader Joe’s picture below)
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro (use about 1 tsp per serving)
  • 1/4 cup plain 2% greek yogurt (use about 1 Tbsp per serving)

Directions

  1. Heat a large pot over medium heat. Add oil to pan, add onion, saute 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, saute 1 minute. Add curry powder and cayenne pepper, cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  2. Add broth, vinegar and lentils. Increase heat to high, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Take an immersion blender and blend the lentil mixture. Add in spinach, salt, and pepper to the pot, stir until spinach wilts.
  4. Stir in 2 Tbsp cilantro. Serve with yogurt and remaining cilantro.

Notes

http://pickyeaterblog.com/curried-lentil-soup/

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Magdalen@FromHeartToTable January 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

Are you okay with using canola oil, then? I’ve heard so many times that it’s bad for you, esp. when heated.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 21, 2013 at 1:27 pm

Hi Magdalen! That is a great question. Canola oil actually has a medium-high smoke point – so it’s great for sautéing (vs. extra virgin olive oil which has a low smoke point and is better as a finishing oil). As long as the canola oil is organic/non GMO, I’m fine with using it. Also – canola oil is a good source of monounsaturated fats, the kind that can help reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease. Canola is the richest cooking-oil source of alpha-linolenic acid, an omega-3 fat that has been linked to heart health. If you don’t want to use canola oil, grapeseed oil is a great alternative for cooking (it also has a high smoke point), or you can use non-extra-virgin olive oil (which is better for cooking than extra virgin). Hope that helps!

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Cristina August 4, 2013 at 8:19 pm

I just made this recipe and sautéed with organic coconut oil as an alternative & it came out great!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater August 6, 2013 at 3:43 pm

That’s a great substitute! I’m sure it added wonderful flavor to the soup too :) Thanks for sharing Cristina!

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Linda | The Urban Mrs January 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I have to admit I never like lentil, until recently. I went to an Indian buffet place where they serve lentil soup just like this recipe and I was in love. This is so perfect a lovely dinner dish. Yum!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 22, 2013 at 8:17 am

Hi Linda! You know what’s funny – I think Indian-spiced lentils are my favorite kind too. Probably because the spices just add such a great flavor to the lentils. I can’t wait to hear how you like this recipe and if it passes your lentil soup taste test! :)

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Scott @ The Healthy Eating Guide January 21, 2013 at 6:34 pm

Yum yum yum. Lentil soup is my absolute favorite ever since trying it at a local Middle Eastern restaurant about 7 years ago (I can’t believe I deprived myself from this amazing soup for over 20 years before trying it).

Can’t wait to try this recipe and add it to my ever-increasing rolodex of lentil soup recipes. Sounds easy and delicious.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 22, 2013 at 8:18 am

Thanks so much Scott! I’m sure you will love this recipe!!

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Maria Tadic January 22, 2013 at 7:34 am

This recipe looks super yummy – I always have those TJ’s lentils on hand. Question though – I love curry flavor. But I find that when recipes call for a certain amount, I always have to double the amount. Do you think its the type of curry I have? Or just my tastebuds? I have the McCormick brand curry.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 22, 2013 at 8:20 am

Hi Maria! That is a great question. It could absolutely be the type of curry powder you have. The one I use is from Trader Joe’s – and it has the perfect blend of spices and heat. Whole Foods has some great options too. My experience has been that some of the more commercial curry powders are much milder to accommodate more taste preferences. So I’d suggest getting a blend from Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, or your local health food store and try that instead! Let me know how it turns out!

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Evelyn January 23, 2013 at 8:44 am

Looks delish!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 23, 2013 at 9:50 am

Thanks Evelyn! I’m sure you’ll love this recipe!

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Emily January 26, 2013 at 10:17 am

Hi! I’m making this delicious looking recipe right now, but noticed in the picture of your ingredients you have cumin instead of cayenne pepper. Should I be using cumin or cayenne pepper?

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 26, 2013 at 10:23 am

Hi Emily! Oh my gosh – good catch! You should be using cayenne pepper – not cumin. Looks like I accidentally put the wrong spice bottle in the picture. Thanks for asking – and enjoy the soup!

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Emily January 26, 2013 at 11:30 am

It was phenomenal!! Thank you! :)

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater January 26, 2013 at 11:29 pm

Awesome!! I’m so happy to hear that Emily!

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tate January 31, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Gosh that looks so good, going to try and make this next week.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 5, 2013 at 10:14 am

Thanks Tate!! Can’t wait to hear how you liked it!

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Scott March 28, 2013 at 9:44 pm

I just got back from a trip to India. This looks great! I kind of miss curry :) I think my wife will also enjoy this as she loves lentil soup. Thanks for providing the recipe!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater March 29, 2013 at 7:06 am

Hi Scott! This recipe will definitely remind you of India :) You’ll have to let me know how you and your wife like it!

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Scott March 29, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Looking forward to it! ;)

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater March 30, 2013 at 9:32 am
Wenny September 14, 2013 at 5:23 pm

This looks great. I’m traveling though and want to make dinner for hosts. Do you supposed I could sub TJ curry sauce for garum masala? Don’t have spices with me. Thanks!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater September 16, 2013 at 8:50 pm

Hi Wenny! So this recipe doesn’t have garam masala in it, so if you don’t have that ingredient it should be fine :) The TJ’s curry powder is pretty essential to this recipe, but you don’t need curry powder from TJ’s – you can get it from any grocery store. I definitely wouldn’t recommend using the TJ’s curry sauce in this recipe because it will change both the consistency and flavor of the soup! Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions!

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maura December 10, 2013 at 10:11 am

Anjali,

I have been a big fan of your blog for a while now and have tried a bunch of recipes – my husband and I are big fans of healthy eater and I LOVE the flavor profiles in your recipes!!! We tried this soup last night and we were both floored by how delicious it was!! Keep the great recipes coming – I love your food!!

Maura

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater December 10, 2013 at 10:20 am

Awwwww thank you so much Maura!! Your comment made my day :) I’m so glad both you and your husband are enjoying my recipes!! This soup is one of my favorites!

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julie February 27, 2014 at 12:47 pm

Just made this soup for the second time-I love it and it’s so easy and fast! Thank you for the recipe!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater February 27, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Oh awesome!! So glad you liked it Julie!

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Katie March 1, 2014 at 10:48 am

This was delicious! I had never cooked with lentils before, and this was a wonderful hearty soup that lasted me all week.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater March 2, 2014 at 2:34 pm

Oh great!! I’m so glad to hear that Katie! I love cooking with lentils – they’re super easy to prepare and so good for you!

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michele July 31, 2014 at 8:53 am

I love lentils. this recipe looks simple and easy. I am going to try this. I will go easy on the curry powder, can’t eat too much spices.

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater August 8, 2014 at 11:40 am

I’m sure you’ll love this recipe Michele! And yes absolutely, you can adjust the spices based on your taste preferences. Enjoy!

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Vanisha December 1, 2014 at 2:30 pm

This dish is amazing! Full of flavor and hits the spot! Thanks!

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Anjali @ The Picky Eater December 2, 2014 at 6:59 am

Awesome! So happy to hear that Vanisha!

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