Indian Lentil Soup

Lentil soup
Tuesday night we made lentil soup. Being a vegetarian for 15 years now I must have tried at least a thousand (probably more?) different veggie-recipes and I can honestly say that not much beat this lentil soup. It isn’t very fancy, recipe-smart or unique, but has a secret and is just one of those dishes that makes me close my eyes after putting the first bite in my mouth.
I learned this recipe from my friend Mahmud from Bangladesh. He actually filled the pot with spices, lentils and vegetables before even starting the stove and then let it all cook together for a couple of minutes before adding the water. I seem to burn it all whenever I try that, so I altered the recipe slightly.
The secret (according to him) is to use laaarge amounts of spices and to let the lentils cook a bit too long.

Indian Lentil Soup
Serves 4

2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp fresh ginger, very finely chopped
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground chili or harissa
3 medium potatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
200g red or yellow lentils, rinsed
4 cups / 1 liter vegetable stock
a pinch of sea salt
2-3 tomatoes, diced

Prepare the vegetables. Heat the olive oil in a big soup pot. Add onion, garlic, ginger and all the spices. After about a minute add the potatoes, carrots and the lentils, stir it around another minute before adding the vegetable stock. Let it boil on low-medium heat for 30 minutes, stir occasionally, taste the soup and add more salt and spices if needed. Add the tomatoes and let it boil for 5-10 more minutes. The soup is done when the lentils are dissolved. Serve with roasted pumpkin seeds and some fresh coriander.


  • [...] Lentils: [...]
  • [...] Kitchen Stories’ Indian Lentil Soup My own favorite Lentil Soup recipes Anticancer Ingredients: Lentils, Turmeric, Whole Grains [...]
  • Delicious (even without the tomatoes and with 1 carrot)!!! One question: in the curry there is some cinnamon? If you like this kind of soup, try this. Is not so different, and you will like it, im sure:
  • sara li
    Den her opskrift er jo genial. Endelig en indisk suppe, der alene med sin duft kan tage én tilbage til Indien. Den smager helt rigtigt! Tak for den :-)
  • [...] I made this Curry Lentil Soup (topped with roasted pumpkin seeds and fresh coriander) for lunch (recipe from Green Kitchen Stories) which was also really great poured over steamed rice. Another thing I have discovered about myself [...]
  • i am sick, and i made this for myself last night. already feeling better! thank you so much. i agree that after having tried many many lentil and veg soups over my long vegetarian career, this one is SOUPER!!
  • Li
    Tried it a couple of times. Love the fresh tomatoes!
  • Thank you so much for reposting this! This just comes at the right time with current temperatures of -4 to -10 degrees celsius!
  • Kristina Landqvist
    I loved this soup! It was so delish and I highly recommend it to everyone. I love your blog, it always gives me an urge to make more vegetarian food! You really inspire me. :)
  • Love your blog! I was wondering if the tablespoon of curry is for the dry powder you find in any grocery store, or a more exotic specialty type in a jar?
  • [...] suppe er skabt med inspiration dels fra en opskrift i Magasinet Mad! 04/11 og dels fra denne opskrift fra Green Kitchen Stories (som desuden er en blog med utrolig flotte billeder, hvis I ikke kender [...]
  • [...] Indian Lentil Soup (Very slightly adapted from Green Kitchen Stories) [...]
  • I just made this with brown or green lentils...I'm not sure. I'm in Mexico and I can't find red lentils ANYWHERE. The lentils were still holding their shape quite well after 45 minutes so I used an immersion blender and blended about 1/4 of the soup to make it a bit more gloopy. I also couldn't find tumeric so I used cumin instead. It seemed to taste OK, but as soon as I'm somewhere a bit more international, I'm going to try it with all the right ingredients. Thanks for the recipe! Wonderful as always. (oh and the healthier carrot cake is in the oven for dessert) :)
  • [...] Overall, the iPad app is a solid, well executed presence of the website and it’s easy to get lost in it. The app is available for .99 on the App Store and makes for an excellent recipe book. Go ahead, buy it from the store; I’m off to make the Indian Lentil Soup. [...]
  • [...] Overall, the iPad app is a solid, well executed presence of the website and it’s easy to get lost in it. The app is available for $4.99 on the App Store and makes for an excellent recipe book. Go ahead, buy it from the store; I’m off to make the Indian Lentil Soup. [...]
  • Wow, beautiful recipes and beautiful photographs. I love them both. I tried out this great recipe and must say I enjoyed it very I have an old pressure cooker from my days in India. Lentils cook really fast in these cookers. If you can find one invest in them it's a handy one to have around the kitchen.
  • [...] (very slightly adapted From Green Kitchen Stories) [...]
  • Aw you make it look so special! I must admit I'm a lentil soup addict myself. I mean most Indian's are but I think mine is beyond normal. Don't want to sound like a prick but you should try a lentil"S" soup recipe, i.e. it has 5 types of lentils in it! I bit of work but so worth it
    • Hi JourneyKitchen. Thanks for lentil'S' recipe ;) sounds really good! We're definitily going to make it. /Luise
  • Kat
    Just made this tonight, agree with the above post that next time will turn down the heat a little. Also added an extra cup lentils, to balance out all the potatoes, used two large Idaho ones. Also added a tomato paste to give it some more intense tomato flavor. Turned out wonderful.
  • [...] the lentils on the counter for the dinner recipe, and a commenter on the soup posted a link to a spicy lentil soup recipe for which I had all the ingredients.  “Why not?”, I [...]
  • Liisa
    Made this today. Yum! I didn't have tomatoes so left them out. I also used water instead of stock and dried green lentils... I boiled for about an hour and then added two more cups of water. So much flavor and good stuff. Thank you.
  • Jasmine
    Just recently have became a fan of your Blog. The quality of its graphics and photos & its health concerned are motivating. I greatly appreciate your sharing of this delicious recipe. This has been my very 1st recipe and could describe it as an explosion of well thought flavors and nutritional values. Certainly looking forward to another recipe (your bean brownie) will be the next candidate. Keep it up and Thank you!
  • Anna
    Just made this delicious soup! Thank you so much for the wonderful recipie. I adore lentil soup but had never been able to make a really flavorful version at home. The secret of a massive Tbsp of curry makes all the difference.
  • This soup was great! I think next time I'll turn down the heat a little, since I had mine just a smidge over half-heat and the broth seemed to boil out too quickly. Still, really good!
  • Martha kyker
    How do I find the recipes? All I get is pictures.
  • Portia
    I love this site - beautiful photos, and lovely simple recipes. I have this soup on the boil now - i bought gram dal instead of channa dal (yellow lentils) by mistake. I don't know what difference it will make but is taking a while for the lentils to 'dissolve'. Is the soup completely smooth or is this still texture from the lentils and other veg? Thank you!
    • Hi Portia. The soup will have a little texture from the lentils and vegetables. I'm not sure about the cooking time for those lentils, but it's never taken me more than 45 minutes to cook any type of lentils. Hope you like it! /David
    • Aneesha
      Chana dal is one of the hardest lentils to cook. In India we wouldn't cook them without a pressure cooker. They're also harder to digest than red lentils. Red lentils soothe the stomach while gram dal might inflame it.
  • Love your site, found through Rebecca at chowandchatter. Serene and inviting. I love lentil soup too.
  • Asia
    I really love your website!! It's modern looking and clean, but more importantly the recipes really uses wholesome natural ingredients! Just the thing i'm looking for. I'm excited to see more coming!!!
  • Yum, I love soup and this sounds delish. Pop over to my blog & enter our competition to win 2 curry cookery books

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