Curried Lentil Soup

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Curried Lentil Soup

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Published prior to 2008

This soup can be medium-hot on the "fire-meter" when it’s made with "hot" curry powder and jalapeno pepper. If you prefer a milder flavor, use "sweet" curry powder, omit the jalapeno and dry mustard, and use less black pepper. And, attention vegetarians: this soup can be made meat-free by using all water instead of the chicken broth and water mixture.


1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups (9 1/2 ounces) chopped onion
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) chopped green pepper
1 jalapeno pepper (1/2 ounce), seeds removed, minced
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger root (or crushed fresh ginger)
1 tablespoon curry powder
1teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
2 1/4 cups (1 pound) lentils, color of your choice
2 cups (16 ounces) water
8 cups (64 ounces) chicken broth
2 cups (9 ounces) frozen peas


1 cup (8 ounces) plain yogurt
1/4 cup (2 1/4 ounces) chutney
1/4 cup (1 ounce) toasted coconut

Soup: In a large soup pot, sauté the onion and peppers in the olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and lentils, and stir until well-blended.

Stir in the water and chicken broth, and simmer the soup for 45 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Add the frozen peas, and simmer until they’re just heated through.

Sauce: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, chutney and coconut; refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve the soup with the sauce on the side. Use flatbread, pita bread, or tortillas to scoop up the sauce while you’re eating the soup. Yield: about 15 1-cup servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1 cup soup with 1 tablespoon sauce, 304g): 178 cal, 5g fat, 9g protein, 21g complex carbohydrates, 4g sugar, 7g dietary fiber, 2mg cholesterol, 892mg sodium, 409mg potassium, 77RE vitamin A, 17mg vitamin C, 3mg iron, 60mg calcium, 185mg phosphorus.

This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XI, No. 2, Winter 2000 issue.


  • star rating 02/13/2013
  • Happy2bake from KAF Community
  • Per my husband, this is the best lentil soup he has ever tasted! And I agree. This soup has flavor much greater than the sum of its parts - very unexpected. Broth has a nice yellow color from curry powder and mustard powder - I have never used mustard powder in a soup before. For CHUTNEY, my father grew up as a missionary kid in India so made our curry and chutney at home, very simply. For our fresh chutney, we just chop fresh tomatoes, slightly less fresh onion and cover with mixture of half water/half white vinegar containing pinch of salt and white sugar to taste (sweetness is nice counterbalance to heat and spice of curry) and allow to marinate in refrigerator for a little while prior to serving. The heat of onions is tamed and the fresh vegetables are nice texture variation. Not sure why others have not had success with this recipe but I did use a homemade mixture of garlic and ginger in oil (equal parts) that I may have added more than called for... just guesstimated the amount. Absolutely recommend this! (PS I forgot the saffron!)
  • star rating 06/10/2009
  • Anna from Toronto, ON
  • This recipe is quick and easy to make. I also added some cumin as well as frozen peas toward the end to give it some contrasting color and taste. I have made it many times using different types of lentils and will continue making it for years to come.
  • star rating 01/02/2009
  • Julio Marsella from RI
  • I am giving this recipe a low rating because it calls for "chutney" and it does not give a recipe for it, what kind of chutney, or if this is something which can be bought???!!!!!!
    That's right, this ingredient is readily available in grocers nationwide. Choose your favorite. Frank from KAF.