Monday, March 02, 2009

Recipe for Curried Lentil Soup with Cilantro

Curried Lentil SoupI was talking about soup in September when I got braces on my upper teeth, and last week I got the lower braces on, so it's soft foods and soup on the menu again around here. Lentils are one of my favorite things to use in soup, and this version of curried lentil soup in Fine Cooking Annual Volume 3 was really delicious and unusual. I have to admit, taking the braces thing to the next level has been kind of rough, but this soup made a great dinner on a day I didn't want to chew!

The soup soup starts with garlic, ginger, celery, and carrots finely chopped in the food processor. The original recipe suggested fennel instead of celery, which I'd definitely try next time.

Those vegetables are sauteed for a few minutes in olive oil, and then curry powder is added and sauteed with the vegetables. The curry flavor was subtle, but distinct in the finished soup.

Curried Lentil Soup with Cilantro
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe adapted slightly from Fine Cooking Annual Volume 3. This recipe would be perfect to make a double batch and put some in the freezer.)

1 T minced garlic (I used minced garlic from a jar)
fresh ginger root, big enough piece to make 1 T minced ginger
1/2 cup chopped celery (or fennel)
1 cup chopped carrot
1/2 onion chopped
2 T olive oil (use more or less, depending on your pan)
1 T curry powder (I used Penzeys Sweet Curry Powder)
1 cup brown lentils
1 quart chicken stock
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
chopped cilantro or parsley to garnish the soup

Chop garlic, ginger, celery (or fennel), carrot, and onion, then place in food processor and pulse several times until all vegetables are finely minced. Heat olive oil in heavy dutch oven or soup pot, add vegetables and saute about 3 minutes. Sprinkle in curry powder, stir and cook mixture about 1 minute more.

Add lentils and chicken stock, bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat until soup is gently simmering. Cover pan and cook until lentils are soft, about 45 minutes.

When lentils are soft, puree half of soup mixture. (I used my immersion blender but if you don't have an immersion blender, remove half of soup to a blender or food processor and puree, then add back into the soup. Be very careful when blending or processing hot liquid.) Taste soup and season as desired with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Garnish with chopped cilantro (or parsley if you're not a cilantro fan.)

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South Beach Suggestions:
Soup like this with lentils is perfect for any phase of the South Beach Diet or any type of low-glycemic eating plan, but the carrots in this soup would make it phase 2. (Thanks to Trinijam for noticing I made a mistake on that!) For phase 2 or three, you could also eat the soup with toast made from 100% Whole Wheat Bread.

So Many Delicious Versions of Lentil Soup:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Vegetarian Lentil Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Cumin from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lentil Soup with Ground Beef and Brown Rice from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lentil and Sausage Soup with Sweet Potatoes and Herbs from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lentil Soup with Italian Sausage and Roasted Red Peppers from Kalyn's Kitchen
Lentil and Sausage Soup with Cabbage from Kalyn's Kitchen
Pomegranate Lentil Soup from The Kitchn
Hearty Lentil Soup with Carrots, Tomatoes, and Smoked Sausage from Farmgirl Fare
Red Lentil Soup with Garam Masala from Je Mange la Ville
Spicy Red Lentil and Tomato Soup from Andrea's Recipes
Spicy Lentil Soup with Lime from Nami Nami
(Want even more lentil soup recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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More to Chew On:


  1. Lentil soups are big in Greek cuisine, I'd love to try the soup with curry too!

  2. Oh I love lentil soup! That came out beautifully.

  3. Your lentil soup looks delicious! Definitely try the fennel next time. We use fennel (both the bulb and the seed) all the time and it adds alot of zing.

    I've been thinking about making a lentil soup for a while. It's snowing and the kids are home from school. A nice big pot of soup would be a perfect supper. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Your soups look absolutely delectable! Thanks for sharing!

  5. gorgeous photo of a delicious looking soup, kalyn! I would love to get my hands on a bowl of that goodness right about now.

  6. Braces at your age. You sassy girl! I've been thinking along those lines, myself. Never too late.

  7. Peter, I love every type of lentil soup, but this was really intersting with the curry!

    Alisa, thanks.

    Laurie, will definitely try the fennel, which I think will make it even better.

    preparednesspro, thanks.

    Amanda, thanks. Especially love getting a photo compliment from a great photographer like you!

    Cookiecrumb, never too late I guess, but I have to admit the braces are definitely NOT FUN. I think the end result will be worth it though. My bottom teeth are especially bad.

  8. Wow, that looks sooo delicious and comforting, yum!

  9. Hi Kalyn this looks delicioius - I love the addition of the cilantro to brighten the dish up. Great pic!

  10. I make a thinner version of this to go with steamed rice. A staple at my place, actually :)

  11. Jesse, thanks.

    Katerina, me too (as is obvious by all the other lentil soup recipes I have!)

    Sue Bette, thanks. I never miss the chance to add some cilantro!

    Nags, good to have for a staple. It did strike me that this recipe had its roots in Indian dal, although the preparation method is a little different I think?

  12. nice post, thanks for sharing!

  13. Ooooooohhh! It sure looks so nice. Thanks, Kalyn.

  14. I've added this to my list of recipes to try. Looks and sounds really good.


  15. I had my second round of braces at 30, and I definitely ate a lot of soup.

    What helped me with the pain after adjustments was chewing gum (sugar-free, of course.) My orthodontist even passed out gum at his office. I was surprised, since I didn't think this was allowed with braces, but it really does help. It's like a massage for your sore teeth.

  16. I love your lentil soup you made it look so beautiful and delicious. This would really be nice for a winter dinner!

  17. This soup looks amazing, would be perfect for the cold evening we are having right now !

  18. Lovely soup! Just the type of simple but inspired creation that hits the spot.

  19. This looks like an awesome entry into the Souper Soup Challenge! Just sayin! :)

    - tami

  20. Another great healthy and tasty sounding soup!

  21. The soup looks delicious.

    Kalyn was wondering about the carrots in it for phase 1 though. Is it allowed?

  22. Trinijam, yikes! I must have been very tired when I wrote this, but you are right, the carrots would make this phase 2. I corrected and credited you for the catch! Thanks!

  23. Looks so delicious. I never thought of pairing cilantro with lentils this way. Can't wait to try it out.


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