How To Make a Simple Lentil Soup

The best Indian food I had ever tasted was at a restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland. It was a long time ago and I can not remember the name of the restaurant. I do not know if it is still there. There I remembered having among other things, tandoori chicken and lentil soup.

Over the years, I have had colleagues, students and postdocs from India. Every once in a while I had been invited to their homes. It was always a feast. It is always a privilege.

This weekend I decided to make lentil soup, having been reminded of my friend in Scotland and that fabulous Indian restaurant so finally, I decided to make the lentil soup as it was taught to me, bits and pieces by friends, colleagues and students.

The only spices that I had from the Indian store were ghee and turmeric. The rest I have are common spices.

Here it is. It does not qualify as vegan, but certainly, vegetarian. The woman who taught me, in bits and pieces as I could remember, has never tasted meat in her life.

The recipe is simple. I used one teaspoon of everything that I had, as much as possible

2 lbs dal (split). You can use lentil or kidney beans or split pea for this.

2 tablespoonfuls ghee

1 big onion (can be two) diced

5 cloves garlic, pounded with the skin on

1 teaspoon rock salt

1 teaspoon iodized salt

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon turmeric

one cup diced shallots


Soak dal in water overnight. As it soaks water it will expand. Make sure that there is enough water in the container

Drain water and either pressure cook or slow cook until all of it is tender.

In a large skillet, put two tablespoons ghee. Add onions and garlic until they are partially cooked.

Add, in the following order and with mixing after addition, turmeric, rock salt, iodized salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper.

Add the cooked dal to the mixture. Add two cups of water and simmer.

Before serving, garnish with the chopped shallots.

Good for 12 cups of soup.

I eat mine with Thai Jasmine rice.

Variations: add one cup of sour cream or one half cup of lemon juice or one half cup of coconut milk after simmering and before addition of the diced shallots.

© 2009 by Melinda M. Sorensson


More by this Author

  • Never Eat Sugar When You are Hungry

    In America, it is very common for children to go home and eat candies/cakes when they arrive from school. There is always a supply. This is the one thing I have never allowed my son to do and I had to train him again...

Comments 41 comments

westernangel profile image

westernangel 7 years ago from Canada

I love lentil soup. I used to make it when my older girls were young and they remember hating it when I made lentil soup for supper. It didn't have the indian spices in it though. I believe it came from a german cookbook that I had. Sometimes I added sausage and sometimes not.

Thanks for the Hub. It brought back memories.

msorensson profile image

msorensson 7 years ago Author

Thanks. One of my facebook friends said the same thing! It brought back memories.

Oh I have never tried it with sausage.

I should do that sometime. I made a whole pot and my son really does not like it so it gave me a chance to share it with a friend.

Thanks for sharing.

Judy Cullins profile image

Judy Cullins 7 years ago from La Mesa, CA

Thanks for the recipe. My partner Bill and I plan to make it today! You and I talked in FAcebook about your book and some possible coaching to get it done in half the time.

We have the spices already and love India food. WE jsut discvered a great low cost Indian restaurant nearby and get inspired by their wonderfull fare.

If you want to ask me another question,just email me at


JUdy Cullins

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

I have to try this. Thank you very much! Great recipe!

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Hey, Micky :-)

You might want to reduce the spices a little bit if you are not used to what Thais call medium...[smiles]

Thank you for stopping by.

Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

Sounds wonderful. I would have to get a few spices to make it this way.

The general way that I make lentil soup is by using a ham bone with bits of ham still attached, onion, celery and carrots either chopped or grated. Salt, pepper, bay leaves and anything else I happen to have or wish to add. Depending upon what is in the refrigerator, I vary this preparation and my soups are never quite the same as I do not use a specific recipe. Also use chicken stock instead of definitely not vegetarian.

Thanks for your recipe.

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thank you Peggy W. Oh, what a wonderful contribution.

I am not vegetarian, not yet anyway..

But we do not eat a lot of meat.

Perhaps when my son is in college I can try to be pure vegetarian. It will not be so difficult since when he is not here, I forget to eat anyway.

Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment.

oliversmum profile image

oliversmum 6 years ago from australia

msorensson. Hi. This sounds like a great recipe. I have never made lentil soup, but have made pea and ham, so will try this recipe and with the added spices it will be delicious. Thank you for sharing this one with us. :) :)

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thank you, oliversmum :-)

I suggest that you go easy on the spices if you are not used to spicy food.

I am glad you have joined agvulpes in publishing~~

Sky321 profile image

Sky321 6 years ago from Canada

This sounds so good. I've made Lentil soup before but this sounds like a way better recipe. No wonder a birthright was traded for Lentil soup. Lol

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thank you Sky321. In the beginning please be easy on the spices.

I love that analogy with Jacob and Esau :-)

DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Msorensson, Sounds tasty! Luv a good tasty lentil soup!

Thank you for sharing Peace & Blessings!!

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thank you, DeBorrah :-)

Anamika S profile image

Anamika S 6 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

Lentil Soup is one of my favorites too! Thanks for the recipe.

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thanks, Anamika.

katiem2 profile image

katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

My daughter loves lentil soup, it's a favorite of ours, great recipe and thanks for the tips. Looking forward to trying it! :)

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Hey, katie, Thanks for dropping by. You may want to reduce the amount of spices to one half, if you are not used to hot foods.

I hope your daughter would like it.

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

This would be great on a chilly night! Thanks for sharing!

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Hey, habee, Thanks for coming by. I sent you an invite on Facebook. The lentil soup, please go easy on the spices if you are not used to hot foods. It bites. :-)

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

I too love lentil soup - in fact almost anything with lentils in! Thanks for sharing this one. Will try it out soon.

Love and peace


msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thank you, Tony.

I hope you like it. Please let me know when you have made it.

drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 6 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

I will try this, since it's your recipe. I know you know what your talking about!!!! lol, lol, hmmmmmmm.... Thank you my friend again! I voted useful!

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thank you drpastorcarlotta

The specific combination of spices be easy on them if you are not used to hot food.



Lisa HW profile image

Lisa HW 6 years ago from Massachusetts

I bookmarked this one, msorensson. This is going to seem really strange-sounding, but lentil soup is something I always make sure to have in the house (have for years) - and it has never occurred to me to make it myself! I don't know. Your Hub made it "occur" to me. :) For some reason, I make other soups and have just kind of taken for granted that when it comes to lentil soup, I just head for the canned soup aisle. Guess it's just what habits we get into. Anyway, thanks.

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author must go to a very nice restaurant to have a constant supply of lentil soup, Lisa.I think in NY you can do that, just like in the Seinfeld episodes.

I loooove Seinfeld because I can relate to everything they talk about even if I myself have never lived in NYC.

Yes, please go easy on the spices at first.

Thank you for dropping by.

vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 6 years ago from Nashville Tn.

Melinda - This recipy sounds so delicious. My son loves spicey - the spicier the better. But for me...I will tone it down a bit. :-)I could eat lentils everyday and never tire of them. Question - what is dal and what is ghee? Why rock salt along with regular salt? Thank you dear one.

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thank you vocalcoach. Then you would like this is spicey but you taste the spice later..not at first bite.

Dal is in the bean family I think.... Ghee is clarified butter. You can get those at the Indian store.

Thanks for dropping by. Much appreciated.

phamzy profile image

phamzy 6 years ago from Florida, USA

I had lentil soup with pigtail. Voila! I love it! LOL.



(954) 513 - 5302

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thank you phanzy!!

2besure profile image

2besure 6 years ago from Charlotte, North Carolina

I love lintel soup. I put a little bacon in to for extra flavor. I have to try it with tumeric.

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

I hope you will enjoy this recipe. Please do tell me when you do.

Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment.

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, I may not be a good cook, but I certainly like a challenge! I will give this a go, and see how it turns out! it is certainly different for me! lol thanks nell

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Thank you Nell, please do let me know...Love, M

Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

I will try it on my son! ha ha

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

ha ha will be a little hot..with a bite...

I hope he likes it, Thank you!!

advisor4qb profile image

advisor4qb 6 years ago from On New Footing

Sounds really good. I would probably add lamb, too.

msorensson profile image

msorensson 6 years ago Author

Oh, yes, advisorqb lamb sounds good...some add bacon or chicken. Thanks for dropping by!!

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 4 years ago from London, UK

Very healthy Recipe, which seems easy to make. I love basmati rice / long grain but have never tried Thai, Jasmine Rice. I look forward to it. Thanks

msorensson profile image

msorensson 4 years ago Author

Yes, Jasmine rice is available in Oriental stores but not the regular supermarkets.

I hope you like the lentil soup.

Thank you for dropping by, Lady_E and leaving your comment.

unknown spy profile image

unknown spy 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

wow, this is very interesting recipe.

msorensson profile image

msorensson 4 years ago Author

Simple recipe and easy to do..

Please be easy on the spices unless you are used to hot things..

The combination "bites"..not at first taste..

Thank you for visiting and leaving your comment unknown spy..

Much appreciated..

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.

    Click to Rate This Article