ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Make a Simple Lentil Soup

Updated on August 31, 2009

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



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • msorensson profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      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..

    • unknown spy profile image


      6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      wow, this is very interesting recipe.

    • msorensson profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      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.

    • Lady_E profile image


      6 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 imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

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

    • advisor4qb profile image


      7 years ago from On New Footing

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

    • msorensson profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

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

      I hope he likes it, Thank you!!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 years ago from England

      I will try it on my son! ha ha

    • msorensson profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

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

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

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

      Thanks for visiting and leaving your comment.

    • 2besure profile image

      Pamela Lipscomb 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you phanzy!!

    • phamzy profile image


      7 years ago from Florida, USA

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



      (954) 513 - 5302

    • msorensson profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      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.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      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 imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago 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.

    • Lisa HW profile image

      Lisa HW 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you drpastorcarlotta

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



    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      Thank you, Tony.

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

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      7 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 imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      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. :-)

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      7 years ago from Georgia

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

    • msorensson profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      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.

    • katiem2 profile image


      7 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 imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thanks, Anamika.

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

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

    • msorensson profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      Thank you, DeBorrah :-)

    • DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

      DeBorrah K Ogans 

      8 years ago

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

      Thank you for sharing Peace & Blessings!!

    • msorensson profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

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

      I love that analogy with Jacob and Esau :-)

    • Sky321 profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      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~~

    • oliversmum profile image


      8 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 imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      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.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      8 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 imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      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.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      8 years ago

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

    • Judy Cullins profile image

      Judy Cullins 

      8 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

    • msorensson profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      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.

    • westernangel profile image


      8 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.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)