Spiced Lentil Soup


lentil soup

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Spiced Lentil Soup

My love affair with canned lentils continues with this recipe. Don’t feel guilty about them. Earthy, hearty, a little bit healthy feeling – you can’t go wrong really. Garam marsala is a common Indian spice blend. You should be able to buy it in your supermarket, but if you have problems finding it, substitute in 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 2 teaspoons ground coriander. A little fresh or dried chilli wouldn’t go astray.

enough for: 2
takes: 10 minutes

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 – 2 teaspoons dried chilli flakes
4 teaspoons garam marsala
2 cans lentils (400g / 14oz each) including liquid
4 tablespoons natural yoghurt, to serve

1. Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan.

2. Cook garlic over a high heat until browned – about 30 seconds.

3. Add chilli and garam marsala and cook for another few seconds.

4. Add lentils and the liquid from the can with an additional 1/2 cup water.

5. Simmer for 7 – 8 minutes or until hot.

6. Taste and season and serve with yoghurt.

Quantities for Different Serving Sizes

You can easily double or triple this recipe. The cooking time will be about the same, maybe slightly longer.

Prepare Ahead?

This can easily be made a few days in advance and stored in the fridge or freezer.


vegan – replace the yoghurt with a drizzle of tahini mixed with lemon juice.

dairy-free – replace the yoghurt with a drizzle of tahini mixed with lemon juice.

– simmer some chopped chicken thigh fillets, chorizo or pork sausages in the soup until just tender.

carb lovers / more substantial – serve with crusty bread + butter.

paleo (grain, legume & dairy-free) – try this green lime + fish soup.

more veg – soften a diced onion, carrot and celery first.

Problem Solving Guide

too bland – because we’re not using stock, expect to add more salt than you normally would for a stock based soup. A little more soy will help too.

boring colour– the only downside to this soup is that it looks decidedly brown. I don’t mind such a homely looking soup, but if you’d prefer something a bit more glamorous, replace the water and the liquid from one of the cans of lentils with a can of tomatoes.

mushy texture
– canned lentils are sensitive and will fall apart and turn to mush if you cook them for too long. Some people may prefer this, but if you’d like your soup with more interesting texture, make sure you don’t simmer too long.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

dried chilli flakes / garam marsala / lentils / garlic – keep them in the pantry.

yoghurt – usually has a shelf life of a month or so. Otherwise, have it for another meal like breakfast! Don’t freeze.

Serving Suggestions

Wonderful on it’s own or go with the middle eastern vibe and serve with some pita bread or other flat bread.

Leftover Potential

Brilliant! Will keep in the fridge for at least a week or more.

Related Links:

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