December 7, 2011

Vegetarian Recipe #10: Lemon Lentil Soup

I made this one night when Bart was working late and I thought, "Is this a lot of work when I could have just had a bowl of cereal?"

And yes, this was more work than a bowl of cereal, but it was also much more delicious than a bowl of cereal (I kid. Nothing is better than a bowl of cereal. Ella, at birth, was probably 95% Cinnamon Toast Crunch).

Bart only got a tiny bit of this, because I ate two huge bowls for dinner, and then another enormous bowl for lunch the next day. I loved this.

Also, my mom probably doesn't even recognize me anymore, what with the voluntary eating of lentils.

Lemon Lentil Soup
(from 101 Cookbooks)

Serves 6

2 cups split red lentils, rinsed well
1 tablespoon turmeric
4 tablespoons butter
2 tsp salt
1 small/medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 - 1/2 cup lemon juice
1 large bunch of spinach leaves or chard or kale, chopped

2-3 cups cooked brown rice
Plain yogurt

In a large pot, mix 7 cups water, lentils, turmeric, 1 tablespoon of the butter, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are very soft (about twenty minutes). Puree with an immersion blender (if you don't have an immersion blender, frankly, I wouldn't bother blending it. Just mash it around with a fork or potato masher). Salt to taste, if needed.

While the lentils are cooking, chop the onion. In a skillet over low heat cook the onion in 2 tablespoons of the butter along with the cumin and mustard seeds, stirring occasionally. When the onions have softened, 8 - 10 minutes, add the cilantro and cook for a few seconds before removing from the heat. Add the whole thing to the soup, then add the lemon juice a bit at a time, until the flavor has a tang that you like.

Just before serving, add the last of the butter to the skillet, when melted, toss in the spinach/chard/kale and a big pinch of salt. Stir well, and cook just long enough for the greens to collapse.

To serve, put a scoop of rice in each bowl, then ladle the soup over the top, sprinkle on the spinach, and finish with a big dollop of yogurt.


  1. YUM. I love lentil soup! This sounds a lot like my favorite dish at a local Lebanese restaurant. I will have to try it!

  2. I love that Ella is mostly cereal ;)

    This recipe looks delicious. I really like lentils and cannot wait to try this :)

  3. Have been meaning to try this for a while now. Thanks for the reminder!

    Also, when we were in college, cereal once went on super sale, so Dan stocked up and literally had about 40 boxes. In his dorm room. And ate them all. I, on the other hand, can pretty much only stomach Grape Nuts.

  4. What have you done with my daughter??

  5. Lucy is also mostly cereal!

    I have never had a good lentil soup and this sounds amazing! I will put it on my list...which is seeming so very long.


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