Curried Lentil Soup


I wanted to try this recipe for a while, but opted for some Ethiopian lentil recipes first. This was the perfect way to use what lentils I had left over and was a great recipe for yesterday’s gloom and chill.

Oh, yeah… this was coming, too.

Ned Stark...Weatherman!
Thanks Ned!

I’ll have the Ethiopian recipes up eventually, but here’s the recipe for the curried lentil soup I made last night.

Curried Lentil Soup

from Bon Appetit Magazine, May 1998 (found on


  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 8-oz. russet potato, peeled, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 3 14 1/2-oz. cans low-salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 2 c. lentils (about 12 ounces), rinsed, drained


After reading the recipe reviews, I decided to add a few more things to the soup. I added several cloves of pressed garlic (seen above),  increased the cayenne to 1/2 tsp., and added 1/2 tsp each of tumeric and cumin.  Since I was a little low on chicken broth, wanted an extra layer of flavor and had it on hand, I also added a can of coconut milk (pictured below).


Rest of the (mostly) step-by-step instructions behind the jump.

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, potato and carrot and sauté until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. I also added the garlic at this step. 


Mix in spices (except for salt and pepper) and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.


Add broth, tomatoes with juices, and lentils and bring to boil. I added the coconut milk at this stage, too.


Cover pot, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until lentils are very tender, about 45 minutes. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.

Here’s the finished product… a bit different from the golden-brown, milky liquid from earlier.


The scent of the simmering soup filed our apartment, a nearly intoxicating bouquet. I couldn’t wait to take a bite!


The final product tasted as good at it smelled…spoonful after hearty spoonful. It was just a little spicy, but not intense.


While I used red lentils here, you may use other types of lentils. If you use reds and don’t want your soup to dwell on the borderline of soup and stew, simmer for less time, about 30 minutes. As the instructions say, this soup can also be made up to 2 days ahead of time. If you do so, keep it refrigerated after it cools.

The winds have picked up around Chez Random Hapa, and we’re prepared to batten down the hatches. More of the storm is yet to come. Those of y’all also in the path of Sandy, please stay safe! Sending warming, filling thoughts…


About A. Random Hapa

Thirty-something. INFP. Librarian. Brain Tumor Survivor. Hobbyist Singer. Amateur Photographer. Foodie. Craft Beer Fan. Unrepentant geek.

Posted on October 29, 2012, in vegetarian and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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