Curried Lemon Lentil Soup

Lemon lentil soup is quite a popular recipe and once you’ve tasted it, it’s easy to understand why. I first tried a version of lemon lentil soup at my first round of macrobiotic cooking classes. My two classmates and I were blown away by the flavour and deliciousness, and it quickly became a favourite staple soup for all of us. Our teacher made hers with a generous amount of cumin, which I fell in love with.

Taking the recipe home with me, and comparing it to the many others out there, I decided to get creative with mine. I added some extra flavours and an additional step, too: cooking the spices into the onions until they’re browned and very flavourful, almost like you would when making a homemade curry.

High in fiber, protein, iron, and a variety of essential minerals and nutrients, lentils are very healthy for us to eat regularly. In this recipe, each serving contains more than 7g of fiber and over 11g of protein! In addition, the turmeric is an amazing spice with anti-inflammatory effects within the body, and also helps to give the soup that amazing yellow colour.

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Makes 4-5 servings

– 1 large onion, finely minced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
– 2 tbsp sesame oil
– 2 tsp salt
– 2 tsp cumin
– 2 tsp curry
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 1 cup red lentils, rinsed and sorted
– 1-2 bay leaves
– 2  1”x3” strips of lemon rind
– juice of 1 lemon
– 6 cups vegetable stock or water
– freshly chopped parsley or cilantro to garnish

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and salt and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until softened and beginning to brown. Add garlic, cumin, curry, and turmeric, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes – until the fragrance gets very deep and rich and the onions are browned.

Cut two very thin strips of lemon rind from a well-scrubbed lemon using a sharp knife – each strip should be about 2 or 3 inches long and about 1 inch wide.

Add the lentils to the pot, stirring to combine with the onions, and raise the heat to high. Add the bay leaves, lemon rind, and water, and bring to a boil.

Simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaves and lemon rind. Stir in the fresh lemon juice, garnish, and serve hot.


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