Best of winter recipes: lentil soup

One of my favourite winter things to do is cooking good food. After all, you’re stuck inside for longer than usual, you get those carb cravings, and what better way to fight that then with good, wholesome, homemade food?

We looked at 4 recipes so that you can choose. The photos belong to 1001:


There is no particular reason why we looked especially for Red Lentils other than the fact that this is what we had in our kitchen.

red_lentil_vegetable_soup_thumb_2  red_lentil_vegetable_soup_thumb_3 red_lentil_vegetable_soup_thumb_4


Originally, the lentil soup was something brown and fatty, with bacon thrown in to provide ammunition for the cold. These days, few of us really need fat any more. Personally, I don’t like it, so I was very happy to find these fresh, light recipes. I tried only the first and it was awesome. But before the winter’s over I’ll be sure to try them all!

   Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
    1 1/2  cups          red lentils
    6      cups          water
    3      medium        bay leaves
    4      cloves        garlic -- chopped
    2      slices        ginger root
    1      cup           carrot -- grated
    1      cup           fresh tomato -- chopped
      1/2  cup           bell pepper -- finely chopped
    1      112 c         onions -- chopped
      1/2  tablespoon    olive oil
    1 1/2  teaspoons     ground cumin
    1 1/2  teaspoons     coriander
    1      pinch         cayenne
    2      tablespoons   lemon juice
                         black pepper -- fresh ground
Sort and rinse the lentils. Put them into a soup pot with the water, bay leaves, garlic, and ginger. Cover and place on high heat. Add the carrots, tomatoes, and bell peppers to the pot. Bring to a boil, stir, reduce the heat, and simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. While the vegetables simmer, sauté the onions on medium heat in the olive oil in a heavy skillet for about 10 minutes or until browned. Add the cumin, coriander, and cayenne, and sauce for another minute, stirring to prevent sticking. Remove from the heat. When the lentils are tender, remove the bay leaves, and ginger from the soup pot. Stir in the sautéed onions and the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to
taste. Top with yogurt, onion, mint, parsley, or cilantro. Serving Ideas: Serve with Vegetables in Mint Vinegar or Curried Cauliflower (rs)


for the Washington Post (right) recipe:


Nutrition Facts
Serving size: Per 1-cup serving
Calories: 183
% Daily Values*
Total Fat: 4g 6
Saturated Fat: 1g 5
Cholesterol: n/a 0
Sodium: 53mg 2
Total Carbohydrates: 27g 9
Dietary Fiber: 12g 48
Sugar: n/a  
Protein: 10g
*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Total Fat: Less than 65g
Saturated Fat: Less than 20g
Cholesterol: Less than 300mg
Sodium: Less than 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrates: 300g
Dietary Fiber: 25g

Dal Shorba (Red Lentil Soup) , wp

The Washington Post, February 6, 2008
Cuisine: Indian
Course: Soup
Features: Healthy


This spicy soup draws its flavor from a combination of spices, herbs and vegetables. The result is creamy and rich. The Madras curry powder plays a key role and therefore must be fresh.

Makes about 7 cups


8 ounces dried red lentils (1 1/2 cups)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
1 3-inch piece peeled ginger root, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
4 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
3/4 pound tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons Madras curry powder
4 1/2 cups water, or as needed
1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
1 cup packed mint leaves (from 1/2 bunch)
1 cup packed cilantro leaves (from 1/2 bunch)
Lemon wedges, for garnish


Rinse and drain the lentils; sort through them to discard any debris.

Heat the oil in a large (at least 4-quart) pot over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 12 to 15 minutes, until they are golden brown; reduce the heat as needed to keep the onions from burning. Add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, turmeric and curry powder; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring to blend the spices. Add the water and bring the soup base to a boil.

Add the lentils to the soup base along with the bell pepper, mint and cilantro. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the soup barely bubbles at the edges. Cook for about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

Process the soup in batches in a blender until smooth, filling the blender no more than halfway; or use an immersion (stick) blender in the pot. Strain the soup through a fine-mesh strainer. Season to taste with salt; adjust the consistency with additional water as needed. Serve with lemon wedges.


From executive chef Vikram Sunderam of Rasika restaurant in Penn Quarter.
Tested by Stephanie Witt Sedgwick for The Washington Post.

Red Lentil Vegetable Soup (1001)

Main Ingredients:

Red Lentil: 1+1/2 cups
Tomatoes: 2 medium
Onions: 1
Potatoes: 3 medium
Carrots: 3 medium
Water: 6 cups
Coriander: 1 tsp
Butter: 1 tbsp
Chicken Stock Tablets: 2


1. Cook lentils with water on medium-high heat for 15 min or until semi-cooked.

2. Meanwhile chop all vegetables very small.

3. Stir in chopped vegetables, chicken stock tablets, salt and pepper and continue cooking for 20 min.

4. Add coriander and cool the soup slightly, then process it in a blender to a smooth puree.

5. Garnish the soup with paprika and melted butter.

Published on November 25, 2007

Easiness: Easy
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Ready in: 45 min

Servings: 6

Nutrition Facts
% Daily Value

Fat  2.8 g
4 %

Fiber  7.1 g
28 %

Vitamin A
Vitamin C
109 %
39 %
4 %
14 %

Greek Red Lentil Soup Recipe (mk)

A sublime soup that’s a cinch to make. Omit the feta (although I think it’s the crowning glory) and this is fine for vegans. The amount of red pepper flakes used here gives a spicy kick – use less, if desired. I used a 1-litre carton of Imagine organic vegetable stock and the same amount of water.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled, chopped
8 garlic cloves, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
¼ tsp hot red pepper flakes
2 tbsp chopped fresh or 1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme leaves, optional
2 cups red lentils, rinsed, drained
8 cups vegetable stock
3 to 4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
Chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, about 5 minutes or until soft. Add garlic, carrots, black pepper, hot red pepper flakes, oregano and rosemary; cook, stirring, about 2 minutes more. Add lentils and stock. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, partially, covered, until lentils are soft and falling apart, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add lemon juice, salt and pepper. Serve hot soup in shallow bowls sprinkled with feta and chopped parsley.

Makes about 6 servings.

Do you have anything better? Have you tried any of them? Let us know!

Sources: rs, wp, 1k1, mk


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