Red Lentil Soup

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This soup is simple to make but don’t let that fool you. It is so flavorful and satisfying you will find yourself making it over and over again. You can either puree the soup (which I like to do), puree half and mix with the rest or leave all the lentils whole for a more rustic texture. An immersion blender makes quick work of the pureeing. This recipe is based on another of Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe with a few variations. I think the soup tastes better the second or third day.


MAKES: 8 Servings


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 1 medium or large onion, chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves, minced (more or less to taste)

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds, lightly toasted and ground

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground

  • 2 teaspoons hot curry powder (or more to taste)

  • 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with juice

  • 1 pound red lentils (about 2 1/8 cups), washed and picked over

  • 2 quarts Magic Mineral Broth

  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper (more to taste)

  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne to taste (more or less to taste)

  • Juice of 1 lime

    For garnish

  • Chopped fresh cilantro

  • Thickened yogurt


  1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy soup pot over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the cumin, coriander, and curry powder. Stir together for about a minute, until the garlic is fragrant, and stir in the tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly. Add salt to taste.

  2. Stir in the lentils and Magic Mineral Broth . Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 30 minutes. Add salt to taste and continue to simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, until the lentils have fallen apart and thickened the soup. Using the back of your spoon, mash the lentils against the side of the pot to thicken the soup further. Add the pepper, taste, and add cayenne if you want more spice. Taste and adjust salt. Stir in the lime juice.

  3. If you wish, puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender, holding a towel over the lid to prevent hot soup from splashing out, and return to the pot. Heat through and serve, topping each bowl with a dollop of yogurt and a generous sprinkling of chopped cilantro.

    The soup keeps in the refrigerator for a week. Freezes well.