Red Lentil Soup

Happy Monday! I went for a walk this morning and it was beautiful! The earth is revolving around the sun. She’s rotating on her axis. And all of this feels relevant because the northern hemisphere and city of Chicago is leaning toward the sun (is that right? It’s been a while since middle school … ) and soaking up her rays. A full 99.9% of my being is looking forward to sun tea, gardening, days at the beach, outdoor yoga and everything else that comes with the months of May-August. The other .1% of me, however, is thinking about red lentil soup. I love red lentil soup. I love wearing slippers and sweatpants and watching the snow fall as I sauté onions and garlic and make my apartment smell like grandma’s house. I’m not saying you can’t make red lentil soup in the summer, but – let’s face it – it’s just not the same.

Here’s my favorite recipe. It’s delicious and it takes about 30 minutes to make. Here’s to hoping for one more chilly day so you have an opportunity to try it out 🙂 I’m sure Chicago will deliver.

Red Lentil Soup
1 large onion, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeño chili, seeded and minced
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup dried red lentils
1 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp group cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1 inch fresh ginger, finely grated
2 small tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Sauté onions in oil until translucent. Add garlic and jalapeño, sauté for addition 5 minutes. Add stock, lentils, turmeric, cumin, salt, and ginger. Bring to boil and reduce heat. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes – until lentils are tender. With an immersion blender (if you don’t have a immersion blender, go buy one. If you will not or cannot go buy an immersion blender I guess you can use a regular blender, but I’m telling you – an immersion blender will change your life) blend half or all of the soup until smooth. Stir in tomatoes and cilantro. Makes 2 large servings or 4 small servings.

I got this recipe from La Dolce Vegan!: Vegan Livin’ Made Easy by Sarah Kramer. The date in the books says I first made this recipe on February 25, 2010.
1) Yes, I write the date in my cookbooks when I make a new recipe.
2) That means I’ve made it approximately 163 times and in that time I’ve come up with some variations. Some people don’t like cilantro. I think they are crazy, but apparently it’s genetic. When I’m cooking for those people, or when I have extra kale around (which is always), I use kale instead of cilantro. In that case, I chop the kale into thin strips and let the soup sit for an extra 5-10 minutes after I add them to let the hot soup cook the kale. Also, sometimes I double the turmeric because it is AMAZING for you. I’ve also been known to use red pepper flakes instead of jalapeño because I don’t always have jalapeño around and, to me, one of the best things about this recipe is that it’s made of almost exclusively of things I always have in the pantry.


About susan virginia yoga

Grassroots Organizing Director for UltraViolet ( by day, yoga guide, dance partier, and red lentil soup connoisseur by night. Well. Evening. By night, I'm usually asleep.
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