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Spiced Lentil Soup

Spiced Lentil Soup

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It has finally soup weather in Oakland.  It even got down to 38, which is not normal for our area at all.  My mint froze, and the seeds I planted a few weeks ago are not growing.   It is definitely time  to enjoy a big bowl of this comforting Spiced Lentil Soup.

Spiced Lentil Soup

This soup recipe is inspired by a recipe I saw in Delicious Magazine.  You are going to love this comforting Indian inspired soup recipe as  is it really easy to make, and is packed with flavor. I am a fan of lentil based soups as they are loaded with extra protein and fiber, as well the lentil adds a lovely thickness and creaminess to the soup without having to use a thickener.  

I used warm spices such as cumin, gram masala, and spicy Marash chilies to season the vegetarian broth-based recipe.  After cooking the soup until the lentils fall apart, I puree half of the lentil soup mixture, before combining with the soup with fresh spinach and lemon juice for brightness.   

The topping for this flavor rich spiced lentil soup is a garlicky yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro.  This recipe is a big bowl of bright and refreshing flavors that are a welcome on a chilly evening.  

Yield: 4

Spiced Lentil Soup

spiced lentil soup

Warm spices such as bay leaves, cumin, chilies and gram masala give this spiced lentil soup it's flavor along with a dollop of garlicky yogurt.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely minced
  • 2 carrots, scrubbed clean and cut into small dice
  • 3 celery sticks, cleaned and cut into small dice
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Marash chilies
  • 1 tablespoon gram masala
  • 1 1/2 cups orange lentils
  • 7 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 handfuls spinach leaves, I use baby leaves if you use larger, tear or cut into smaller pieces
  • juice 1/2 lemon
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small garlic, grated on a Microplane
  • cilantro, to serve with
  • Fresno chilies, to serve as a garnish
  • extra lemon wedges
  • kosher salt


    Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat.  Add the onions and cook until soft;  about 3 - 5minutes.  Add the celery and carrots, stir and cook for another 3 minutes.
    Stir in the bay leaves, cumin, chilies, gram masala, and the lentils.  Cook for 5 minutes over low heat, stirring every so often.
    Add the stock, stir and simmer over low heat for 30 - 40 minutes.  The soup will begin to thicken as the lentils fall apart.
    While the soup is cooking mix the yogurt, 1 teaspoon olive oil, and garlic together.  Set aside.
    When the soup has finished cooking puree half of the soup in a food processor or blender;  then mix the pureed and the unpureed soups together.
    Gently reheat over low heat and stir in the spinach and juice of 1/2 lemon.  Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt if you desire.
    Serve in a bowl and top with yogurt, cilantro, and the chilies.


Adding a touch of garlic to the garlic adds an extra layer of flavor to this soup. Sometimes I use a vegan coconut yogurt for even more flavor.

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