The Best Lentil Soup. Ever. May be THE Best Soup Ever.

I make a lot of soups and have amassed quite a collection of really tasty recipes. Last week I made curried lentil soup from December’s Bon Appétit that has to be one of THE best soups I’ve made. Ever. It’s a pretty simple soup that starts with aromatics (and I added celery) and lots of freshly ground black pepper, which I think is essential in lentil soup. But what sets it apart is the lemony-garlic pureed chick pea mixture that gives the soup a luxurious texture similar to what you find with cream-based soup. The curry fragrance is divine. Long story, but I ate the whole pot of soup myself (over a few days), but Craig and Connor did comment that it smelled really good. It's on the menu next week for veg night.

The recipe below reflects my riffs, namely red lentils instead of French green lentils, chicken broth instead of water, and I omitted the butter. It’s so smooth and flavorful, you’ll never miss it. Red lentils cook quicker than other lentils, so adjust cooking time accordingly (longer).
Curried Lentil Soup
Serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
2 tablespoons (or more) curry powder
1 cup red lentils
3 1/4 cups (or more) water, divided
1 15- to 16-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, and celery; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Add half of chopped garlic; stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 4 minutes longer. Add 2 tablespoons curry powder; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add lentils and 4 cups water. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until lentils are tender, about 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, puree chickpeas, lemon juice, 1/4 cup water, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, and remaining garlic in processor.

Add chickpea puree to lentil soup. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Add water by 1/4 cupfuls to thin to desired consistency.

Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges.


  1. This looks pretty good. I like the lemon and chickpea combo. It might be interesting to try this without the curry powder but instead use ground cumin, coriander, and cinnamon (and proably a bit of cayenne pepper to provide a jolt). That would give a nice North African-type flavor.

  2. I loved the recipe. It was completely easy and fast to make. The smell made the house smell wonderful all afternoon. I used green lentils since I couldn't find the red. I added some shredded chicken at the end. It was tasty with or without the chicken.

  3. Lori, thanks for the comment. Glad you enjoyed it!



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