What’s better than bus drama? Red lentil soup.

jen's splash

RECIPE: East Indian red lentil soup.

Taking the bus makes for interesting stories, at least. I boarded the bus to work and, shortly thereafter, a fight broke out in the aisle. There was name calling and shaking of one another. And, sure enough, the young kid did in fact steal the older woman’s cell phone (which he hotly denied). It fell from his coat sleeve and onto the floor. Drama. (The bus driver just kept driving.)

It's all pretty beige, I realize. But butter + sweet onion.

And how did the day end? On the bus home, a woman boarded. She was holding a dozen shiny balloons. The balloons got caught up in the door and the posts and made a scene. But everyone was smiling. Pointing. It was beautiful.

Interesting bookends to my day. And the happy medium? Lunch. I’ve been eating this soup all week. Simple red lentils with tumeric (hooray anti-cancer properties!) and cayenne.

The best part? Roasted mustard and cumin seeds.

I had this soup last week as a guest to dinner and I swiftly took note of their recipe. Splendid.

This weekend I cooked. That soup. Some kale salad, too. A made-up squash and spinach lasagna. And maybe some of those chocolate cookies as a birthday gift for my dad (and hope-you-feel-better treat for Ken, who’s battling a cold). The rest of the cookies were distributed to neighbors for the rainy Sunday.

You, dear readers, can consider this soup recipe your very own rainy day treat.

RECIPE RATING: 4 of 5 glasses of wine. It’s a simple dish — with some spice and great texture.

East Indian red lentil soup
5.0 from 1 reviews
Author: Jen
Red Lentil Soup with East Indian Spices is adapted from ‘Feeding the Family’ cookbook, thanks to Eric and Rachel. I took out the tomatoes, which was in the original recipe.
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 1 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (Spicy! For less spice, add less.)
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 4 cups water or veg stock. (I did half of each)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 C chopped cilantro
  • Sour cream or plain yogurt for topping
  1. Heat butter in a large pot. Sauté onions and garlic in butter until brown.
  2. Add spices and stir for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Wash and drain lentils. Add lentils and water to pot.
  4. Let simmer 45 minutes, stirring often.
  5. In a separate small skillet, heat 1/2 tsp butter and fry seeds until they pop (which doesn’t take long!).
  6. Stir fried seeds and chopped cilantro into finished soup.
  7. Top with more cilantro and sour cream or plain yogurt
  8. Enjoy!


This entry was posted in 4 Wine Glasses, Dinner, Lunch, Side Dish, Uncategorized, Vegetarian and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to What’s better than bus drama? Red lentil soup.

  1. Erin says:

    I agree that Red Lentil Soup is SO much better than drama!! My hubby loves lentils! I will definitely give this a shot! Thanks so much for sharing!

  2. Michelle says:

    made this soup and loved it, only wish I had doubled the recipe so it lasted longer! I’ve become an active try-er of your recipes and you haven’t disapointed me yet! (in recipes, or life in general- you’re awesome :) ). My goal this year was to do 2 new recipes per week and your posts have been helping me acheive this– thanks!

    • Jen says:

      Fun! (And way sweet of you.) :) I love this one too and, just this weekend, was thinking of putting it on the menu this week again. Last time I made it I accidentally put in way too much cayenne. Solution? Stirred in some sour cream. YUM. Glad you like! If you find any fun recipes, be sure to share.

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