Mother Earth Living

Indian-Spiced Red Lentil Soup

8 to 10 servings SERVINGS


  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 large onions, diced
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 2 tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 quarts water, or more as needed
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • lemon wedges, for serving


  • In a small sauté pan, toast the cumin and coriander seeds on the stovetop for just a few minutes, until fragrant.
  • Using a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic and toasted seeds with the salt into a paste.
  • In a large pot, heat the coconut oil. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook for a few minutes until soft. Then add the turmeric, crushed red pepper flakes, and bay leaves.
  • Add the garlic paste to the sautéed vegetables and stir everything together. Cook for a few minutes.
  • Add the rinsed lentils and water to cover. If the soup becomes too thick during cooking, you can add more water later.
  • Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until the lentils are soft and breaking apart. If the soup seems too thick, add more water. Remove bay leaves. Check seasoning, adding black pepper and more salt to taste.
  • Serve with lemon wedges.

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    Reprinted with permission from For Goodness Sake featuring Chef Diane Hagedorn, published by Rafferty Rocks Press, 2016.

For Goodness Sakefeaturing Chef Diane Hagedorn  (Rafferty Rocks Press, 2016) delivers plant-based vegan recipes that are good for you and for the planet. These recipes come from the Spiral House Kitchen, an eco-conscious community nestled in the unique stone property in the Hudson ValleyThis recipe for lentil soup is inspired by flavors from India.

As you prepare this soup, the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and red pepper flakes will conjure visions of India, complete with maharajas, brightly-woven saris, and melodic ragas. Lentils cook so much more quickly than other legumes, so you can have this high-protein soup on the table in under an hour.

  • Published on Mar 1, 2018
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