Curried Red Lentil Soup


This soup, another little number from the America’s Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook, is so good and so easy. They don’t use the word “quick” in that cookbook title lightly–those folks mean business!

I originally decided to put this soup on the menu because we had some red lentils sitting around that have been in the pantry since we lived in Delaware (!). Why yes, we moved to Chicago going on 4 years ago. So yes, that would make these lentils at least 4 years old . . . if not 5 . . . or 6 . . . but I didn’t die, so case closed. Let bygones be bygones. Better a lentil saved than a lentil wasted. Let the old lentils rest in peace in their final place of digestion. Let anyone who has objections speak never and forever hold their peace, amen and amen. It is better to have eaten and loved than to never have eaten at all. Don’t take no wooden lentils. You can lead a mouth to lentils, but you can’t make it eat.

I just got completely lost . . . where were we?

Anyway, after looking at the short ingredient list I thought, “this will probably be okay. Not awesome, not bad–just okay.” And I was (heh heh) okay with that.

But my premature diagnosis was wrong. I LOVED it! The flavors are simple and clean but also deeper than you would expect considering the quick cooking time.

Make it! Especially after a cold day out and about.


It will warm you to the very cockles of your feet.

What are cockles?

Nobody every explained.



Serves 2-3

1 cup red lentils, rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
2 TBS butter
1 onion, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS grated fresh ginger
1 TBS curry powder
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 TBS minced cilantro
½ cup plain yogurt
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Microwave the lentils and 2 cups of broth about 8 minutes, until liquid is mostly absorbed.

2. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the chopped onion and cook for 5 minutes, until softened, stirring occasionally and adding salt and pepper as it cooks. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder, and stir for 30 seconds.

3. Add the microwaved lentil mixture to the pot along with the rest of the broth and the tomatoes. Simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and re-season as needed.

4. Serve the individual portions with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro. Enjoy!


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13 thoughts on “Curried Red Lentil Soup

  1. kelsey

    I’m always looking for recipes that use lentils. We had some sort of coconut lentil dish with tempeh at work and it was amazing. When I make them at home they get mushy. I think I’m going to have to check out the quick addition of ATK. We have the normal one and it’s great.

    By the way, you look fantastic and so does Alice. You sure are an encouragement to me.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Thanks Kelsey. I hope you and Luke are doing well! I’m excited for your move back to the Midwest . . . =)

  2. Megan

    Interesting that the method for making it quick is the microwave. That’s probably perfect for red lentils cause they’re supposed to get mushy anyway. I’m discovering how to use a microwave now since my Mom insisted we get one to help heat foods after the baby’s born. She was right, it is much easier to reheat foods, when it only involves one bowl and not multiple dishes.

  3. Suzie

    I also have some red lentils, thanks to Veronica 🙂 I cannot get them here. I know I’m so in the country! This dish does look and sound very good and I love quick and easy. It sounds like you are getting a lot of use out of that cookbook too!

  4. Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef

    hmmm, this makes me feel better about the fun pasta shapes i hoard and don’t use (even though i could use them + buy another bag later). i also have a bag of lentils that are going on a year+ in the pantry. will have to try this!

  5. Veronica

    It wasn’t my intention to make this for dinner today, but it happened and it’s delicious! I hardly even remembered the post, but I was typing “curried lentil” into my URL bar b/c I was searching for another recipe I wanted to make (I didn’t realize it’s split peas, not lentils) and this blog post came up from my computer’s memory so I clicked it. So glad I did! I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes so subbed roasted canned tomatoes and it worked out great. Thank you!

  6. Pingback: Curried Red Lentil Soup | Veronica's Cornucopia

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