Curried Lentil Soup

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on January 18, 2011

I’m glad that you guys are excited about the thumbnail feature! I am such a visual person with recipes and I need to see pictures whenever possible. I finished inserting all the thumbnails and links last night so things are looking quite good on the Recipes page now. I didn’t even die from boredom like I thought I would. Check out the sea of Vegan overnight oat parfaits under the Breakfast section. Mmm.


I have procrastinated talking about this soup for a week now and I’m not sure why. It’s not that I didn’t like this soup- in fact, I love this soup and I have made it 3 times already- but it is just a bit homely looking and may instill fear in those who first see it (my husband).

But regardless, this is damn good comfort food. It even got the seal of approval from Eric, a former non-curry lover.

The good news is, OSG is a safe place for homely looking soups. There will be no judgment, only acceptance with open arms…


And a bell jar and cute bow for good measure.



Curried Lentil Soup

Ultra thick, stick-to-your-bones, and spicy, this protein-packed comfort soup will warm you on even the coldest day. It also makes a great post-workout meal. Be sure to add in the curry slowly and adjust to taste as curry powders vary in flavour and heat.

Adapted from Bon Appetit.

Yield: ~4-5 cups


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion (approx 1 medium onion)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped (optional)
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons curry powder (I used Arvinda’s)
  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste (I think I used 1/2 tsp?)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges



1. Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, optional celery, and carrot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or so.

2. Add finely chopped garlic and stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes longer. Reduce heat if necessary to avoid burning.

3. Add curry powder. I started with 1.5 tablespoons. Now, add the rinsed uncooked lentils and 4 cups water. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper, add in lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

4. When lentils are tender, I poured about half of the soup into my blender and I blended the soup for a minute. I did this to create a very thick texture. After blending, stir the soup back into the skillet/pot and you will have a very thick soup with some chunky pieces left from the soup you did not process.

5. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges.

Makes about 4-5 cups.



The first time I made this soup, I made a mistake and cooked the lentils beforehand. When I added in the 4 cups of water and cooked lentils, it was a huge mess because there was nothing to soak up the water. Please do not repeat my mistake. I still have a huge container of watery soup in my fridge and I’m not sure what to do with it…

The beauty of this soup is that you don’t cook the lentils beforehand, not only saving you a step, but also making sure there is something to soak up the 4 cups of water you will put into the pot!

It all makes perfect sense to me now.

Chop your onion, carrot, 2 garlic cloves, and celery stalk.


Gather 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and your desired curry powder.


I love Arvinda’s Curry Masala.


Sauté everything in a very large skillet or pot for about 10 minutes.


It will look nice and translucent when it is ready.


Stir in the curry powder…


FYI- The rest of the pictures below were taken in my light box at nighttime. (Post is coming on the light box!)


Be sure to add in the curry slowly and adjust to taste as curry powders vary in flavour and heat.


Add in the rinsed lentils and 4 cups of water.


Stir well. You may think you did something wrong at this point, but don’t worry because the lentils will soak up the water as they cook!


Bring to a boil and simmer on low-medium for 30 minutes or so until the lentils are tender.

I poured half of the mixture into my blender and pureed half of the soup. This is optional, but it creates a beautiful thick soup.

Add it back into the skillet and stir…


Initially, I wasn’t happy with the light box pictures, but Eric adjusted the top light last night and it seemed to help. I will be doing a post on the light box soon though. I’m just trying to play around with it a bit more before I give my thoughts on it.


Thick and lovely.



Garnish with some green onions and serve with lemon wedges.


Every time I make it, I curse myself for not doubling the batch. It goes fast!

This weekend, we enjoyed a bowl of this soup for lunch after coming in from shoveling snow. We were sweating by the time we finished our bowls. Smoothies ensued.


Store leftovers in a jar in the fridge. Add a bow if you think it looks a bit sad.


Just make sure to hide it from others… They will act like it looks homely, but secretly, they just want to eat it all.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

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Lauren December 11, 2012 at 8:05 am

I made this soup yesterday and I have to say that I thought it was missing something. I wasn’t sure what, so I added a little extra salt and it literally made it unedible. I had let the lentils cook for about 45 minutes before I blended half but they were still hard/firm once blended.
I figured instead of tossing the whole thing out, i should try to salvage it, I added a can of drained lentils and half a can of coconut milk. Omg. It’s good stuff.
Sorry to have negative feedback regarding the recipe- but I figure since most of the people posting are mostly commenting on the photos I’d give a suggestion for someone who may run into a similar situation I did.


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 11, 2012 at 9:45 am

Thanks for your feedback Lauren. I’m glad you were able to come up with something that pleased your own tastebuds!


Odette December 14, 2012 at 5:00 pm

It’s finally getting cold down here in San Diego so I decided to make the soup today. It came out delicious! I love how thick it is, I tend to enjoy thicker soups more and this one was delicious! I added a bunch of kale in the mix and garnished with a dollop of tahini.. :)

Have a great weekend Angela!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 15, 2012 at 9:11 am

Im so happy you enjoyed it!


Melanie March 25, 2013 at 7:45 pm

Made this soup this week and it was so-o-o good. Thanks!


Abby April 21, 2013 at 7:27 pm

I love this soup! It is now one of the staples (especially during the winter months) in my household. I do make one addition to the original recipe that I wanted to share: when the soup has about 5-10 minutes left to cook, I like to add a chopped up apple, preferably the tangy kind (e.g., gala, pink lady, fuji). Gives it a nice flavor, and adding the apples towards the end gives the soup a nice texture, without the apples being too mushy.


loving this soup October 8, 2013 at 11:12 pm

Was absolutely delicious!! I live where its cold and dark and will definitely make this again to warm the winter…GREAT recipe!!!


Anne November 17, 2013 at 5:38 pm

I made it today and it was delicious. My only change was the addition of a chopped potato and chopped coriander. I especially like the potato.
Last week we tried you spicy red lentil (with tomatoes) soup.
Thank you for all the great recipes – you have become my ‘go to’ site for what to eat.


Ada January 12, 2014 at 9:23 am

I found a bag of green lentils in my kitchen drawer and decided to make something of them – though I’ve never cooked a lentil dish before. I was searching for a good recepie and came across this one. I could find all the ingredients from my kitchen and decided to try it ! Now I have a pot of lentil soup waiting for me on my stove and though I yet haven’t tasted it, I know that the smell is delicious ! :)


Trish February 8, 2014 at 8:31 pm

I luv your blog and food photos! Just getting started myself. Congrats!


Mariah March 11, 2014 at 12:33 pm

This is on the stove right now cooking! Hope it turns out delicious!


ceci October 12, 2014 at 8:49 pm

BRAVO!! Thank you for the recipe, this was dinner tonight. And it was amazing! A crowd pleaser, my guest had theirs with basmati rice.

I doubled the recipe and used red lentils, I used 4 cups of my own vegetable stock with 3 cups of water, 7 cups liquid total; and I was left with quite a bit of liquid. Even the blender thickening trick didn’t seem to help much. I may try again with some coconut milk!




Katie February 23, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Excellent recipe! I doubled the recipe and, after sautéing the vegetables, let it finish in the slow cooker. I also reduced the water/broth to make it thicker and more stew-like and didn’t puree. I love that it has such simple ingredients! Will definitely make again.


Anne Boyd February 13, 2016 at 8:54 pm

Minus 22 degrees celsius today and lunch doesn’t get much better with this soup. Instead of lemon juice I added the zest of a lemon and some fresh coriander with the green onions. The lemon zest was a good call.


Michelle Jaelin @NutritionArtist February 24, 2017 at 5:19 pm

This looks amazing! Cannot wait to try it :)


Michelle Jaelin @NutritionArtist February 24, 2017 at 6:50 pm

I love green lentils, they taste amazing in soup! Thanks for the great recipe – I cannot wait to try it :-)


Angela Liddon February 27, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Hope you enjoy it, Michelle!


Michelle Jaelin @NutritionArtist March 9, 2017 at 8:47 pm

It was DELICIOUS! The next day I added some water and pureed the soup some more to get a smoother consistency. Lentils soaked up much of the moisture!


Francis Rubinstein December 14, 2017 at 7:56 pm

I’ve made this recipe repeatedly over the years. It’s just a great soup and so easy to make. Yes, it is a bit homely in appearance but the taste just keeps you coming back for more. I pretty much follow the recipe as to proportions. I play around with the amount of lemon juice and the amount of curry depending on my (and my wife’s) mood. And yes, it tastes even better the second day, but you have to add a bit of water because the lentils continue to absorb water in the fridge. Thanks for the keeper!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 16, 2017 at 11:50 am

Hey Francis, Thanks for sharing your feedback and tips! I’m so glad you and your wife love this soup. Sometimes the homeliest recipes are the best, right?


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