Lentils are good for you. This I know. Lentils can also be very delicious. This I also know because I’ve enjoyed them in many restaurants on several occasions. However, my one experience in making lentils at home was disastrous–the taste, the texture, it was all just plain bad. So bad, in fact, that I really thought that I might not ever make them again.

Then, last week, I saw this recipe for Curried Lentil Soup in Bon Appetit.

FACT: any recipe with the word “curried” or “curry” stops me in my tracks. Not only does it grab my attention, but it demands that I give the recipe a closer look.

Thank goodness for that, because this soup is fantastic. Well, it might not have been exactly perfect to start, but with just a tiny bit of tweaking I got exactly what I wanted- a delicious, hearty soup that’s perfect for these cold winter nights. I’m so happy I gave lentils another shot!

As it turns out, I’m not the only one who’s been enjoying this particular recipe. When I tweeted that I had a pot of Curried Lentil Soup simmering on my stove this weekend, my friend Erin said she’d just made the same one. She even posted her thoughts on it today too!


Curried Lentil Soup

Makes 4-6 servings. Slightly adapted from Bon Appetit.


3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, chopped, divided
3 Tbsp + 1 tsp curry powder
1 cup French green lentils*
4 1/4 cups water, divided
1 (15.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp butter
2 tsp (+) salt
1 tsp (+) ground black pepper
2 green onions, thinly sliced


Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onion and carrot; 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 3 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 30 minutes.

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

Add chickpea puree and butter to lentil soup. Add 2 teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of pepper, and additional 1 teaspoon of curry powder (if needed).

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

*Wondering where you can find French green lentils? I found mine at Harris Teeter.

25 Responses to “Meatless Monday: Curried Lentil Soup”

  1. 1

    Heather — January 10, 2011 @ 5:33 am

    Looks divine! I’m wondering if I can make this today with brown lentils. There’s no way I’m leaving the house to look for French green lentils with the snow! Perfect soup for a snow day!

    • Beth replied: — January 10th, 2011 @ 6:13 am

      I just did a quick google search to see what the difference is in green vs brown. In addition to having a different flavor & texture, brown takes less time to cook. So if you decide to give it a shot, you might want to reduce your simmer time by about 10 minutes so they don’t get mushy.

      They also have a milder earthy flavor, whereas green has a peppery flavor, but you can certainly bump up your seasonings to taste at the end. Good Luck!

  2. 2

    Leah — January 10, 2011 @ 8:01 am

    You and I have such the same tastes! I am in love with curry and I made a lentil soup not too long ago that was disgusting. I’ve got a bag of lentils in my pantry so I need to try this recipe! Sounds like the chickpeas make a big difference. Thanks for posting!

    • Beth replied: — January 10th, 2011 @ 9:06 am

      Do you have the French Green Lentils or are they the brown kind? The dish I made that was so gross was using brown, but it also wasn’t a soup & didn’t have many seasonings. Yuck. It was so awful that it still makes me grimace just thinking of it!

  3. 3

    Barbara Keith — January 10, 2011 @ 8:24 am

    Richard and I were just reading Bon Appetit last night and talked about making this recipe! A perfect recipe for a snow day!

    • Beth replied: — January 10th, 2011 @ 9:07 am

      How weird that you guys were just looking at it! I’m so glad I made a pot this weekend so I have some left for my lunch today :-)

  4. 4

    Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — January 10, 2011 @ 8:50 am

    Beth, this looks yummy! I have a curried soup coming up this week too, but it’s not lentils. Great idea!

    • Beth replied: — January 10th, 2011 @ 9:07 am

      mmmm, can’t wait to see what you have coming up….

  5. 5

    Carrie — January 10, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

    I have that same recipe starred in Epicurious. I love, love, love lentils and curry.

    Today, I am making chickpeas though: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/lemony-chickpea-stirfry-recipe.html.

    I think I need to go out to dinner with you…
    Happy Monday!

    • Beth replied: — January 10th, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

      Carrie, that is too weird. I just copied the link to that exact chickpea recipe into an email to myself on Friday so I wouldn’t forget to make it in the next couple of weeks!! Let me know how it turns out!

  6. 6

    Judimae — January 10, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    I just found this fabulous looking soup via Twitter (I am a susbcriber of yours). I love lentils and love curry so what better way to try the two than your soup. A definite must try this weekend. Thanks for sharing the recipe with us. I am going to subscribe to your blog via “Google Friend Connect”.

  7. 7

    Tweets that mention Eat. Drink. Smile. » Meatless Monday: Curried Lentil Soup -- Topsy.com — January 10, 2011 @ 2:21 pm

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Lisa Chan-Simms and Judi Mae Phelps. Judi Mae Phelps said: RT @betheats: Mmmmm…digging into my Curried Lentil Soup for lunch! http://bit.ly/hRxV8W […]

  8. 8

    Zarna Surti — January 10, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

    this looks delicious – i am going to make vivek cook this for me. pronto!

  9. 9

    ashleynashville3 — January 11, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    yum, beth! my parents have this tradition of Soup Sundays (cute empty nesters!) and right now they are VERY into curry. I just passed along this recipe bc i knew it would be right up their alley.

    I’ll have to make it for myself, too!

  10. 10

    Carrie — January 11, 2011 @ 10:45 am

    Beth, weird, for sure…but not so weird when I consider that I would eat just about everything you link and like and we have that whole Cha Chah love in common.

    I have made the chickpea stir-fry twice now. I love it, love it. The lemon zest is the clincher for me, but what I appreciate about it is the varying textures and the fact I am getting greens, vegetables and protein.

    I served it with roasted beets and potatoes with dijon vinaigrette over kale. Also from Epicurious.

    We ate very, very well!

    Let me know how you like it.

  11. 11

    kristina — February 10, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    Ooh I had seen this soup on Erin’s blog a little while back and made it too! It’s so good. I have some stowed away in my freezer now. Yummy.

  12. 12

    Stephanie — January 27, 2012 @ 10:35 am

    I just tried this out! It was PERFECT, I am definitely making it again soon! I blogged about it here: http://www.pyreofsovietkitsch.blogspot.com/2012/01/curried-lentil-soup.html


    • Beth replied: — February 8th, 2012 @ 8:45 am

      So glad you enjoyed it Stephanie! (and thanks for the sweet words about my blog!)

  13. 13

    Faith — March 5, 2012 @ 4:24 am

    I made this last night with the bag of lentils I had in my pantry (not French green, just the generic bag from Target). While I can’t compare it to the flavor using green lentils, it was wonderful! I am curious to see what the difference is, but in the meantime, there are NO complaints here. Delicious!!

  14. 14

    Lana — July 16, 2012 @ 8:07 pm

    I’m making this now! My house smells SO wonderful. After a taste test I added just a sprinkle of cayenne pepper (I’m from the South, ya know) and a bay leaf. I can’t wait to try!!! Also trying your cauliflower pizza crust soon! thanks thanks.



  15. 15

    Mindy — March 21, 2013 @ 9:33 pm

    Just pinned and made this soup and it was wonderful! Thew in some leftover soy chorizo I had in the fridge and it gave it a nice heat.

  16. 16

    Jen — March 21, 2014 @ 10:40 am

    What do you do with the rest of the lemon – it says divided but then only uses 1 tbs… Am I missing something? Tia

    • Beth replied: — March 23rd, 2014 @ 6:08 pm

      Hi Jen, I am embarrassed to say I have no idea! I have tweaked this recipe so many times that I can’t remember exactly what I did on this version. I think I added the remaining lemon juice at the end….just stirred it in right before dishing out into bowls. I do recall that when I first made it from the original recipe and tasted it straight from the pot, I wanted it to be more lemon-y. That said, I have now changed the recipe just to say 1 Tbsp, and then serve with lemon wedges since I can’t know for absolute certain what I did! Thanks for catching and sorry!

  17. 17

    BillyRyan — December 29, 2015 @ 9:55 pm

    This is the best lentil soup I have ever made. The hummus makes such a difference, and I it’s good enough to stand on it’s own. Thank you for creating this, it’s incredibly tasty!

    • Beth replied: — December 30th, 2015 @ 6:18 pm

      So glad to hear that! Been a while since I’ve had it, so you’re motivating me to make some this weekend :-)

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