Red Lentil Soup Recipe with Curry Powder and Spinach
This Red Lentil Soup recipe with Curry Powder and Spinach is simple to make, tastes delicious, and is satisfying and nourishing. Lentil soup is found in many traditional cuisines and cultures. I grew up eating Turkish style lentil soup, and this particular recipe is a mash-up of many recipes that I’ve learned over the years.
Lentils are an easily digestible form of protein for most people, chock full of vitamins and fiber. They are also inexpensive and relatively easy to find. There are a few types of lentils that you will typically see on grocery store shelves. This recipe utilized orange-colored lentils, which are packaged and sold as red lentils. Curry powder refers to a mixture of finely ground spices. Instead of mixing your own at home, there are many quality curry powders available online.
This recipe comes together quickly, and is great for lunches for the week. It also freezes well.
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1½ cups red lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes, about 3 medium tomatoes, or 1 15-oz. Can diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 cups water
- 1-3 cups chopped fresh spinach, baby spinach is fine too
- Freshly ground black pepper, 5-7 grinds
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, cook onion in butter until translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add tomato paste, curry powder, cumin, cayenne, and salt and stir until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add lentils, tomatoes, bay leaves, and water. Partially cover, bring to a boil, lower to a simmer, and cook until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.
Remove bay leaves. Remove soup pot from heat and puree partially with an immersion blender (but don't make it too smooth). Alternatively, puree half the soup in a blender (carefully!) and return to pot.
Return to heat, stir in spinach and salt and pepper to taste, and cook for a minute or so until spinach is wilted into the soup.