Red Lentil Soup With Turmeric, Masala Yogurt, Toasted Seeds, and Cilantro

March 30, 2020 Updated: March 30, 2020

This soup was inspired by a soup I ate and loved at the Little Fox in Ennistymon in County Clare, Ireland. I’m not sure how they made it, but here is my interpretation, which I love. It’s made in minutes, really sustaining, and super-delicious.

Serves 6

  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • 8 ounces onions, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh turmeric
  • 1 1/4 cups red lentils
  • 5 cups homemade vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 teaspoon each of black and white sesame seeds 
  • A squeeze of organic lemon juice, to taste
  • Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper 
  • Cilantro leaves, to garnish

For the masala yogurt:

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt

Heat 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil or butter in an 8 1/2-inch/3 1/2-quart heavy-based saucepan. Stir in the onions, then cover and sweat over gentle heat for 5–10 minutes until soft but not colored. 

Add the turmeric and cook for a minute or two before stirring in the lentils. Season generously with salt and pepper. Pour in the stock, bring back to a boil, and simmer for 6–8 minutes until the lentils are soft. 

Meanwhile, mix the pumpkin, sunflower, and sesame seeds in a small bowl with the remaining 4 tablespoons of oil or butter.

To make the masala yogurt, combine the cumin and coriander seeds in a mortar and grind to a fine powder. Stir into the plain yogurt in a bowl and season with salt, to taste.

Blend the soup to a coarse puree in a blender or food processor. Taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice and some more salt and pepper, if needed. 

Ladle the soup into wide soup bowls, drizzle some masala yogurt over the top, and sprinkle with the seeds. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and serve as soon as possible.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “One Pot Feeds All” by Darina Allen. Published by Kyle Books.