One-Pot Wonders

Curried Chickpea and Red Lentil Soup

March 15, 2017
6 Ratings
Photo by Alexandra Stafford
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

Inspired by this recipe on Cookie & Kate, this lentil soup comes together quickly from mostly pantry items.

I made a few modifications to the original recipe based on what I had on hand:

Cumin: I prefer starting with whole seeds, which I crush in a mortar and pestle, but pre-ground is fine, too.

I love a lentil soup with a vinegary bite, so in place of the lemon juice, I used 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar. You could use red wine, white wine, cider vinegar in its place. The soup does not take vinegary in the end, but there is a welcomed sharpness. You, of course, could stick to lemon, in which case, add it at the very end to taste.

I had cooked chickpeas on hand, so I added them, and I really like the combination of the lentils, which break down completely, and the chickpeas, which hold their shape and add nice texture. I had cooked 1/2 a pound, which yielded about 4 cups. When I made it the second time, I used two cans, drained.

I prefer the soup a little less tomato-y, so I use 2 cups crushed tomatoes, but use a whole can (28 oz) as the original recipe suggests if you wish. I like the Pomi brand crushed tomatoes.

Original recipe calls for adding chard or collard greens at the end, which I am sure would be delicious, but if you don't have them on hand, don't feel the need to run out. Original recipe also calls for puréeing some of the soup at the end, but I kind of like it as it is with all of the various textures — purée if you wish.
Alexandra Stafford

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion diced, 1.25-1.5 cups
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced, 1.25-1.5 cups
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin, see notes above
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • fresh pepper to taste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups cooked chickpeas, or two 15-oz cans, drained
  • 1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar or lemon to taste, see notes above
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or water
  1. In a large pot, place the oil, onions, carrots, garlic, cumin, curry, red pepper flakes, fresh pepper, and pinch of salt. Bring to a sizzle over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally to coat the vegetables in the spices, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the lentils, chickpeas, 1 teaspoon salt, vinegar, crushed tomatoes, 4 cups stock or water plus 2 more cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat so mixture is simmering. Simmer for 30 minutes or longer, until the lentils have broken down, and the mixture has thickened. Taste. Adjust seasoning with more salt (I usually add another teaspoon or more of kosher salt, but adjust as you see fit), pepper, or vinegar/lemon to taste. Serve with bread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Danna Farabee
    Danna Farabee
  • LuCooks
  • Christina
  • Scott Citron
    Scott Citron
  • Christine Connor Williams
    Christine Connor Williams
I write the blog alexandra's kitchen, a place for mostly simple, sometimes fussy, and always seasonal recipes. My cookbook, Bread Toast Crumbs is available everywhere books are sold.

21 Reviews

Danna F. March 22, 2019
Our only difference was one can of chickpeas and regular balsamic. Really flavorful and filling soup.
LuCooks February 27, 2018
We loved our first taste of this soup. It will definitely be going on a regular rotation on my menus. The textures and flavors here make a good marriage. I think the white balsamic vinegar absolutely makes this soup sing!
Christina September 20, 2017
Commenting (I never comment) because I have made this many times and I LOVE it. I love the added tang of the vinegar. And it feels like a healthy, filling lunch. I'm also wondering about calorie counts but I suppose you wouldn't know that? Anyway, I'm a big fan of this soup. :-D
Alexandra S. September 20, 2017
So happy to hear this, Christina! I love the bite of the vinegar, too.
I'm afraid I can't help re calorie count, but I've heard good things about myfitnesspal dot com. Good luck!
Scott C. August 9, 2017
Oops! Yes, that's why I missed curry. It was in the first sentence! Apologies, Alexandra.
Alexandra S. August 9, 2017
No worries! It's hiding!
Scott C. August 9, 2017
Made this last night. BTW, the recipe directions don't say when to add the curry. And speaking of curry, one teaspoon only?! That's not enough to taste in a big pot of soup like this.
Alexandra S. August 9, 2017
Hi Scott, I think you must have just missed it — the curry is in the first sentence. And re adding not enough — add more! This is definitely something that can be tailored to tastes/preferences.
verna May 31, 2017
This is delicious! I have a question about the nutrition facts. Any idea how many carbs, cals, fat, fiber etc per serving? I've been tracking my eating (very successfully losing weight while still eating real food!) and this would be helpful information. Thanks!
CBee March 29, 2017
This soup looks delicious, and I can't wait to try it! This is a rather rookie question, but can this be made in a Dutch oven (I'm a new Dutch oven owner and so am not fully familiar yet with what it is/isn't appropriate for).
Alexandra S. March 29, 2017
Absolutely! Dutch ovens can be used both stovetop and in the oven, so you're good :)
CBee March 29, 2017
I made this tonight in my Dutch oven, and it was delicious! I halved the recipe and am now almost wishing I hadn't so I'd have even more leftovers to look forward to. Thank you for sharing it with us!
Alexandra S. March 29, 2017
So happy to hear this!
Christine C. March 28, 2017
I made this ahead of time today for supper. I decided to have some for my lunch too and I just finished it. I will be really happy to eat this again tonight. It is so delicious.
Alexandra S. March 29, 2017
So happy to hear this :)
Greg L. March 26, 2017
I made this for Sat. dinner I thought it was very good. I made Naan to serve with it. I received five stars from my wife who normally is not a curry fan.
Alexandra S. March 26, 2017
So happy to hear this! Thanks for writing in.
Diane March 23, 2017
Nice recipe. Good flavour, easy to make and had everything on hand. Only used 2 tablespoons of vinegar because I wasn't sure if it would be too tangy for my taste. I will make it again and try using the full amount of vinegar. Thanks for the recipe.
Alexandra S. March 23, 2017
Great to hear, Diane!
Marcellene March 19, 2017
This is fabulous! The only addition I made was diced celery, because I had some. Perfect thing to make Sunday afternoon to take to work all week.
Alexandra S. March 19, 2017
Yay! So happy to hear this. I feel like I have truly lived on this all week. Celery sounds lovely.