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Ginger Lentil Soup
1 ½ cups LENTILS
5-6 cups WATER (or ½ water ½ broth)
1 large ONION (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp fresh GINGER (finely chopped)
1 hot PEPPER (finely chopped)
2 Tbsp OLIVE OIL
1 tsp CUMIN SEEDS
½ tsp TUMERIC POWDER
1 tsp CORIANDER POWDER
1 14 oz can DICED TOMATOES (or 2 Lg tomatoes, diced)
SALT and BLACK PEPPER to taste
CILANTRO LEAVES for garnish (coriander leaves)
In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. When oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and allow cooking for about 1 minute. After a minute the seeds will begin to open, at this point add the onion and hot pepper and allow cooking until the onions soften and become translucent. Add ginger, coriander, and turmeric and continue mixing ingredients over medium heat.
Add tomatoes, mix, and cook with ingredients for 2 minutes.
Add lentils (be sure to wash and rinse first). Red or yellow lentils will make this dish look extra yummy. Darker lentils will taste equally as good—the dish just won't win a beauty contest—but use whatever kind you have, ultimately, your stomach won't know the difference.
Add water, or a combination of water/broth. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat, then cover the pot loosely and allow ingredients to simmer for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste. Add more water as needed, but sparingly—you don't want your soup to be too thin. Cover pot loosely and continue cooking another 15-20 minutes.
When the lentils are soft and completely cooked, lightly blend the soup to add a creamy consistency. A hand-held stick blender works great—a few quick pulses and voilà! If a stick blender is not handy (rim shot), simply remove a few cups of the soup to a table top blender, smooth, and return to the pot. This step isn't necessary, but do it; just do it.
If the soup is thinner than you like, continue to simmer briefly—but remember, the lentils, like rice, will continue to absorb water and thicken the soup on their own.
Garnish with cilantro (coriander leaves) and serve with French bread for optimal taste satisfaction.