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This soup was absolutely awesome.  My throat has been feeling scratchy from all the dry air lately and all I could think about was something hot – both temperature wise and taste wise!  Hot tea, coffee, and soup – three things I really look for when my throat feels this way!

I found this recipe in one of my many Cooking Light books.  I’ve looked at it several times and always intended to make it but just never got to it until the other evening – and now I will probably use this recipe whenever I make lentil soup again!  The spices in the soup are exactly the type that I like and you can adjust the heat to whatever temperature you prefer.  The fresh tomato and cilantro topping it off is absolutely perfect.  As a matter of fact, I can’t wait to have this for lunch again today!  Grumpy did enjoy this soup – I was a bit worried it might have too much heat for him (heartburn strikes him when he eats late and spicy) but apparently it worked for him too!  His only comment was that he wasn’t going to be well liked at work the next day.  ;o)

Spiced Lentil-Tomato Soup

adapted from Cooking Light, September 2001
I did change this a little bit so if you would like to see the original recipe you can find it at

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili pepper flakes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2-14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cubes vegetable boullion

4 cans water (using the can the tomatoes came in for measurement)
2-1/2 cups dried lentils
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (more is better!)
Chopped fresh tomatoes
Cilantro sprig

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender. Add the turmeric, cumin, chili pepper flakes,  saute for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, water, vegetable boullion and lentils and simmer until lentils are tender.  Stir in fresh cilantro near the end of the cooking process. You may need to add more water as the lentils cook.  Serve garnished with chopped fresh tomatoes and cilantro

In the Cooking Light recipe the have you blend most of the soup to make it smooth.  I just won’t do that with lentil soup – I want my lentils whole!  Hope you will enjoy!ur pureed soup into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with other half of remaining mixture. Stir in reserved 2 cups lentil mixture. Garnish with chopped tomatoes and a cilantro sprig, if desired.

About the Author: Shelby Law Ruttan

Shelby is the author/owner of Grumpy's Honeybunch. Established in 2007, she shares and preserves family recipes as well as recipes for cooking light and keto. She is an experienced, self-taught home cook who loves to share recipes with others. You can see her work on websites such as Veal Made Easy, Parade, Community Table, SoFab Food, Yummly, and FoodGawker.


  1. bellini valli January 7, 2011 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    With light snow falling this is exactly the kind of thing that perks up a day.

  2. Leslie January 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm - Reply

    Mmmm. i love the addition of the red pepper flakes! Yummy soup

  3. Mary Ann January 7, 2011 at 2:13 pm - Reply

    This sounds and looks just fabulous. I love lentil soup, but I like them whole too, no pureeing for me!

  4. Treat and Trick January 7, 2011 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Great combo, looks healthy and delicious! I too like my lentil to be whole and not puree. Beautiful photo too…

  5. Donna-FFW January 7, 2011 at 6:08 pm - Reply

    Im with you, I like my lentils whole as well. This lloks fantastic. I usually use barefoot contessa's. Ill try this one next time. Gotta love cooking light.

  6. Cajun Chef Ryan January 8, 2011 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    And with the tomato and cilantro added this is a really great looking bowl of soup!

    Bon appetit!

  7. marla January 8, 2011 at 10:08 pm - Reply

    I love lentil soup, thanks for sharing this with us 🙂

  8. teresa January 8, 2011 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    what a lovely soup!

  9. SMITH BITES January 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    a good lentil soup is a thing to behold – perfect for the biting cold of winter!

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Shelby Welcome! I'm Shelby, author of Grumpy's Honeybunch. I have been sharing family favorite recipes since 2007. I started the Keto Diet in October 2017 and since then I have been creating Keto ... read more

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