This hearty and protein-packed dahl soup with lemon, turmeric and ginger is totally delicious and very easy to make. Perfect comfort food!
🍴Why you will love this recipe
There's nothing more healing and comforting than a steaming bowl of lentil dahl soup, with a base of two 'superfoods' - ginger and turmeric, and a squeeze of lemon. Good for the body as well as the soul.
Dried red lentils are a great source of fibre and protein, and all sort of other nutrients - see this article on the health benefits of lentils. And when something so nutritious is as delicious as this lemony dahl soup, there are really no excuses!
The soup is so easy to make, and can be as smooth or as chunky as you like. It freezes very well, so you can make up a big batch at once and put individual portions in the freezer for a busy day.
📝 What you need
Red lentils Dried red lentils make wonderful soup (and dahl!) as they break down fairly quickly to give a thick and luscious texture. You could also use half-and-half red lentils with yellow split peas. Totally delicious, but the split-peas take a bit longer to cook, so prepare to add another 20 minutes or so to your cooking time.
Fresh root ginger Regular readers will know that I often use ready-chopped ginger from a jar, or a tube of ginger purée to save time, but here I think it really makes a difference if you use fresh root ginger - it is one of the stars of the show in this healing soup, and needs to be zingy and at its best rather than just a background flavour.
Ground turmeric I've specified ground turmeric here as the fresh stuff is harder to get hold of. Ground turmeric will give you all the deep flavour and beautiful yellow colour you need for this soup, but if you can find fresh turmeric go for it! It will really take this soup to the next level.
👩🏽🍳 How to make your lentil dahl soup
For a full, printable recipe with ingredients and detailed instructions, scroll to the bottom of this page 👇🏼.
Peel and finely chop the onion and carrot. Fry gently in a large saucepan.
Peel and finely chop the ginger. Add to the pan with the crushed garlic clove. Peel and chop the potato and add to the pan.
Stir through the turmeric, then rinse the dried red lentils and add to the pan. Add the vegetable stock and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir through the spinach and lemon juice, season and serve.
🔪 Top Tips & FAQs
The consistency of this dahl soup is up to you - blitz it to a smooth purée if you prefer, or just mash the larger chunks with a potato masher, or leave it fully chunky as it comes!
For a spicy dahl soup add half a teaspoon of crushed chilli flakes along with the turmeric, or add a finely chopped fresh chilli at the same time as the potato.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! Your soup will freeze brilliantly, so why not make up a double or even triple batch whilst you're at it, if there's room in your freezer?
I love leaving the spinach or kale leaves whole if I'm serving this soup fresh, but if freezing I tend to either chop them up small or blitz the soup to a smooth purée as the leaves can go a bit slimy after freezing and defrosting. Or you could leave them out entirely and add some to your defrosted soup just before serving.
This soup gets better and better after a day in the fridge as the flavours develop. It will keep for 3-4 days in an airtight container.
As I mentioned above, the 'falling apart' texture of dried red lentils is wonderful in thick, creamy stews and this Slow-Cooker Butternut Dahl is a favourite - the butternut squash also breaks down into a velvety soft sauce so this really is a hug in a bowl for not much work.
Or my kids love this easy Red Lentil Cottage Pie from Jamie Oliver's site - just use vegan cheese instead of parmesan.
Dahl Soup (Lentil Soup with lemon and turmeric)
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 onion
- 2-3 cm fresh root ginger
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 carrots
- 2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 potato
- 150 g dried red lentils
- 1 litre vegetable stock (check it is vegan)
- handful spinach or curly kale
- 125 ml dairy-free milk
- 1 lemon
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish. Peel and finely chop the onion and carrot, and fry gently for 2-3 until starting to soften.
- Peel the ginger (a teaspoon is surprisingly handy for this job, give it a try!), then finely chop and add to the pan.
- Peel and crush the garlic clove and add to the pan along with the turmeric. Peel and finely chop the potato and add to the pan.
- Rinse the red lentils in a sieve, then add to the pan followed by the stock.
- Bring the soup to the boil and cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft.
- Add the spinach/kale (removing any large stalks), and cook for a further minute.
- Stir through the dairy-free milk and the juice of the lemon. Taste and season well with salt and black pepper as required, then serve.
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