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Red Lentil Soup with Toasted Cumin and Coriander

  • Author: Sara Haas


Earthy red lentils cooked with toasted spices and lemongrass-infused broth then finished with a touch of light coconut milk.


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup chopped onion)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced (about 3/4 cup chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 stalk lemongrass, trimmed and smashed*
  • 3/4 cup light coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


  1. Set a pot over medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the celery, onion and carrots and cook vegetables until softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the cumin seed, coriander and cayenne to the pot and cook, stirring frequently to toast the spices, about 1-2 minutes. Add lentils, broth and lemongrass and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until lentils are cooked and tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Stir in the coconut milk and cook 5 minutes more. Add lemon juice, then remove pot from the heat.
  4. Using a stick blender or regular blender, puree the soup to a smooth consistency. (Note: If using a regular blender, stay safe and prevent unwanted burns by blending in batches and allowing soup to cool slightly before pureeing.
  5. Serve warm topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt.


  • To prepare the lemongrass for the soup, first remove the outer leaves from the stalk. Take off a few layers until you get to the more tender inner leaves. Trim off the root end and also cut off the top of the stalk, leaving about 5 inches of lemongrass. Gently smash the stalk using a meat mallet, the back of a large knife or rolling pin to release the oils and then add to the soup pot.
  • Portion is a generous 1/2 cup.


  • Serving Size: 6
  • Calories: 282
  • Sugar: 1
  • Sodium: 71
  • Fat: 13
  • Saturated Fat: 7
  • Unsaturated Fat: 5
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 18
  • Protein: 24
  • Cholesterol: 52

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