Spicy Yellow Lentil Tomato Soup

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
lentil soup

This vibrant and elegant soup is not only easy to make, but full of lovely and subtle flavors. It makes for a perfect nourishing light lunch or side for dinner. Sometimes there is nothing better than a comforting warm soup, especially during this chilly time when spring just doesn't want to shine. Yes, spring seems to be poking around the corner, and a few robins have been sighted, but it’s still mainly soup weather if you ask this chilled girl.

Serve with lemon cashew rice, chickpea koftas and some Indian flat breads for a special meal.

toor dal soup

Spicy Yellow Lentil SoupSpicy Yellow Lentil Soup
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on April 14, 2013

Simple, fragrant and flavorful yellow lentil soup with vibrant Indian seasonings
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  • 1 cup toor dal or yellow split peas
  • 7 cups water
  • 4 large plum tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 inch piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or Kashmiri chili
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar or jaggery
  • generous handful of dried curry leaves, crumbled
  • handful of fresh parsley or coriander, chopped
Tarka (tempering):
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 to 3 dried whole red chilies, broken into bits
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafetida
  • Wash the lentils well under warm water. Transfer to a large saucepan, pour in 7 cups of water, and let sit for 30 minutes as you assemble the other ingredients.

  • Bring the lentils to a boil with the water, reduce the heat to medium, and cover. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft, stirring occasionally.

  • Add the tomatoes and up to 2 cups more water if you want a thinner soup. Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for another 5 minutes. Purée some of the soup with an immersion blender or transfer some of the soup to a food processor or countertop blender, and then return the puréed portion to the saucepan. Stir in the ginger, chilies, salt, spices, sugar and curry leaves, and continue to simmer for another few minutes.

  • For the tarka, heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the chilies, cumin seeds and mustard seeds to the pan. Stir for 30 seconds or until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Add the asafetida and quickly pour the contents of the pan into the soup. Stir once, cover, and remove the soup from the stove. Let stand for 10 to 15 minutes to blend the flavors.

  • This soup can be made ahead of time and gently reheated before serving. In fact, it even tastes better the next day once the flavors have had a chance to blend and dance together.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

toor dal soup

More delicious dal soups you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Dal Makhani (Black Gram and Kidney Bean Curry)
Mixed Lentil Indian Dal
Mung Tamarind Dal
Tarka Dal With Tomato and Spices
Urad Dal and Tomato Soup (Urad Tamatar Dal)


Clevergirl said...

omg, looks sooooo good. must try it!

Jacqueline Meldrum said...

A great entry as ever Lisa and a perfect one for the blustery day we've had here today. The sun is out now, but it has been pouring with rain and hailstones all day.

The Indian Spices roundup is up, if you want to go and vote for your favourite.