Curried Yellow Lentil Soup
and mixed greens salad with turmeric dressing
Quick-cooking store-bought cauliflower rice makes it easy to add vegetables to this Indian-inspired soup, but cauliflower florets will work just fine as well. This meal was last featured in 2021.
Smarts: This soup features a tadka, which refers to a mix of dried spices that are briefly cooked in fat to help them bloom / release flavor. You can leave all of the tadka in the pan and cook the soup in it for simplicity, or remove half to drizzle over the finished soup, which creates an extra layer of flavor and color.
- Onions, medium - 1 , diced
- Ginger, fresh - 2 tsp , diced
- Garlic - 3 cloves , chopped
- Cauliflower rice - 12 oz (look for this in the produce or freezer section; sub finely chopped cauliflower florets)
- Tomatoes, diced and preferably fire roasted (15 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Lentils, yellow - 1 cup (also called moong / mung dal; sub red lentils)
- Coconut milk, regular (15 oz / 397 g) - 1 can
- Stock, any type - 2 1/2 cups
- Lemon juice - 2 tsp
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - for serving
- Garam masala - 1 tsp
- Curry powder, mild - 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Ghee - 2 Tbsp (sub butter or coconut oil)
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - 3 Tbsp
- Oil, cooking - 2 Tbsp
- Vinegar, red or white wine - 1 Tbsp
- Water - 1/2 tsp
- Honey - 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric, ground - 1/8 tsp
- Cucumbers - 6 oz , chopped
- Mixed greens - 5 oz
- Cashews - 1/4 cup
Onions / Ginger / Garlic - Prep as directed. Store onions in one container. Combine ginger and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make spice blend - Combine garam masala, curry powder, turmeric (portion for spices), cumin, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
Make turmeric dressing - Whisk together yogurt, oil, vinegar, water, honey, and turmeric (portion for dressing) until smooth. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
Cucumbers - Chop cucumbers.
Heat a saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add ghee and heat until melted. When ghee is melted, add spice blend and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, ~3 minutes. Use a spoon to remove about half of the ghee-spice mixture from the pan (set it aside to drizzle over top of the soup).
To remaining spices in the pan, add onions. Saute until onions are soft, ~5 minutes.
Add ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
Stir in cauliflower rice, tomatoes (including liquid), lentils, coconut milk, and stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer. Cover with lid. Simmer lentils until tender, ~10 minutes (this will vary depending on the type of lentils you’re using, so check the package for the recommended cook time).
When soup is done, stir in lemon juice. Taste and season with some salt and pepper. (Optional: If you would like a smoother soup, use an immersion blender or standing blender to blend all or part of the soup.)
Just before serving, give dressing a good stir. If it has thickened or separated, you can add a splash of water as you whisk.
Toss together cucumbers, mixed greens, and cashews. Drizzle dressing over top and season with some black pepper.
Serve soup with remaining spices and yogurt on top. Enjoy salad on the side.