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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Curried Red Lentil Soup

Free Lentil soup Stock Photo

Keep the soup coming!! 
Do you like the flavor of curry? 
I never used to like it, but it's been growing on me, and I'm actually beginning to really enjoy it. It has a strong intense flavor that I now find delicious in lentil soups. This recipe is delicious!

Free Red Lentils in White Ceramic Bowl Stock Photo

This recipe is what I call my "dump" soup. I just dump everything into the Instant Pot and after 11 minutes of cooking, I have a delicious, nutritious, protein rich soup. The flavor of the soup "as is" is already good, but when I add a little curry powder, it takes the flavors up a big notch! 

Free Soup Food photo and picture

I add the curry powder after cooking because my husband HATES the smell and the taste of the curry powder. I wouldn't dare add it to the entire pot of soup while cooking because the aromatic oils in those spices would be released into the entire condo. Our clothing and furniture, curtains and condo would probably smell like curry.

Free Turmeric Curry photo and picture

What exactly is curry powder made of? 
It is a spice frequently used in Indian cooking that is a combination of spices such as ground turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, black pepper, ground dry mustard, cardamom, fenugreek, and cinnamon. 

I've read that the aromatic spices such as the ones I mentioned above  release volatile oils that permeate and linger in the air, furniture, curtains for a long time. 

I would skip the curry altogether, but it does really taste good!

Free Bowl Spoon photo and picture
Wash Immediately
Personally, I find that the "odor" is greatly reduced if you only add the curry powder to each bowl (as opposed to cooking with them) and then make sure that you wash the bowl immediately after dinner. Never leave it overnight to soak. 

Vinegar and Water
I also read that you can put out some bowls of vinegar and water (50/50) in the kitchen to help absorb some of the strong aromatic oil smells given off by the spices.
Ready to Make The Recipe? 
All that being said, if you still want to make curry, you will love this simple easy recipe.  

Author of Blog: Judee Algazi
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 11 minutes ( Plus pre-heat time about 10 minutes) 
Serves: 10 bowls

1 cup of red lentils, washed well and drained
1 jar of chunky salsa
2 cups of sliced carrots 
2 cups of sliced zucchini 
2 teaspoons of ginger paste (or fresh ginger)
4 cups of vegetable broth
4 cups of water
1 teaspoon of salt-free seasoning (such as Trader Joe's 21 Salute) 
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon of curry powder per individual bowl 

Directions for Instant Pot (you can use the stove top too)
Add red lentils, salsa, carrots, zucchini, ginger paste, vegetable broth, water, and salt-free seasoning to the liner of the Instant Pot. Stir well. Set pressure cooker timer to 11 minutes. When done, allow to sit for 5 additional minutes. Then release steam manually according the manufacturer's directions. When all steam is released, carefully remove the lid. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until smooth. Add the lemon juice, taste, and add additional seasoning if needed. Ladle soup into each bowl for serving and add the curry powder to each bowl who wants it and stir well.

Egyptian Red Lentil Soup 

If you don't care for curry, try one of my other red lentil soups such as Red Lentil Vegetable Soup (link to recipe),  Egyptian Red Lentil Soup (link), Red Lentil and Quinoa Soup (link), or Butternut Squash Red Lentil Soup (link).

My Notes: 
1. I make this recipe in the Instant Pot, but you can easily make it on the stove top. Just bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on medium until the red lentils are soft (about 25 minutes?)

2. If you are not a fan of curry, just omit it!!  You will still enjoy the soup.
3. All of my recipes since 2021 are oil-free and naturally vegan. My recipes have always been gluten-free since 2011when I began the publishing the blog.   


  1. Looks warming and so creamy...I love curry flavour.

  2. Lentils this way would be great! Thank you for sharing.

  3. It looks delicious....I love curry in soups!........Abrazotes, Marcela

  4. I've never found that curry smells linger and would cook the spices first before adding the broth. I don't lie the taste of uncooked spices. But that is very personal.
    from Tandy I Lavender and Lime https://tandysinclair.com

  5. Now I am dreaming of soup, this sounds soooo good! Hugs, Valerie

  6. I'm personally not s hugest fan of curry, but it works well with lentils in my opinion. Hence this soup is calling my name - healthy and hearty!

  7. I love lentil soup and have used red lentils. Unfortunately, I am not a curry fan. I find it interesting the information you shared about curry. I might have to try adding it to a bowl of soup versus the cooking pot. Thanks!

  8. Gentle cooking brings out the flavor in some of the spices, as opposed to adding them just before serving. Tastes vary, of course, but I like to find which of the spice elements I like best (such as cardamom, coriander, and red pepper) and add them early in the process. Clearly, you really hate the aromatic nature of these spices!
    best, mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  9. I don't have an instant pot...yet but it sure is good for these soups. Don't you think they taste even better when they are such warm colors! Thanks for sharing the recipes. It's soup kind of weather...even here in Florida!

  10. Red lentils are one fo my favorite lentils. This soup with salsa and spices sounds so mych delicious.

  11. i have to say i actually prefer sri lankan curry powders to indian ones. they are a bit sweeter and gentler.

  12. This looks wonderful, I am a huge curry fan. Thanks!


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