Ginger and Lentil Soup


Something other than butter.

Something other than sugar.

Something other than bacon and breakfast.

I feel healthy and strong and clear skinned and shiny haired.  And I totally want tater tots .


I know you don’t necessarily come here for healthy stuff like ginger and lentils.

I just can’t possibly eat all the muffins and scones and biscuits I make… and this is the mess I eat in real life.


This lentil soup is simple and straightforward.

I used French lentils.  They come with an accent.  They’re a speckled green and cook up plump and with a touch of crunch.  They don’t turn to mush like brown lentils sometimes do.  Ginger and garlic give this soup all its flavor.  The more ginger, the more of a kick your soup will be.  The amount of garlic added depends entirely on whether or not you have anyone to whisper to or make out with.

I added cumin, cayenne pepper and lemon to the soup because… it’s soup.  Anything goes.


Ginger and Lentil Soup

adapted from Essential New York Time Cookbook

serves 8

Print this Recipe!

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, chopped small

3 to 6 cloves garlic, minced

3 to 4 tablespoons ginger, grated or finely diced

3  cups water

3 to 4 carrots, sliced

1 pound French lentils

6 cups vegetable or chicken broth

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

salt and pepper to taste

grated Gruyere cheese for serving

cooked couscous for serving

Take some time to sift through the lentils.  Do it.  Sometimes you find little rocks and pebbles.  Those are bad for the teeth.  I found a rock in my lentils… check through!  After picking through the lentils, place in a colander and rinse with cool water.  Set aside.

Chop onions, garlic and grate ginger and chop carrots.

Place a large pot over medium heat.  Add oil.  When oil is hot, add onions.  Cook until transparent and slightly browned.  Add garlic, ginger and carrots and and cook, while stirring, for 1 minute.  Add cumin and cayenne pepper and cook for 30 seconds.

Add the water to the hot pot and scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pot as the liquid sizzles.  Add lentils and broth and simmer for about 45 minutes, until lentils have softened.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  Finish with lemon.

Serve with grated cheese and/or couscous.

Soup will last, in an airtight container in the fridge, for about a week.  Soup is also great to keep in the freezer.  It’s a win.

122 thoughts on “Ginger and Lentil Soup

  1. I have to admit, my little heart soared when I saw “3-6 cloves garlic.” I always laugh when a recipe calls for 1 clove, before tripling it. My husband got a little tray of pre-peeled garlic from the Asian store recently and since it’s so easy to use, now he’s over-garlicking everything and it’s delightful!

    Dang, we have no fresh ginger, but I need it for an Indian-spiced quinoa dish anyway. Hmmm, do I venture out into the 40 mph winds, or hold off for a few days? (I keep crossing my fingers that my boss is going to call and tell me not to come in. Not likely, though.)

  2. I notice that the french lentils are very popular in US but you should try the italian variety Castelluccio da Norcia, are known as the best. Maybe it’s because I am italian (from Rome – but my grandfather was french, so I can say it ;)) but the french one are not better than the italian one. Believe me, try it!

  3. Joy! I have missed your posts while travelling. I love lentils! It’s supposed to be summer here (in NZ), but it’s awful so soup wouldn’t be amiss – and this looks gorgeous. I’m going to be re-embracing butter and sugar asap too though…

  4. I really love your blog, I can’t wait to switch on the computer and read your new post…
    I think I’m gonna make this soup tonight <3

  5. Hi Joy, I love love love your blog! In fact, you are partly responsible for the 10 lbs I’ve gained over the last 6 months! But hey, it’s worth it.

    Keep up the good work & soup looks great!

    1. @Amy – I’d be wary of freezing “cream of stuff” type soups, but anything that’s non-dairy, should be absolutely fine in the freezer.

      I have a couple of lentil soups, both with red lentils. This looks really interesting – I’ll definitely try it out!

  6. Wow Joy this sounds amazing! And I love that photo! Gorgeous!
    P.S. Super excited to hear you are going to be speaking at Camp Blogaway! How awesome! I really hope I can make it this year!

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