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Lentil Soup with Indian Spices

Lentil Soup with Indian Spices

This soup is a comfort food! Freezes well. If you don't have cheesecloth on hand, just put the spices in as they are and spoon them out before serving. Note that there are 2 small onions total.


  • 1 cup dried brown or green lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 4 cups water or chicken broth- Better Than Bouillon Paste works great, use 1/2 tsp per cup of water
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 pinches fennel seeds
  • 3 pods cardamom seeds cracked
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 medium carrots sliced
  • 2 stalks celery diced
  • 1 cup butternut squash or sweet potato chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Rinse the lentils well.
  2. Combine lentils, bay leaf, the first onion and 4 cups water or broth in a large stock pot.
  3. Tie together the cloves, cinnamon stick, fennel seeds and cardamom seeds in a piece of cheesecloth (or just put them in the soup and fish them out later) and add to stock pot.
  4. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer 45 minutes, uncovered.
  5. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a heavy skillet and combine the second onion, carrots, celery and squash, and cook over medium heat just about 6 to 8 minutes. Add vegetables to cooked lentils and stir to distribute evenly.
  6. Cook another 20 minutes, until veggies are tender.
  7. Season to taste with lemon juice, salt and pepper.

Recipe Notes

Source: Concord Monitor November 2005, Theresa Maier's Simple Suppers Column