the taste space

Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lime

Posted in Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian), Soups by Janet M on May 30, 2012

For the seasoned bloggers and blog-readers out there, when reading recipes, how often to you think to yourself: Oh yeah, I’ve made something similar to that before… move on…

I rarely repeat recipes, and sometimes even shy away from ones that look similar to ones I’ve made before. It is all about variety! The more, the merrier!

While I have made some really delicious red lentil soups, mostly with lemon (lemon+cumin+cilantro=fantastic), I was still intrigued by Deborah Madison’s Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lime from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Both soups have similarities: red lentils, cumin, cilantro, onion and citrus.

The differences: tomato paste vs yellow mustard. Spinach, too. (The original recipe also called for yogurt and rice, both of which I omitted)

This soup just goes to show you how a simple change in seasoning can drastically alter a dish. Both equally delicious, yet completely different.

In this soup, you have a savoury red lentil soup flavoured primarily by mustard, oh yes mustard, with a hint cumin, sweetened by the spinach, then livened by the cilantro and fresh lime juice. They work so well together. And yes, this time my yellow mustard seeds did not disappoint! I am positively smitten by mustard. What are your favourite recipes with mustard?


This is my submission to Deb for this week’s Souper Sundays, to this week’s Weekend Wellness, to this month‘s Simple and in Season and to Cookbooks Sundays.

Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lime
Adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

1 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
1.5 tsp turmeric
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1/2 bunch chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 limes (or to taste)
1 bunch spinach leaves, roughly chopped (~300g)

1. Combine the lentils in a soup pot with 5 cups water along with the tumeric and 1.5 tsp of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until the lentils are soft and falling apart, about 20-30 minutes. If you want (I didn’t), puree for a smooth and nicer-looking soup.

2. While the soup is cooking, prepare the onion flavoring: In a medium non-stick skillet over low heat, cook the onion in the oil with the cumin and mustard, stirring occasionally. When soft, about the time the lentils are cooked or after 15 minutes, add the cilantro and cook for a minute more. Add the onion mixture to the soup, then add the juice of a lime. Taste, then add more if needed to bring up the flavors. The soup should be a tad sour. Add spinach to soup, stir to combine and allow to sit for 5 minutes until wilted.

Serves 4.

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17 Responses

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  1. Emma said, on May 30, 2012 at 7:31 AM

    I am definitely guilty of ignoring recipes I think I’ve already made variations of simply because there are so many amazing sounding dishes out there and not enough mealtimes to enjoy them all! That said, I love red lentils and this soup does sound good with the lime and mustard accents. I’ve actually just finished a bowl of Heidi’s coconut curry red lentil soup which is fabulous http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/coconut-red-lentil-soup-recipe.html

  2. sprint2thetable said, on May 30, 2012 at 7:36 AM

    I know what you mean about rarely repeating recipes. There are so many new things to try!

    This soup sounds delicious. I love the combo of lime and cilantro. I may even add some jalapeno or serrano to the onion mix to heat things up.

  3. shuhan said, on May 30, 2012 at 8:26 AM

    I know what you mean. Sometimes we do need to go back to the old friends, the comforting favourites instead of gettign seduced by all these new ideas and recipes. I’m going to go make me some lentil soup now.

  4. Kalyn said, on May 30, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    I notice I repeat ingredients endlessly but I try not to repeat recipes that are too similar. I am a serial repeater with lentils for sure though! And this sounds like it could become a new favorite.

  5. easynaturalfood said, on May 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    The spice combo in this soup sounds amazing! It’s given me an idea on how to perk up one of my soups that’s a little flat. By the way – this soup and last week’s soup didn’t get linked up to Sunday Night Soup Night correctly. I’m seeing your ping back, but its going to my Sunday Night Soup Night menu page instead of the weekly carnival post (which is closed now for this week anyway). But also Sunday Night Soup Night is stopping over the summer (last Sunday was the last one until Fall), and I’m doing a summer salad carnival instead! It will also be on Sunday Nights, starting this Sunday! Hope to see you there :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on May 31, 2012 at 7:01 AM

      Yeah I keep missing the linky since it is up for only a few days and right now my internet access is patchy. Thanks for the heads up about the salad linky… sounds like a fun although soup is great year-round!

  6. Eileen said, on May 30, 2012 at 2:01 PM

    I’ve been making this exact soup (minus the cilantro, since we hav a cilantro-hater in the house) for ages, but I never realized it was Deborah Madison! I actually found it off The Hungry Tiger YEARS ago, in the initial onslaught of foodblogs. So good!

  7. Joanne said, on May 30, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    I knew I’d seen this recipe somewhere! I’m always stumbling across it in Madison’s book but haven’t made it yet. Shame on me!

  8. JohannaGGG said, on May 30, 2012 at 11:01 PM

    I love mustard – what recipe isn’t great without it – I love it with smoked paprika – wonder if that would go well in here – but most of all I need recipes to use limes because ours are falling off the tree and need to be used

    • janet @ the taste space said, on May 31, 2012 at 7:06 AM

      I am so jealous of your lime tree, Johanna! I have made a few lime recipes lately since they were 10/$1 at the grocer.. let me know if you are interested in a great coconut-lime raw cheesecake/pie! It may take a while to get posted on my blog. ;)

  9. Couscous & Consciousness said, on June 2, 2012 at 4:56 AM

    Yum – totally love the idea of red lentils with mustard and lime – I can’t wait to try this.

    Thanks so much for sharing this at Cookbook Sundays.

    Sue xo

  10. Kahakai Kitchen said, on June 3, 2012 at 10:03 PM

    I like the idea of the mustard in here but I LOVE the added lime. ;-) Thanks for sharing it with Souper Sundays.

  11. laura@howtocookgoodfood said, on June 9, 2012 at 5:00 PM

    I think this twist on a red lentil soup is one I will be trying out. What could be better than adding lime and spinach, so perfect and always good to vary the classics.
    Thanks so much for entering into Simple and in Season with this delicious soup!
    Laura@howtocookgoodfood
    xx

  12. [...] to enter was The Taste Space with a Red Lentil Soup with Spinach & Lime. A twist on the classic but one that I think sounds very good. Janet uses delicious flavours that [...]

  13. [...] a small change in herbs or ingredients can change a meal, and a new technique can have great results. But sometimes, it [...]

  14. At the moment… | Feathered Aspen said, on January 27, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    […] Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Lime.  My recipe is from the Deborah Madison cookbook, but here‘s a similar one.  It’s damn good.  On the docket for tomorrow is a potato, tomato, […]


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