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Red Lentil Soup with Tomato and Spinach

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Chef notes

I love lentils because they are a healthy plant based protein. They are also an excellent source of iron, which helps prevent anemia and is an especially important dietary mineral.


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed
  • teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 4 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 15-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 lime, cut into six wedges



Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the coriander, cumin and mustard seed to the pan. Toast until fragrant. Grind the spices and place into a small bowl. Add the turmeric, garam masala and cayenne pepper then stir to combine.


Place the ghee or oil into a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot and place over medium heat. Add the spices and coat with the fat. Once the fat and spices begin to foam, add the onions and garlic. Cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the ginger and season with salt. Add the tomatoes and their juices and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring often until the tomato mixture thickens a bit. Stir in the lentils. Fill the empty tomato can twice with water and add to the pot. Cook on low heat until the lentils are soft and the soup has thickened, about 40 minutes. Add more water if the soup becomes too thick.


Stir in the spinach and taste for seasoning. Ladle into bowls and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.