Vegan Main Dishes/ Vegan Recipes/ Vegan Soups, Stews, and Chilis

Golden Curried Pea or Red Lentil Soup

Red Lentil Soup

This hearty soup, adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons, features a variation serendipitously discovered by Ricki Heller of Diet, Dessert, and Dogs. Craving pea soup, Ricki pulled out the book, started the soup, and realized she had no yellow split peas. Undaunted, she quickly substituted red lentils and discovered that the soup works just as well with that substitution. Thanks to Ricki for that inspiration, and for the lovely photo here as well.

Serves: 8 or more

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 8 cups water
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 1 pound dried yellow split peas or red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup raw brown rice or barley, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon good-quality curry powder, more or less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until golden.

Add all the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper. Bring to a rapid simmer, then lower the heat. Cover and simmer gently until the peas are mushy, about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

When the peas are done, adjust the consistency with more water as needed, then season with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves and serve. This soup thickens considerably as it stands; thin with additional water as needed and adjust the seasonings.

Nutrition Information:
Per serving:  Calories: 292;  Total fat: 4g;  Protein: 17g;  Fiber: 1g;  Carbs: 48 g; Sodium: 47mg

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  • Reply
    October 7, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I made this yesterday and it is wonderful — The seasonings are perfect.

    Thank you for sharing –
    Barbara – From Maine

  • Reply
    October 9, 2011 at 9:59 pm

    Thanks, Barbara—glad you enjoyed it!

  • Reply
    October 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I loved this soup. Do you have the nutritional content information?

  • Reply
    October 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews (the book from which this recipe comes) has nutritional info. Here it is:

    Per serving:
    Calories: 292 Total fat: 4 g Protein: 17 g
    Carbohydrate: 48 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 47 mg

  • Reply
    November 11, 2013 at 3:52 pm

    What a beautiful soup. I used half split pea and half red lentil and served with the focaccia bread from this site — lovely hot meal on a cold, wet November day.

    • Reply
      November 12, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      Thanks, Sarah — so glad you enjoyed this! What a great idea to serve with focaccia bread.

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