Cooking Light’s Nepalese Red Lentil Soup

Since Spring still feels like a lifetime away, I figured I’d warm up with Cooking Light’s Nepalese Red Lentil Soup. Since I had some red lentils stored away in my cupboard for a while, I figured it was about time I’d used them.

When I think of Lentil Soup Ayhan’s Shish-Kebab Restaurant in Plainview immediately comes to mind. They have the best red lentil soup I’ve ever tasted and one of these days I hope to replicate it. But until that day comes, I need to try out a few preliminary recipes, and the Nepalese Red Lentil Soup was up first.

Though this recipe was easy to make and required very few ingredients, I felt that there was something missing. I might have slightly over-cooked the lentils but it was still lacking some flavor that I couldn’t put my finger on. After making the Nepalese Red Lentil Soup, I scoured the internet for other red lentil soup recipes. After reading a few, the red lentil recipe that appeared to me most was the New York Times’s Red Lentil Soup with Lemon. Their recipe calls for olive oil, rather than canola and incorporates tomato paste and carrots which definitely add to the flavor and body of the recipe.

My recommendations is to combine the two recipes, using the Nepalese spices from Cooking Light’s recipe, along with some canned tomatoes to create the PERFECT RED LENTIL SOUP.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp jalapeno, chopped (about 1 small jalapeno)
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2  teaspoon  ground turmeric
  • 1/4  teaspoon garam-masala
  • Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne, more to taste
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 can diced or stewed tomatoes, with juice
  • Juice of 1/2  lemon, more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


  1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in canned tomatoes, tumeric, garam-masala,  salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.
  3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  4. If you prefer a smoother soup, using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot.
  5. Stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.

*This should yield about 4 servings and can easily be doubled. Each serving (about 1 cup) is approximately 200 calories.


The Healthy Baker

My name is Jessica Levine and I LOVE baking. I’m sure if you are reading this right now you are either a friend or family member and can most definitely appreciate the picture of this little boy happily devouring a cherry pie. As much as I like to bake, I like to eat and the messier the better!

As some of you already know, baking is a great passion of mine but HEALTHFUL baking is why I started this blog. Most people deprive themselves of delicious treats every day because they think that it will hurt their precious waistline. My blog is here to show you that baking can be both healthful and fun!

Please stay tuned for the latest batch of healthy recipes!