Red Lentil Soup with Tomato and Fenugreek

red lentil soupI will be sharing with you today, a red lentil soup recipe. Another simple but scrumptious recipe from my mom in law. It is a very popular Indian comfort food and I know my husband would sometimes choose a steaming freshly cooked red lentil soup over a fancy dinner in any posh restaurant.

I was so hesitant to try it because it actually looked a bit boring and I was not sure if I can tolerate the kick of the chili spice, but I got hooked when I tasted it. The main ingredient of this soup recipe is lentil or “dal”. There are so many kinds of lentils, and to a person not familiar with the Indian or Asian cuisine, this could be over whelming. The type of lentil that I used for this soup is the red lentil which turns golden when cooked. It is the best lentil to use for purees or soups.

This is a spiced red lentil soup with tomato and Fenugreek greens. What is Fenugreek, you ask? It is a plant that has 3 culinary uses. It is commonly used in the Indian sub continent. Its dried leaves are used as herbs, the seeds are used as spice and the fresh leaves as vegetables in lentil soups. You can substitute Fenugreek with spinach, kale or any dark leafy vegetable is available.

Red Lentil Soup with Tomato and Fenugreek
Prep time

Cook time

Total time


Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4

  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • ½ tsp of mustard seeds
  • 1 medium sized onions chopped to small pieces
  • 2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp of cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp of turmeric powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 cup of Fenugreek leafy vegetable (1 bunch)
  • 4 medium sized tomato, sliced into small pieces
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper or ground black pepper
  • 4 cups water
  • salt to taste (1/2 tsp or more, depending on your taste preference)
  • ½ tsp chili powder (optional)

  1. In a pot, boil the lentils with 4 cups of water, put salt.
  2. As soon as it boils, simmer for at least 10 – 15 minutes or until the red lentils are soft.
  3. In a separate pan, heat the oil and cook the mustard and cumin seeds for about 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the oinion, garlic, tomato and the pepper. Cook for another 3 minutes or until the onion is soft and fragrant.
  5. Mix the Fenugreek leaves and cook until the leaves wilts and the tomato is soft and tender. This usally takes another 3 minutes.
  6. Mix the cooked red lentils and simmer for 5 minutes. Add salt according to taste.
  7. Add chili powder if desired.
  8. You can add water according to your desired consistency.
  9. Serve hot in a bowl and enjoy!


There you go, my fave red lentil soup dish. I hope you try this recipe and tell me how yours turned up. In an Indian household, the red lentil soup is considered a side dish, which can be eaten with rice, roti or dosa.

Do you have any lentil recipe you want to share, leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.


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