Red Lentil Soup with Cloves

READY IN: 1hr 10mins
Recipe by Tessa Morales

I found this in a slow food cookbook I borrowed - it originates from one of my favorite chefs - Madhur Jaffrey. I needed some more recipes using red lentils, and this came at a convenient time.

Top Review by Charishma_Ramchanda

My mom is on a strict diet and I am helping her with it. As part of her diet plan, I have included this soup for her. This is a really nice and light soup, with a beautifully light {more like the sun} yellow colour. The best part that I like about this soup is that it is oil-free!!!! I made this for lunch this afternoon using 1 cup of red lentils{masoor dal}. There were a few other ingredients which I added to this soup. These are: 1/2 tsp. of garam masala powder, 2 neem leaves{fresh ones, these help to bring down blood pressure and will help the big swelling on her ankles}, 4 mint leaves{fresh ones} and 6 basil leaves{fresh ones, these also help to control blood pressure}. I used 3 cloves instead of 6 and 1 1/2 tsps. of salt instead of 3-4 tsps. As for black pepper powder, I used 6 pinches of freshly powdered black peppercorns{i.e., 6 pinches of black pepper powder}. Instead of lime juice, I used the juice of 1/2 a lemon. Once the soup was cooked{in the pressure cooker till the first whistle which was all it took to cook this, quick and easy}, I did not puree it in the blender as stated in the recipe. Instead, I served it just the way it was. For the croutons, I used 8 slices of brown bread{cut into cubes} which I put in a pan alongwith a few pinches of sambar masala powder and 1 1/2 tbsps. of fennel seeds. I stir-fried these croutons in 1 1/2 tbsps. of oil until they were a little browned. These croutons went very well with the soup, providing a contrast of flavours. The croutons when dipped into the soup, gave it a new burst of flavour{thanks to my idea of using sambar masala powder}. Also, the croutons went very well on their own. We enjoyed 2 bowls each of this soup with a bowl of fresh cabbage and bell peppers {red, yellow and green} salad. I will be posting the salad recipe separately and mention in the notes that it goes very well along with this. Big Thank you hugs for a wonderful soup {we still have some left, yay!} recipe from mom and me!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Put the lentils, water, turmeric, cloves, ginger and garlic into a large pot and simmer, partially covered, until lentils become soft, 45 minutes to an hour, or use a pressure cooker to reduce the cooking time.
  2. Remove the cloves (in the bouquet garni) and puree the soup with a hand blender, or in a blender.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and lime juice, to taste.
  4. Saute the bread cubes in a bit of olive oil until slightly browned and crisped and drain.
  5. Serve the soup with the bread croutons and lime wedges, on the side.
  6. Enjoy!

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