Lentil & cardamom soup

Lentil & cardamom soup

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(19 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 2-3

Cheap and cheerful red lentils are jazzed up with coconut milk and plenty of spices in this quick and warming soup recipe

Nutrition and extra info

  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per serving (3)

  • kcal363
  • fat20g
  • saturates12g
  • carbs31g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre6g
  • protein11g
  • salt0.2g


  • 1 large onion, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • thumb-sized piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped



    Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It…

  • 2 tbsp oil, sunflower, rapeseed or groundnut all work well
  • ½ tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • seeds from 10 cardamom pods
  • 1 tsp cumin, seeds or ground



    An aromatic spice native to eastern Mediteranean countries and Upper Egypt. This warm,…

  • 100g red lentils
  • 400ml can light coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • zest and juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • pinch of chilli flakes
  • handful of parsley or coriander, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Put the onion, garlic, carrot and ginger into a saucepan, drizzle over the oil, and cook for a few mins to soften. Add the turmeric, cardamom and cumin. Stir well to combine, and cook gently for a few mins more, until the spices are aromatic.

  2. Add the lentils to the pan. Pour over the coconut milk, fill the can with water and add this too. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 mins until the lentils are soft and swollen but retain a little bite. Using a hand blender, pulse the soup until some is blended completely, leaving some larger vegetable chunks.

  3. Zest the lemon straight into the pan, then squeeze the juice over the soup and stir through with a pinch of salt, chilli and finely chopped herbs. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle over a little more lemon zest, if you like.

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Comments, questions and tips

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5th Oct, 2018
Very easy to make. The original recipe is a little bland. Needed more than just a pinch of salt. So I added a bit of fish sauce while cooking and some sriracha right before serving. The lemon is really good, don't be afraid to use it!
3rd Sep, 2018
Simple and delicious, I had no garlic and carrot so I replaced those two with mushroom and zucchini and it was still delicious!
Minoo's picture
27th Feb, 2016
This is a nice warming soup that is both cheap and filling. It almost tastes like a laksa with the mix of coconut and citrus. I wondered if the amount of cardamom might be a bit much but I trusted the recipe and was glad I did.
3rd Feb, 2016
I'm confused as to why this recipe scores four stars with three comments. One commentator does not score it. Another gives it three stars. The most recent commentator gives the recipe one star. Not keeping me up at night, but just saying....
7th Mar, 2015
I followed this recipe to the letter. It smelled amazing when it was cooking. The spices did not come through in the finished soup, and it tasted overpoweringly of lemon. If I ever made this again (doubtful) I wouldn't add more than the smallest dash of lemon juice. Very disappointing.
15th Feb, 2015
This soup has a rich taste with flavours that build with each spoonful. Be careful with the lemon. I ended up adding a bit of sugar as it was too sour. Cook the carrot and onion for at least 10 minutes on low heat to ensure it blends well. Next time I would add a touch of chilli powder with the spices to bring out the flavours and add some background heat.
10th Feb, 2015
This soup is amazing. It's easy to get right got a delicious mix of flavours. The lemon at the end makes it next level.
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25th Feb, 2017
I tried it with almond milk and tasted delicious. Quite filling and tasty!
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