Spiced Dahl Soup

It's getting cold round here. From Vegetarian Good Food, Christmas 2002. 477 cals, probably without the mini-poppadom garnish. Serves 4, so that's 2 mains and 2 lunches.

Spice Paste

  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 inch piece fresh ginger
  • 2 red chillies
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp hot water


  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 oz red split lentils
  • 6 oz yellow split peas
  • 2.5 pints vegetable stock
  • 1 x 400gm can chopped tomatoes


  • 6 tbsps low-fat creme fraiche
  • 6 tbsps chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 sprigs fresh coriander

Whizz all the paste ingredients in the processor, to a rough paste.

Heat the oil and fry the paste for 5 minutes, stirring so it doesn't catch and burn. And soup ingredients, boil, and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir frequently, adding water if it gets too thick. After 45 minutes, lentils should be tender but still whole (or at least, the split peas should be, I think red lentils would probably be nicely mushy by now). Season to taste.

Mix creme fraiche, coriander and any seasoning (I assume they mean salt and pepper, I wouldn't bother).

Serve soup and add a spoonful of cream, a sprig of coriander, and mini-poppadoms if you like.

Damn, I have to go back and put vegetarian tags on things now.


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One Response to “Spiced Dahl Soup”

  1. Sofa Says:

    Bland. I didn't use bird's eye chillies, just ordinary ones, which might have spiked it up a bit, but all the seasoning could do with increasing. The paste came out of the processor quite watery, and needed more like 10 minutes at quite a fierce heat before it dried out and started to smell cooked. In future, I think I wouldn't bother to puree it, just bung all the bits in – and use whole spices instead. Used chicken stock instead of veggie. Could have cooked substantially longer, it was a thin soup with still fairly solid split peas in it, and I think with another 45 minutes it would have turned into a smooth but thin dahl. Didn't do the coriander / cream thing, just had some fat-free yoghourt with it, and some fresh coriander on top. More than 4 portions for us, closer to 6 or 8. I had one bowl, John had two. We had a naan bread each with it, which added about 370 calories, and some mini poppadoms which we won't discuss. I could happily have eaten just half the bread, though. Will let it sit now, and have it for my dinner Friday (not tomorrow, day after) when John has fish and chips, and see if it improves on a slow re-heating.

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