Weight Watchers Recipe of the Day: Spicy Red Lentil Soup with Lemon
I first tasted red lentil soup in London's Books for Cooks, a tiny book shop with an even tinier test kitchen sandwiched between the bookshelves at the back of the store, where customers can sample splendid soups, mouthwatering home-baked cakes and other delectable dishes made from recipes in the thousands of cookbooks on their shelves.
I was immediately smitten but had never attempted to recreate the soup at home, until last week when a vegan version with kale I enjoyed at Wild Flower Bread Company reawakened the desire.
After checking out several recipes both on line and in several cookbooks, I came up with this delightful concoction.
Unlike the green or brown varieties, red lentils are already hulled and split so they cook much faster.
But their delicate salmon pink color fades to a golden yellow hue as they cook. So to give my soup more color, I added a bit of tomato paste.
When done, I gave the soup a blitz with my hand-held blender right in the pot, taking the texture somewhere between chunky and smooth.
Then topped it with a dollop of yogurt.
A drizzle of olive oil or pomegranate syrup or smattering of crispy onions as suggested in one recipe would be nice as well.
Lighter and brighter than more traditional lentil soups I've made, this is a recipe I plan to return to often.
How Many Calories and WW Points in this Soup?
According to my calculations, each generous 1-½ cup serving has 268 calories and:
5 *SmartPoints (Green plan)
1 *SmartPoints (Blue plan)
1 *SmartPoints (Purple plan)
6 *PointsPlus (Old plan)
This soup works well with WW Simply Filling Technique too, provided you count the oil.
Toasted crusty bread is my favorite soup accompaniment. Crackers or muffins or a simple sandwich or quesadilla would also work well. Enjoy!
Herbs & Spices - vary the herbs and spices to suit your tastes: garam masala , curry powder, Italian herbs, turmeric, or any other seasoning blend that suits your fancy.
Possible Additions - chopped kale, spinach or chard, chopped potatoes, sweet potatoes or squash, barley, rice, cooked sausage or chorizo.
Possible Toppings - chopped parsley or cilantro, a dollop of plain yogurt, drizzle of pomegranate syrup for tang or olive oil for richness.
If you like this recipe for spicy red lentil soup, be sure to check out some of my other easy, healthy Weight Watchers friendly soup recipes including 4-Ingredient Black Bean & Corn Soup, WW Vegetable Soup, Vegetarian Slow Cooker Minestrone, WW Healthy Crock Pot Back on Track Soup and Vegetarian Moroccan Stew
If you've made this Red Lentil Soup, please give the recipe a star rating below and leave a comment letting me know how you liked it. And stay in touch on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for the latest updates.
Spicy Red Lentil Soup with Lemon Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minces
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1-½ teaspoons ground cumin
- Pinch of cayenne or crushed red chile flakes, or more to taste
- 6 cups vegetables broth
- 1-½ cups red lentils
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Juice of ½ lemon, or more to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. When it's hot, add onion and cook until it is softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic, carrots, tomato paste, cumin, cayenne and a large pinch of salt and cook, stirring well to combine, for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the broth, lentils, oregano and bay leaf and stir well. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer, stirring every once in a while, for 30 to 40 minutes, until the lentils have melted into a thickish puree.
- If desired, use an immersion or regular blender or a food processor to purée half the soup then add it back into the pot.
- Thin with more water or broth if necessary and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Just before serving, stir in the lemon juice and chopped cilantro.
- Herbs & Spices - vary the herbs and spices to suit your tastes: garam masala, curry powder, Italian herbs, turmeric, or any other seasoning blend that suits your fancy.
- Possible Additions - chopped kale, spinach or chard, chopped potatoes, sweet potatoes or squash, barley, rice, cooked sausage or chorizo.
- Possible Toppings - chopped parsley or cilantro, a dollop of plain yogurt, drizzle of pomegranate syrup for tang or olive oil for richness.
Sources: New York Times, Books for Cooks Volume 10 and Favorites from Books 1, 2 & 3
*Points® calculated by WW. *PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® calculated by Simple Nourished Living; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc. All recipe ingredients except optional items included in determining nutritional estimates. SmartPoints® values calculated WITHOUT each plan's ZeroPoint Foods (Green plan, Blue plan, Purple plan) using the WW Recipe Builder.
Watch how to make your own version of spicy vegetarian red lentil soup at home:
If you like this spicy red lentil soup, you might also like:
- Lemony Lentil Quinoa Salad
- Tabouleh Soup with Lentils and Bulgur
- Weight Watchers Lentil and Swiss Chard Soup
- Slow Cooker Lentil Stew with Sausage
- Slim Down with Soup - Favorite Skinny Soup Recipes for the Slow Cooker and Stovetop
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