Spicy dal + carrot soup

Dal Carrot Soup 21

It’s that time of the year again, when every morning you wake up with a slight shiver since the morning air is a little on the cold side. Or when you go to bed, you want to lay under layers of blankets, wrap yourself up in a snuggie. And when it comes dinner time, the first thing that comes to mind is to have soup, soup and more soup.

Last month I spent about a month in the East Coast of United States. What the East Coast residents call the Fall, is what we in Tokyo call the deep Winter. I experienced more -5C ~ -7C days in a month than the whole Winter long in Tokyo! As a remedy to this  chilly weather, I resort to having soup in all sorts of shapes and flavours, ranging from: Soto Madura (Indonesia’s Madura island beef soup) – I made this one, turkey noodle soup (also made this one), chicken noodle soup, minestrone, Chinese sweet corn and chicken soup, sweet and sour soup, Peruvian seafood marinara soup, chili con carne, lobster bisque, chicken dumpling soup and so much more.

Upon returning to Tokyo, Winter is in full gear. I am on a serious mission to declutter my apartment and use up things in my pantry. I came across a few bags of dal (red lentils) and suddenly bells ringing in my head… “Dal and carrot soup to warm cold winter meals!” I have this go-to-recipe from my vegetarian cookbook that I’d like to document here and share with you.

Spicy Dal + Carrot Soup

Spicy dal + carrot soup

Adapted from: Vegetarian by Fiona Biggs

Tools: soup pot, blender

Total cook time: 15 minutes preparation, 45 minutes altogether


  • 120 grams split red lentils
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • 340 grams carrots, sliced
  • 400 grams canned tomatoes (240 grams drained)
  • 1 1/4 cups milk (can be replaced with soy milk or almond milk to make a vegan version)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • Optional: unsweetened yogurt, to serve


  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 fresh red chile pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and rinse lentils in a strainer (or you can get a pre-rinsed version, so you could skip this step)
  2. In a soup pot, heat up the olive oil and sauté the chopped onions and garlic until fragrant
  3. Drain the lentils and add to the onion and garlic mix, add carrots, tomatoes and 4 cups of vegetable stock
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the vegetables and lentils are tender
  5. For the spices, heat the olive oil in a small pan. Add the cumin, ground coriander, chili and turmeric and fry over a low heat for 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Season with salt to taste
  6. Bring the soup into a cooler temperature and add the spices from step 5 and process the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. (I have a rather large blender that could process hot food immediately in one go. However if you don’t have one, make sure to do it in batches)
  7. Return the soup to the saucepan, add the remaining 1 cup of vegetable stock and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes
  8. Add the milk, taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Stir in the chopped cilantro and reheat gently. Serve hot with a drizzle of yogurt

Serves 6


Categories: Featured, Fusion, Legumes, Lunch, Midweek, Recipes, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian, Winter

Author:Tari Martosudirjo Keitt


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