I made up this soup a couple days after taking an Indian Vegetarian Classics cooking class at PCC Cooks. I recently over-stocked (is there such a thing?) my pantry with dried beans, lentils and grains and have an abundance of red lentils. When I saw the two local, organic leeks in the produce drawer needing to be used up, I automatically thought of some type of soup infused with the spices and flavors we discussed and used in the cooking class.
This soup comes together really quickly and is naturally thickened by the red lentils as they break down. The beautiful yellow hue is a gift from the ground turmeric. I’m pointing that out since the first thing my family said was, “Hey, I thought you said red lentil soup?”
- For leek cleaning instructions, head over to my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Leeks
- I am obsessed with this vegetarian broth.
- If you don’t have whole white peppercorns, you can sub black peppercorns but the flavor will probably have more of a bite.
- Red Lentils cook very quickly and are a natural thickener. If you don’t have them, you could use yellow or green lentils or split peas but you will most likely need to adjust the cooking time.
- Full fat coconut milk (adjust Points Plus) or plain coconut creamer would work in place of the soy creamer.
6 Points Plus Per Serving -- Individual Serving Size is 1 and 3/4 Cups -- Makes 6 Servings
10 minPrep Time
35 minCook Time
45 minTotal Time
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 leeks (white and light green), chopped
- 2" piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
- 3 medium cloves garlic, smashed and minced
- 2 teaspoons + 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 stalks celery, 1/4" half moons
- 2 cups red lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 4 white peppercorns
- 3 to 4 ounces organic baby spinach, sliced into ribbons
- 1/4 cup plain soy creamer (See NOTES for alternatives)
- cilantro for garnish
- Clean leeks and remove dark green tops. Finely chop or use food processor to save time.
- Peel ginger and mince. Smash garlic and finely mince.
- Measure spices for spice ball and remaining spices. Rinse lentils and set aside. Slice spinach into thin ribbons.
- Heat a soup pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil and then leeks, garlic, ginger, ground cardamom, turmeric and 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Add celery, lentils, water, broth and spice ball. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove spice ball. Add spinach, remaining 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and stir to wilt spinach.
- Remove from heat and add non-dairy creamer.
- Serve hot garnished with fresh cilantro. Excellent with a side of brown rice or quinoa. Enjoy!