Lentil and Spinach Dhal. This is soup inspired by my mother.
I must have watched my momma make dhal over a thousand times. It’s an ever-present side dish to every West Indian meal and she has perfected it. While her dal is made with yellow split peas (dal means split in Sanskrit) I used red split lentils instead and threw in fresh, organic chopped spinach.
Other than the lovely bite of the spinach, my favorite thing about this soup is how well it holds up to and translates the heat of the scotch bonnet pepper. But even without it, this soup is delicious and satisfying.
Should I even bother to mention how good it is for you? It’s vegan, gluten-free, packed with protein and takes almost no time to prepare. You really have to make this for dinner tonight!
Lentil and Spinach Soup
1 cup red split lentils
4 cups spinach, chopped into ½ inch pieces
4 cups water
1 onion chopped
5 cloves garlic, cut in half
1 tsp garam masala (or ½ tsp coriander and ½ tsp cumin)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp chili powder
1 scotch bonnet pepper (omit if don’t want the heat)
1tbsp coconut oil
salt and pepper
- Heat oil, add onion and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add spices and cook 3-5 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add lentils and cook 1 minute. Add water and pepper. Simmer on medium-high heat for 20 minutes.
- Mash/whisk soup, making sure to mash the garlic cloves. Be careful not to crush the scotch bonnet pepper unless you want to create an inferno in the soup. You can take it out for this step and return it once finished.
- Simmer for 10 minutes or until lentils are melted. Turn off the heat, add spinach and stir until lightly wilted. Serve. You may discard the pepper or if you’re me, throw it in your soup bowl!