After the joyful abundance of the holidays, I like to ease into the new year with nutritious soups and stews. And red lentil is my all-time favourite. Protein-rich, economical, and a whopping source of fibre and iron, it’s no wonder lentils have been a staple in many cultures for thousands of years.

Red lentils have a subtle earthy-sweet undertone and they cook quickly (no soaking required). In this recipe, the lentils are simmered in a tomato base and seasoned with traditional Indian spices, including fresh ginger and garlic, freshly ground cumin and coriander and warm curry spice. It is vegan friendly, but chicken stock can replace the water for extra depth. Served with a dollop of tangy yogurt, or a dairy-free substitute, this hearty soup is comforting and kind to the waistline.

Lentil soup goes especially well with flatbread and I’ve provided a wholewheat version (below) that comes together easily. If you’ve never made bread, flatbread is a great way to ease into baking. It’s inherently rustic so you needn’t worry about shaping it perfectly.

Red Lentil Soup

Makes 7 Cups


■ 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
■ 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
■ 2 tsp finely minced garlic*, about 2 cloves
■ 2 tsp finely minced fresh ginger*, about 1 1/2-inch piece
■ 2 tsp ground cumin, ideally freshly ground
■ 2 tsp ground coriander, ideally freshly ground
■ 1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp curry powder
■ 3/4 tsp kosher salt
■ 1/2 tsp dried chili peppers
■ 2 cups chicken stock or water, plus more if needed (some prefer a lighter, thinner soup)
■ 1 796 ml (28 oz) can whole tomatoes, crushed with the back of a spoon or briefly processed with an emulsion blender
■ 4 cups red split lentils, picked over (to remove any errant stones) and rinsed
■ 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

* ideally minced with a microplane


■ 1 Plain Greek-style yogurt (0% fat or full fat)
■ Chopped cilantro or parsley

Cooking Instructions

Heat the oil in a large pot and add the onions, stirring to coat in oil. Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent and starting to brown, about five minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger, spices, salt and dried chilli peppers and stir for about a minute until the onions are coated and the mixture is fragrant, being mindful not to burn it. Add the stock or water  and the tomatoes, and stir to combine. Add the rinsed lentils, mix well, and bring to a simmer. Cook for about 7-8 minutes or just until the lentils have softened. The lentils will turn mushy if overcooked.

Thin the soup as desired with additional stock or water. Season with the lemon juice. Taste and add additional salt or lemon juice as desired.

Garish with a dollop of yogurt and a sprig of cilantro or parsley if desired.


Makes Ten 5"


■ 2 cups all-purpose flour
■ 2/3 cup whole wheat flour, plus extra for kneading
■ 2 tsp fast-acting yeast
■ 1 tsp salt
■ 1 cup of lukewarm water
■ 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp plain Greek-style yogurt (0% fat or full fat)

Cooking Instructions

In a medium bowl, combine the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, yeast and salt. In a small bowl, combine the water and yogurt and stir with a fork. Pour the water/yogurt mixture into the flour mixture and mix with a fork until it forms a shaggy mass. Add more water by the teaspoon as necessary for the dough to come together.

Turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes until smooth.

Place in a well-oiled bowl until doubled in size.

Divide the dough into 10 portions and form balls.

Using a rolling pin, roll each ball of dough onto a floured surface and shape into a circle about 5-inches in diameter and about ¼-inch thick.

Heat a large, heavy skillet or grill, ideally cast-iron, over medium-high heat. Place the flatbread on the hot dry grill until it bubbles and puffs and chars slightly. Flip the flatbread over with tongs or a fork, and cook for another few minutes until puffed and cooked through.

Alternatively, bake the flatbread on pre-heated pizza stone in a preheated 475 F° oven.

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