Creamy Lentil Soup


This is a simple and fast soup that is perfect for when you want something light, but still satisfying. Although it’s super creamy, the soup doesn’t include any cream at all: you get all that texture from the pureed lentils. The tempered spices poured on top add an extra dimension of flavor, but you can skip that step if you like. I like to add a dollop of plain yogurt on top for extra creaminess.

4 teaspoons (20 mL) vegetable oil, divided      

1 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons (30 mL) minced ginger     

1 tablespoon (15 mL) minced garlic        

1 tablespoon (15 mL) curry powder         

15 curry leaves, torn into pieces, divided

2 teaspoons (10 mL) kosher salt (approx.)

2 cups (500 mL) dried masoor, brown or green flat lentils, rinsed (see Note)       

6 cups (1.5 L) water             

1 tablespoon (15 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice      

3 tablespoons (45 mL) plain coconut yogurt or dairy yogurt [MD1] [CR2] (optional)

1 dried red chile pepper, broken into pieces

1 teaspoon (5 mL) yellow mustard seeds

1. Using the Sauté function on High, heat 3 teaspoons (15 mL) oil in the inner pot for about 1 minute, until shimmering. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, curry powder, 10 curry leaves and salt; cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant.

2. Stir in the lentils and water. Secure the lid and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.

3. Once the cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick-release the remaining pressure. Let the soup cool slightly.

4. Working in batches, transfer half of the soup to a blender and blend on high speed until smooth (you can also use an immersion blender to purée the soup.) Return the pureed soup to the pot, stir in the lime juice, and season with additional salt if needed. Swirl in the yogurt (if using).

5. Heat the remaining oil in a small skillet over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the remaining 5 curry leaves, yellow mustard seeds and red chile pieces; cook for about 1 minute, until fragrant and the seeds begin to pop. Pour the tempered mixture over the soup and serve.

Note: If you have precooked lentils on hand, reduce the pressure cooking time to 4 minutes.