Because most red lentil soups rely on the use of a ton of spices, I challenged myself to make one that doesn't require any at all while still being super flavorful.
Challenge complete with this sweet, sour, and a bit spicy lentil soup! It requires just 10 ingredients, one pot, and less than one hour to prepare!
For the aromatics, we have onion, garlic, and ginger, as well as chili to bring some heat. You sautée everything in a large pot for a few minutes or until the onions start to caramelize.
Next, we add chopped tomatoes and cook until soft. Add the red lentils, water, soy sauce for saltiness and maple syrup for sweetness.
The sourness comes mainly from tamarind juice that also adds sweetness to the soup. To make tamarind juice, let soak about two tablespoons of tamarind paste (the one I use has seeds in it as well) in warm water for a few minutes before straining. Then add the juice to the soup and stir to combine.
A squeeze of lime juice for some freshness and our lentil soup is ready!
I like to serve this soup topped with a drizzle of vegan coconut yogurt and some chopped cilantro. This sweet and sour soup is perfect for winter days when you are looking for a comforting, nutritious, and flavorful meal!
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
1-Pot Sweet & Sour Red Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1- inch ginger peeled and minced
- 2 tomatoes finely diced
- 1 small chili Use two if you like it spicy, finely sliced
- 1 cup red lentils
- 2 and ½ cup water
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon tamarind paste
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoon lime juice
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and sautée for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are golden brown.
- Add the diced tomatoes and cook for another 5-8 minutes, or until tomatoes are soft and saucy. Add the sliced chili and stir to combine.
- Next, add the red lentils, water, soy sauce, and maple syrup. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 25-30 minutes. The lentils must be tender.
- In the meantime, prepare the tamarind juice. In a small bowl, stir together the tamarind paste with the warm water. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before straining to keep only the juice.
- Once the lentils are cooked, stir in the tamarind juice and lime juice.
- Serve with a dollop of vegan yogurt or coconut milk, and chopped cilantro! This lentil soup will keep for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.