Curried Red Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Quinoa

by zesty on May 6, 2009 · 69 comments

I am excited to present you a new blogger to Zestycook.   Kevin from Closetcooking was very accepting when I asked him to do a guest post on zesty.  I have been reading Kevin’s blog for a while now and mostly drooling over stunning photography and loving his recipes.  I gave Kevin full reign over what to post and as you can see below – it looks like he came up with another winner.

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Quinoa

Recently I have been enjoying exploring lentils though up until now I have only been using the green du puy lentils.  There are many different types of lentils and I wanted to branch out and try a new one.  When I was out shopping the bright red lentils caught my attention and I picked some of them up.

Despite the fact that we have had a few warm days the weather has gotten cooler again and I was in the mood for a soup. While searching for recipes I came across a few for curried red lentil and chickpea soups that sounded good. Using those two main ingredients as the base for my soup I proceeded to add my favorite soup vegetables; onions, carrots and celery.  Next I added some diced tomatoes to add more body and red to the soup.  I thought that I was pretty much done but then as I was pulling out the lentils I noticed the quinoa in my cupboard and I recalled that it had worked well in several soups that I had made before and I decided to throw some in as well.  I had ended up with a recipe for a nice and healthy sounding soup that also promised to taste great.

Red lentils cook pretty quickly and I only needed to simmer them in the soup for as long as I would have simmered the soup to allow for enough time for the flavours to mingle anyways.  The curried red lentil soup with chickpeas and quinoa was nice and easy to make and it did not take long.  This soup could easily be made on a week night.  I really enjoyed the combination of the red lentils, chickpeas and quinoa and the textures that they added to the soup.  The soup was nice and thick and hearty and yet somehow light at the same time.  With the curry powder in it the soup was nice and aromatic and it tasted great.  I wanted a bit more heat in the soup so I added some chili sauce though you could easily omit it or reduce it or even increase it depending on your tastes.  I garnish the soup with some fresh chopped cilantro and a dollop of thick and creamy strained (or Greek style) yogurt.

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Chickpeas and Quinoa

(makes 4-6 servings)
Printable Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup carrot (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (or 1 tablespoon garam masala + 1 teaspoon turmeric)
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3 cups chicken stock (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon chili sauce (such as sambal oelek, or to taste)
  • 1 (19 ounce) can chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup quinoa (cooked)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • * cilantro (chopped)
  • * Greek style yogurt (or strained yogurt or sour cream)


  1. Heat the oil in a pan.
  2. Add the onions, carrots and celery and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add the lentils, stock, tomatoes and chili sauce.
  5. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Add the chickpeas and quinoa and warm them up.
  7. Season with salt and pepper and serve with a garnish of cilantro and a dollop of Greek style yogurt.
  8. ENJOY!

Editors Note:

I hope you enjoyed this post!  The soup looks excellent and I am very thankful that Closetcooking took the time to guest post on zesty.  If you are one of Kevin’s regular readers drop a comment below and let him know what you think of the recipe.  If you are a regular zesty reader, I definitely appreciate your support and love reading your comments.  As you read this, I wonder if I am on the beach in Jamaica? I hope you have a great Wednesday.

Take care


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