Skip to Content

Yellow Lentil Soup with Vegetables

Yellow Lentil Soup with Vegetables | Magnolia Days

Recently I cooked Indian food for the first time. I knew it would be the first of many dishes. What I didn’t know was how soon it would be before I made the next one. It was shortly after I made Moong Beans when an Indian cookbook arrived in the mail. How great! I looked through Easy Indian Cooking by Suneeta Vaswani and spotted the next recipe for me to try: Yellow Lentil Soup with Vegetables.

Why did I choose this soup? There were a couple of reasons. One is because at the same time I bought the green mung/moong beans I also got yellow lentils. The color was so nice and different than other ones I had seen before. They have been sitting in my pantry waiting to be cooked. The soup calls for yellow lentils and that made it a prime choice. The other reason is there was a recent drop in temperature. Waking up to a chilly morning put me in the mood for soup.

How is the soup? It is done in about an hour and a half and tastes as if it was simmered all day. The spices and flavors come together nicely. Turmeric, cumin, and a touch of cayenne give it a warmth I find in many Indian dishes. The vegetables give even more flavor and texture. The soup is not spicy unless you decide to increase the cayenne or add in peppers. Be sure to watch the pot when cooking the lentils at the beginning. They soak up the water and can easily stick to the bottom. Only cook them until they are done (mushy).

Yellow Lentil Soup with Vegetables | Magnolia Days

About the cookbook: It is the second edition with 30 new recipes not included in the 2004 edition. There are 8 additional photos also. The easy-to-prepare recipes are for beginners and experienced home cooks alike. The recipes are from both northern and southern India plus the author’s personal favorites. There is an introduction with common ingredients, spices and herbs, hints and tips, and basic techniques. There is a wide range of recipes from beverages, snacks, mains, sides, chutneys, desserts, and more.

Do I recommend this cookbook? Yes. It is a great resource for anyone wanting to tackle cooking Indian cuisine. The recipes are well laid out with detailed instructions. The photography is wonderful. Note there is not a photo for each recipe.

Are you ready to cook Indian food? It’s easy to get started with this cookbook. You can purchase it directly from Amazon by clicking on the photo (affiliate link):

Yellow Lentil Soup with Vegetables | Magnolia Days
3.5 from 4 votes

Yellow Lentil Soup with Vegetables

A recipe for Yellow Lentil Soup with Vegetables. Yellow lentils (Toor Dal) are cooked until soft, pureéd, and vegetables are added to make a delicious soup. The soup is served with rice and lemon wedges.
Course Soup
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Author Renee


  • 1 cup yellow lentils toor dal
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup cubed potato
  • 1 cup sliced carrot 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 8 green beans cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 cups steamed rice
  • 1/3 cup cilantro chopped
  • Lemon wedges


  1. Clean and pick through lentils for any small stones and grit. Rinse several times in cold water until water is fairly clear.
  2. Drain and transfer lentils to a large saucepan. Add 3 cups water and soak for 10 minutes. Bring to a boil, uncovered, over medium heat, skimming froth off surface. Cook, partially covered, until dal is soft and mushy, about 30 minutes. Purée in blender or using immersion blender, or whisk vigorously to batter-like consistency.
  3. Return to pan. Stir in another 3 cups water and turmeric. Add tomato, potato, carrot, green beans, cayenne pepper and salt. Cover and return to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds. Sauté until cumin is fragrant and a shade darker, about 30 seconds. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add onion and cook until golden, about 10 minutes.
  5. Pour mixture into dal and simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons rice in each bowl. Top with dal and vegetable mixture. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Recipe Notes

Recipe ©copyright 2004, 2013 Suneeta Vaswani from the Easy Indian Cooking Second Edition cookbook. Used with permission by Robert Rose Inc.

Disclosures: I received a copy of the Easy Indian Cooking Second Edition cookbook at no charge from the publisher, Robert Rose Inc. I was under no obligation to give a positive review. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated or contained within a guest post. This post contains affiliate links.

Recipe Rating

Jeremy Cosens

Saturday 12th of December 2020

Why pour this soup over a bowl of rice? That stops it being soup and it becomes a curry. Can you not omit the rice and serve it as soup in bowls rather than something you have to chew that simulates over sloppy pilau rice?

Katie Moseman

Monday 21st of December 2020

Yes, certainly. You can serve it however you like.


Sunday 19th of May 2013

Ooh how exciting!! This Dal soup is a staple in our house and I can totally taste the deliciousness in yours!!So vibrant and your pic is gorgeous :)


Wednesday 22nd of May 2013

Thank you so much Soni! It's a real compliment coming from you.

Laura Dembowski

Friday 17th of May 2013

Lentil soup is one of my new favorite things! Love the addition of string beans in this one!


Saturday 18th of May 2013

I like the green beans in soups too. Next time I'll add more to this one.

Anita at Hungry Couple

Friday 17th of May 2013

How fun to try and master a new cuisine. I like all the spices that are used in Indian cooking but the heat level is usually way too high for me. I suspect, though, that the restaurants around here are catering to that market and that home Indian cooking would better suit me.


Saturday 18th of May 2013

This soup does not have a high heat level so it may be a good one for you to start with.

Paula @ Vintage Kitchen Notes

Thursday 16th of May 2013

So perfect for the chilly days I´m having here. Lentils are such a staple in my winter kitchen, and I have yet to try yellow ones. Need to remedy that asap!


Saturday 18th of May 2013

I hope you can find the yellow lentils. They taste great and have the most amazing color too.