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Red Lentil Soup with Lime

2011 August 25

I hear about all these women whose husbands travel or work late or don’t have husbands [or wives ;-) ] and therefore don’t bother cooking for themselves.

And I think to myself (and sometimes say aloud), “That’s just stupid.  These ladies need to eat, too.  And they deserve to put the time and effort needed for a meal even when they are just cooking for themselves.”

And then I found myself one Friday night.  Alone.  With my husband somewhere on some interstate, settling on a salad for dinner.  Because I “didn’t want to cook for one person.”


So I sat myself down and gave myself a talking-to.  I told myself that I was worth the effort and the dishes.  And then I washed my hands and got to work.

Not that it was work.  It was quite nice not having to rush to get the meal together, be watched over as I chopped onions, garlic.  Be rushed as a photographed.  Be judged as I ate on the floor with the dogs instead of at the table.

But you know what the best part of cooking for only yourself is?  I have an excuse to make this DELICIOUS recipe really soon, again, because it must be shared with the Omnivore.

I adore cinnamon.  I adore the texture of this soup.  I crave the zip the lime juice adds.

Red Lentil Soup with Lime (adapted from a recipe seen on Cate’s World Kitchen)


2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced crosswise
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp finely minced fresh ginger
1 finely chopped garlic clove
1 cups red lentils
1 cups vegetable broth
2 cups hot water
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp butter (OR Smart Balance or other vegan butter substitute)
1 medium onions, cut into thin half-circles
pinch salt


  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions, bay leaves, and cinnamon and cook until the onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add the lentils and stir them so they’re coated with oil. Add water and broth.
  3. Stir well, then bring to a boil.
  4. Turn heat down to low, cover, and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the lime juice while the soup is cooking, adding additional liquid if it gets too thick.
  6. Add about a teaspoon of salt. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the lentils have completely broken down into a smooth, creamy soup.
  7. While the soup is simmering, caramelize the onions.
  8. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet.
  9. Add the onions and cook over low, sirring occasionally for about 20 minutes, until onions are very soft and brown. Season with a little salt.
  10. To serve the soup, ladle it into bowls and top with onions.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 25 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 3


  • Jenn

    This looks awesome!  I agree, cooking for yourself is extremely important – and I would eat this soup even in the current heat wave we are having!

  • janet @ the taste space

    I am loving red lentils as well lately. This looks like a great soup with huge flavour. And the caramelized onions sound perfect.. kind of a mix of dal baht and mujadara in soup form, both of which I made this week! :)

  • Catherine M

    Next time I make this I’m definitely adding some lime. I love these photos!

  • Bridget

    This is on my menu for next week!  I’m happy to see a good review.

  • Kate

    I never understood not cooking for yourself because I was cooking long before I was cooking for the husband.

  • Stephanie

    I love red lentils and always have them on hand!  My husband often works really late & it’s usually just me and the babe for dinner…this looks like something she would really enjoy!

  • Kerstin

    Mmm, lentil soup is always so comforting and your version looks super tasty.  I always make breakfast for dinner when I’m on my own because my hubby doesn’t like it and I adore it :)

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