Recipe: Indian-Spiced Slow Cooker Red Lentil Soup with Spinach and Coconut Milk


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander seed
1 tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cup red lentils (inspiring recipe called for 1 cup, but we agreed that we would prefer more for a thicker soup)
4 cups vegetable stock (We used 2 cans vegetable broth – 14 oz. each – and added a little water to make 4 cups.)
1 can (14 oz.) light coconut milk
4 cups chopped fresh spinach (or a little more wouldn’t hurt)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
Optional:  Greek Yogurt or fresh lime to add at the table


(1) Heat the oil in a medium-sized frying pan.  Add the onion and cook over medium-high heat until it’s starting to brown, about 6-8 minutes.  Add the minced garlic, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, Garam Masala, and ground cinnamon and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Put the spiced onion mixture into the slow cooker.

(2) Pick over the lentils and remove any discolored ones.   Put lentils in a colander and rinse with cold water until the water runs clear.  Add lentils and vegetable stock to the slow cooker and cook on high for about 2 hours or on low for about 4 hours.  (The lentils should be softened and starting to fall apart when you add the other ingredients.)

(3) Turn slow cooker to low and add the chopped spinach and can of coconut milk.  Cook about 30 minutes more, or until lentils and spinach are done to your liking.  Season with a generous amount of salt and fresh ground black pepper (to taste) and serve hot. with Greek Yogurt or sliced lime to add at the table if desired.