Indian Spiced Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

Written by Eydie Desser

There are many exquisite recipes from NYC Chef Alfred Portale. This Lentil soup is one of them. The Indian spices make it exotic. I used green Swiss chard from my garden, in place of spinach. Make sure it’s green chard as colored varieties will make the soup less vibrant. I eliminated the oil and salt, which you won’t miss, with this very special soup.


  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 serrano chile peppers, seeded and minced (use one if you don’t like it spicy)
  • 4 tsp. Madras curry powder
  • 4-1/2 cups Garden of Eydie house vegetable stock, or other no salt vegetable stock, or water
  • 3/4 cup French green lentils (I used lentilles du Puy)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups (loosely packed) coarsely chopped green Swiss Chard
  • 1 TB freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 TB chopped cilantro
  • 3 TB thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts only


1- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Turn down the heat to medium, add the onions and stir constantly until softened, about 2 minutes, then cover the pot and turn the heat down too low.  Let the onions steam for about 2 minutes.  Lift lid and stir and cover again, and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until onions are starting to caramelize.  

2- Add the garlic, ginger, half of the minced chile, and the curry powder. Cook, uncovered, for 2 minutes more.

3- Add the stock and lentils, raise the heat to high, and bring the liquid to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover the pot, and cook until the lentils are tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Season to taste with pepper.

4- The soup can be made to this point and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  Just pour soup into large container, let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.  

To Serve:

1- Pour soup into pot, and warm, gently, over medium- low heat.

2- Just before serving, raise the heat to medium high and add the Swiss Chard. Cook, stirring until the Swiss chard has wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice to brighten the flavors.  Taste the soup, and add the remaining minced chiles if you want more heat, more lemon for brightness.

3- Divide the soup among individual warmed bowls.  Sprinkle with Cilantro and scallions.

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