Lentil & Spinach Soup

 
Dal Paalak
There is something warm & tasty about this dal.  Spinach along with spices, both fresh and dried, give lentils a complex flavor. You can use any lentil but I prefer one of these : French green lentils / Chana dal / Green Moong dal. Here I’ve used the Chana dal. You can make it thick or thin depending on how you want to eat it. Pressed for time? Throw all the ingredients in a slow cooker and you are good to go !
Serves: 4                                                                      Difficulty Level: Medium
Preparation Time: 10 minutes                                  Cooking time : 40 minutes
Ready In : 45 minutes                                                Course: Main / Appetizer
Ingredients
 
1 cup lentils, picked over, washed & well drained
5 cups water
1 tsp Turmeric
2 cups baby spinach , washed
For  Oil Tempering
 
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tbsp cumin seeds
½ cup onion, diced
1 tbsp grated ginger ( fresh)
½ tbsp minced garlic ( fresh)
1 medium tomato, diced

Salt & black pepper according to taste
Directions
 
Put lentils, turmeric, salt and water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil & turn the heat to medium & simmer, covered  for 20 minutes. Now add spinach leaves and simmer again for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add more water during cooking if necessary.
For the tempering:
 
  • Heat oil with cumin seeds in a small pan over medium high heat. Cumin seeds will turn brown( 1- 2 minutes).
  • Add onions & sauté them. When onions turn golden add ginger, garlic & tomatoes. Sauté  all these on a medium flame ( 4-5 minutes).
  • Pour this oil tempering over the cooked lentils in the pan.
  • Add  salt & black pepper to taste & serve hot.

Serving Suggestions
 
Enjoy with wheat tortillas or boiled rice.
You can add some fresh yogurt ( plain ) or sour cream to this soup to make it creamy.
Cooking Suggestions
You may cook the lentils in  a pressure cooker too. Just add 3 cups of water instead of 5 cups & let the steam release 2-3 times. This will save your cooking time but over all it will take same time as the pressure cooker takes some time to cool down before it is safe to open it.
It’s always a good idea to soak the lentils for 2 hours before cooking them, either in saucepan or pressure cooker. If you plan to cook them for lunch, soak them in the morning; if for dinner then soak them in the afternoon.
 
Nutritional Information
 
Lentils are a good source of proteins & spinach in this dal  provides iron.
Did you know?
 
Chana dalis produced by removing the outer layer of kala chana (black chickpeas) and then splitting the kernel.

19 Comments

  1. This looks quite delicious. I will have to make this for the cooler months.

  2. Lentils are one of those ingredients that are sadly underappreciated. They make such a great soup though!

  3. Anything I can make in a slow cooker is good for me, especially with the hustle of Fall! We don’t do enough meat free meals so this is a bonus for me!

  4. I love cooking with lentils. And thank you for clarifying that it’s important to soak them two hours in advance. I often skip this step, and I think that’s why mine were coming out tough.

  5. I would love to try this. We love Lentil and spinach soup, but you add some ingredients I don’t add and I think yours looks better.

  6. I love the smell of lentil soup – just thinking about it is making my mouth water!

  7. Derek @ Dad With A Pan

    Yum! This looks definitely good!

  8. So perfect for a midweek meal with some rice, especially on a dark rainy day like today!

  9. Lentils and spinach are 2 of my hubby’s favorite foods! I’l have to make this for him this winter!

  10. Lentil soup reminds me of my mom, she makes a spicy, delicious one! I haven’t tried yet to make lentil soup myself, but I love that is made in the slow cooker, my favorite kitchen appliance!

  11. Mmmmm, I really love dahl! and one with spinach, all the better. I need to make this soon!

  12. I’m looking for some new spinach soup recipes and yours sound pretty good! I have not used lentils in any spinach soups yet but I will give it a try!

  13. I love a delicious lentil soup. I’m dreaming of cold weather right now because it’s currently above 90 degrees here in San Diego. Fingers crossed it cools down so I can make this soup!

  14. I’ve been thinking about trying lentils in a soup. Glad to have found this recipe. Sounds great!

  15. Ahh…just the recipe for the cold weather outside. Thanks!

  16. Love it any time, this time more than ur recipe, loved the amazing click which left me gazing at the palak leaves for sometime :):),Check my blog for awesome cup cake with cream cheese frosting.<br /><br />Chitchat

  17. An awesome comfort food 🙂

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