Red Lentil Soup – and Cooking with Kids

May 1, 2018  •  Beans & Grains, Soup

Here’s how my class with an elementary school garden club started yesterday.

“Are you an Iron Chef?” No.
“Are you on TV?” No.
“What are we cooking today?” Indian food.
“I don’t like Indian food.” How do you know when I haven’t told you what we are making?

An hour later, I was lucky to save just one small bowl of the red lentil soup we made for myself. Almost every one of the 15 kids in the program came back for seconds, thirds, or fourths. Lesson learned: if kids cook, they are more likely to try a new food. This recipe is simple and mild, to ensure we could get it done in class, but you can spice it up with chiles and other seasonings if it’s too bland for you. Serve with chapatis or naan bread.

Red Lentil Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 8-12
  • 3 cups dried red lentils
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium stockpot, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Serve as is, or if desired, puree with a stick blender to desired consistency.


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