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Lentil. barley, turmeric soup

Ryan’s Delicious Dal Soup

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If you are looking for a hearty, nutrient-dense soup that eats like a meal — Ryan’s Delicious Dal Soup is for you. I meal prep this often and it gets eaten all week long. My partner, Ryan, has been eating it almost daily for years. You might even be reading this post because Ryan sent you. This is NOT a traditional dal, it’s my other dal recipe on steroids. I’ve added more spice, chickpeas, peppers, barley and peas. It’s a cozy, health-forward, flavor-packed experience!

What’s to Love?

One-pot meal prep

Everything gets cooked in one big pot.

Turmeric

Is wicked good for you! It helps with inflammatory issues and lots of other stuff.

Whole Spices

Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds and Fenugreek Seeds, no need to grind, this recipe is best when you sauté the whole spices.

Plants & Veggies

Peas, carrots, peppers, onions, cilantro, kale and/or whatever seems exciting to you. Your body will love the phytonutrients!

Red Lentils

This recipe uses dry red lentils.

Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans

To keep things easy I open and drain a can of chickpeas for this soup.

Barley

A nice hearty addition. Leave out if you are gluten-free. You can put cooked wild rice into the finished soup to get hearty vibes the gluten-free way.

Low-Oil, can be made Oil-Free

Just sub a little water for oil.

Easy Food Prep Shortcut with a Small Food Processor

Bullet Type Food Processor
Slap Chop Type Thing

Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Then remove the seeds from your peppers, rough chop, add to the same un-rinsed food processor and pulse to a dice.

Let’s Make Ryan’s Delicious Dal Soup

Ryan's Delicious Dal Soup Ingredients (Barley, lentils, garlic, oniom, frozen peas & carrots, peppers, turmeric, cayenne, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, salt, ground pepper, kale, cilantro and water)
Ingredients for Ryan’s Delicious Dal Soup

Rinse and drain the lentils and set aside.

Heat Earth Balance in a saucepan over medium to medium high heat.

Once the Earth Balance is hot, add the whole spices in order (mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds). Stir & let them sizzle and get fragrant, but please do not burn them, lower heat if needed.

Then add onion & garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Add diced peppers. Add salt, turmeric and black pepper and give it a quick mix.

Stir in water, cayenne, cilantro stems, lentils, barley and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, partially cover and reduce to a lively simmer for 18 minutes.

Taste to confirm lentils are cooked to preference and for salt level. Cook longer and/or add salt if desired. Stir in kale, frozen peas & carrots. Stir for a few minutes until Kale wilts and softens. Top with cilantro leaves if desired.

Serve as is, with rice, or with bread.

Notes

If you want to save prep time, let a bullet food processor do the chopping: peel your garlic and pulse, then rough chop your onions & peppers add and pulse them to a finer chop or use a slap chop type thing (but try not to think about the dude from the infomercial). Please see above in-post photos and directions for how to chop in a food processor for this recipe.

Use goggles when you chop onions if they make your eyes water.

Goggles to minimize eye-burn from onion prep

Wear food gloves when you prep jalapeño and serrano peppers because jalapeño hand is awful.

Gloved hand with peppers

Gluten-free

For gluten-free omit barley and add cooked wild rice to finished soup.

How Much Heat Spice?

Mild: 0 – 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne and 0 – 1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed) – Using a small amount will enhance flavor without making it hot.

Medium: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and 2 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed)

Hot: 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon cayenne, 2 or more jalapeño peppers(seeds removed) and 2 or more serrano peppers (seeds removed)

Lentil. barley, turmeric soup
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5 from 2 votes

Ryan’s Delicious Dal Soup

If you're seeking a robust, nutrient-packed soup that satisfies like a full meal, look no further. I regularly include this in my meal prep routine, and it remains a staple throughout the week. My partner, Ryan, has savored it almost daily for years – you might even be here because he recommended it. This isn't your typical dal; it's an enhanced dal recipe, amplified with more spice, chickpeas, peppers, barley, and peas. This soup offers a comforting, health-conscious, and flavor-rich experience. Streamline your preparation by using a small bullet food processor.
Course Soup
Cuisine Fusion, India
Keyword Addictive, Easy, lentils, minimal, non-dairy, soy-free, vegan
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 7 approx 2 cup servings
Calories 299kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 TBSP Earth Balance or a low-smoke point neutral oil like avocado oil or non-virgin olive oil; sub water if making oil-free (around 1/4 cup)
  • 1 TBSP whole mustard seeds
  • 2 TBSP whole cumin seeds
  • 1 TBSP whole fenugreek seeds
  • 1 TBSP ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground cayenne less or more to taste, I recommend a 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp if you don't like heat spice, but want a flavorful soup
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper more if desired
  • 1 cup dried red lentils rinsed & drained
  • 3/4 cup Barley Pearled; omit if Gluten-free, add cooked rice, wild rice or other gf grain to finished soup instead
  • 15.5 oz can chickpeas drained
  • ~150 grams or half a yellow onion chopped (I add this to the small food processor with the minced garlic and pulse to a chop)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp kosher salt more to taste if desired
  • 8 & 1/2 cups water
  • 4 – 5 big leaves thin ribbon cut Dino kale (the flat kale) can omit if you are not there yet with kale
  • 6 – 8 cloves garlic minced ( I do this in a small food processor)
  • 8 oz frozen peas and diced carrots add with kale at the end, I used half of a one lb bag
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 poblano pepper (these are earth not spicy) diced

Optional

  • 1 – 2 jalapeño peppers seeded & diced if you want some heat
  • 1 – 2 serrano peppers seeded & diced if you want lots of heat
  • ~1 cup finely chopped cilantro stems cook in soup; add when adding water
  • ~1 cup cilantro leaves roughly chopped; add at the end

Instructions

  • Rinse and drain the lentils and set aside.
  • Heat Earth Balance in a saucepan over medium to medium high heat. Once the Earth Balance is hot, add the whole spices in order (mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds). Stir & let them sizzle and get fragrant, but please do not burn them, lower heat if needed. Then add onion & garlic and sauté for 3-4 minutes or until soft.
  • Add diced peppers.
  • Add salt, turmeric and black pepper and give it a quick mix.
  • Stir in water, cayenne, cilantro stems, lentils, barley and chickpeas. Bring to a boil, partially cover and reduce to a lively simmer for 18 minutes.
  • Taste to confirm lentils are cooked to preference and for salt level. Cook longer and/or add salt if desired.
  • Stir in kale, frozen peas & carrots. Stir for a few minutes until Kale wilts and softens.
  • Top with cilantro leaves if desired.
  • Serve as is, with rice, or with bread.

Notes

Nutrition Information is approximate.
www.planttestkitchen.com 
If you want to save prep time, let a bullet food processor do the chopping: peel your garlic and pulse, then rough chop your onions & peppers add and pulse them to a finer chop or use a slap chop type thing (but try not to think about the dude from the infomercial). Please see above in-post photos and directions for how to chop in a food processor for this recipe.
Use goggles when you chop onions if they make your eyes water.
Wear food gloves when you prep jalapeño & serrano peppers because jalapeño hand is awful.

Gluten-free

For gluten-free omit barley and add cooked wild rice to finished soup.

Low-Oil, can be made Oil-Free

Just sub a little water for oil.

How Much Heat Spice?

Mild: 0 – 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne and 0 – 1 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed) – Using a small amount will enhance flavor without making it hot.
Medium: 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and 2 jalapeño pepper (seeds removed)
Hot: 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon cayenne, 2 or more jalapeño peppers(seeds removed) and 2 or more serrano peppers (seeds removed)

Nutrition

Serving: 16oz | Calories: 299kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 5g | Sodium: 746mg | Potassium: 770mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 7230IU | Vitamin C: 49mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 6mg

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Did You Make Ryan’s Delicious Dal Soup?

How did it go? Any fun twists or variations? Please tell me about it in the comments section below.

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