There's nothing quite as comforting and nourishing as a steaming bowl of lentil soup. Apart from being warm and cosy, lentil soups also offer versatility in their taste and preparation. Several traditions have embraced the heartiness and culinary creativity that the simple lentil offers.

Lentils come in several varieties of different textures, shapes, and colours; each resembles a unique property that the lentil holds. There are tons of different types of lentils available for each season that provide different nutrition to the body. Beyond being a hearty and filling option, lentil soup has the remarkable ability to elevate winter dining to an experience that engages the senses and creates enduring memories.

Some lentil soups feel like a warm hug from your grandma and others are like a flavour party in your mouth. Through this article, we bring you eight such cosy and nostalgic recipes that might be new to you but still evoke a sweet childhood memory inside you.

1) Classic Brown and Green Lentil Soup:
Made with brown or green lentils, this soup is a comforting blend of sautéed onions, carrots, and celery with lentils in a flavourful broth, simmered until the lentils are tender. To make this, sauté onions, carrots, celery, and garlic in olive oil. Add cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, and bay leaf. Toss in rinsed brown or green lentils, pour in broth, and simmer for 25-30 minutes until lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot. Garnish with parsley if desired, and add a squeeze of lemon for a burst of freshness.

2) Red Lentil and Coconut Soup:
This soup is rich in protein and fibre from red lentils, while the coconut milk adds a creamy texture and healthy fats. The addition of spices can impart a cosy and satisfying experience. In a pot, sauté chopped onions, garlic, and ginger in coconut oil until fragrant. Add red lentils, coconut milk, vegetable broth, and a pinch of curry powder.
Bring to a boil, then simmer until the lentils are tender. Blend the soup until smooth, season with salt and pepper, and finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Garnish with fresh cilantro and red pepper flakes, if desired. Serve this red lentil and coconut soup for a comforting and flavourful experience.

3) Moroccan Lentil Soup:
Moroccan cuisine’s delightful Moroccan lentil soup surely serves as one of the best comfort foods during winter. Made with brown lentils and sautéed onions, garlic, and spices, diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth, infused with Moroccan flavours of cinnamon and cumin, it gives solace and an earthy flavour. To make this, sauté onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil. Add lentils, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and Moroccan spices (cumin, coriander, and cinnamon). Simmer until the lentils are tender. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve this flavourful Moroccan lentil soup warm.

Image Credit: Vecteezy

4) Curried Lentil and Spinach Soup:
Red lentils simmered in a curry-spiced broth with the addition of spinach and coconut milk create a nutritious and flavourful soup. Curried lentil and spinach soup provides a nutritious combination of plant-based protein, fibre, iron, vitamins, and minerals. To make this, sauté onions, garlic, and curry powder in oil. Add rinsed lentils, vegetable broth, and diced tomatoes. Simmer until the lentils are tender. Stir in the fresh spinach and cook until wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Serve this easy and nutritious curried lentil and spinach soup hot.

5) Mexican Lentil Soup:
Popular across Mexico, this lentil soup is a good option for a cosy winter meal. This delightful Mexican lentil soup combines soft lentils and fiery jalapeños to create a flavourful and satisfying dish. Meat lovers can add their favourite meat to this dish. To make this, sauté onions, garlic, and diced vegetables in oil. Add cooked lentils, diced tomatoes, cumin, chilli powder, and vegetable broth. Simmer until heated through. Garnish with cilantro and serve this quick and flavourful Mexican lentil soup.

6) Buttery Black Lentil Soup:
A creamy lentil soup made with black lentils, kidney beans, and butter It's slow-cooked for a rich and indulgent flavour. This lentil soup provides both comfort and nutrition in colder weather. To make this, soak urad dal and rajma overnight. Pressure cook them until soft.
In a pan, sauté finely chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste, and tomatoes until the oil separates. Add cooked dal and rajma, then simmer. Stir in garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, and butter. Cook until the dal thickens. Finish with cream and a pinch of Kasuri methi. Garnish with fresh coriander and serve this creamy and indulgent Dal Makhani with naan or rice too for a delightful meal.

Image Credit: PNGTree

7) Masoor Dal Soup:
This easy-to-make and nourishing red lentil soup is seasoned with garlic, cumin, and coriander and is renowned for its rapid cooking process. It gives a warming, protein-rich and quick-cooking option. Rinse the masoor dal thoroughly and set it aside. In a pot, heat oil and sauté finely chopped onions until golden brown. Add minced garlic, ginger, and chopped tomatoes, cooking until the tomatoes soften. Stir in masoor dal, along with turmeric, cumin, coriander, and red chilli powder. Pour in water, bring to a boil, then simmer until the dal is tender. Season with salt and finish with a tadka of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and dried red chilies in hot oil. Garnish with coriander and serve this flavourful masoor dal with rice or bread for a delicious and protein-packed meal.

8) Chickpea Lentil Soup With Bottle Gourd:
This lentil soup combines the protein-rich chana dal with lauki (bottle gourd), providing a nutritious and warming option. Heat oil in a pan and sauté cumin seeds until they sizzle. Add chopped onions, tomatoes, and green chilies, cooking until softened. Stir in peeled and diced lauki and washed chana dal. Add turmeric, coriander, cumin powder, and salt to taste. Pour in water, cover, and simmer until dal is cooked and lauki is tender. Garnish with coriander and serve this nutritious lauki chana dal over rice or with roti for a wholesome meal.