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Rhubarb Lentil Soup

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

In the Middle East, tamarind, a tangy fruit that grows in abundance there, is often paired with lentils. Rhubarb adds similar bright, sour notes to this fragrant soup. A generous dollop of Greek yogurt ties it all together.


  • 3 large rainbow chard leaves
  • 2 Tbs. coconut oil or unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp. brown mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbs. grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. grated or minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 small jalapeño, minced (include seeds)
  • 3/4 lb. rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces (about 2-1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup French green lentils (lentils du Puy), rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbs. packed dark brown sugar; more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 Tbs. whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 170
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 60
  • Fat (g): 7
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 440
  • Carbohydrates (g): 22
  • Fiber (g): 5
  • Protein (g): 7


  • Separate the stems from the chard leaves. Coarsely chop the leaves and slice the stems crosswise 1/2 inch thick.
  • Heat the oil in a 4- to 5-quart heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat. Add the mustard, cumin, and coriander seeds, stir to coat, and then cook until the mustard seeds begin to pop, about 1 minute. Turn the heat down to medium low and stir in the ginger, garlic, turmeric, and cardamom. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the chard stems, onion, and jalapeño, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rhubarb, lentils, brown sugar, 2 tsp. salt, and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 30 minutes. Add the chard leaves. Continue to simmer until the lentils are tender but not falling apart, about 5 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and brown sugar. Serve topped with a dollop of Greek yogurt and the cilantro.


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Reviews (7 reviews)

  • User avater
    llawson | 05/29/2015

    I loved the combination of flavors in this soup. The only exception I made to the recipe was that I substituted frozen cranberries for the rhubarb which was unavailable at the time. Otherwise it was prepared as specified in the recipe.

  • Kokinneke | 04/21/2015

    As I am a real gourmet, it takes a lot to surprise me and this recipe did it! A surprising blend of flavours that need to be "apprivois" (domesticated?). First it is a bit awkwardly acid, then comes the juicy chard followed by the earthy tones of the lentils; and THEN the spice's full flavours are unleashed as a Grand Finale! Mindblowingly complex. Subtilely addictive. Personally I bound the soup a bit and I opted for clotted cream (double cream) in stead of yoghurt.

  • tred | 10/05/2014

    Quick, unusual soup with good flavor. Next time I make this I would eliminate the coriander seed (notpleasant to bite into unexpectedly) and substituteground coriander.

  • Brilyss2 | 08/05/2014

    I made this soup for guests. Loved it! Everyone wanted the recipe. It was very spicy, with a mix of lots of wonderful flavours that in my opinion went very well together. The Greek yogurt was a must to finish it off. Will definitely make again.

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