Fresh pineapple in soup? Yum, yes! This pineapple lentil soup recipe combines the sweet-sourness of fresh pineapple, creamy red lentils and a special Indian-inspired spice blend to create a unique flavor profile with satisfaction guaranteed.
What do I need for pineapple lentil soup?
Consider the ingredients for this soup in 3 stages:
- Red lentils – we’ll be cooking them in either water or broth and then building the soup from there (all in the same pot, mind you).
- Pineapple – After trying this a few ways, I’ve come up with ideal way to get a pineapple taste without it overpowering the soup. This comes from pureeing half of your fresh pineapple with fresh tomatoes (that’s it). Next, we’ll dice the rest of our pineapple small and add that to the soup at the end. More about cutting pineapple later.
- Spice blend – We’re going to create a spicy base using some essential Indian spices (in my opinion). This includes cumin, coriander and yellow mustard seeds, black peppercorns and dried red chilis plue lime zest. There will be a little toasting and blending. All this happens as those lentils cook away.
I How do I cut fresh pineapple?
It happens all the time. I see beautiful fresh pineapples and I must have them. Double their allure if I’m at the big market in The Hague and they are too good a value to pass up. Then it happens. They sit there for a few days (or so). This is because can’t quite figure out what to do with them and cutting them is a bit of a pain. So, you now know what to do with them: make pineapple lentil soup.
As to the cutting part, you can avoid it entirely by buying fresh pineapple prepared. If however, you’re looking for value and the ultimate in freshness, let’s start cutting. This means getting your chef's knife out and taking a moment to sharpen it. This one is essential. If you’d like guidance on one way to cut fresh pineapple, here's one way below.
Spices and tempering
If you are making an Indian recipe, chances are you’ll see the term tempering. There is an traditional cooking method which means frying spices in oil. Of course, we don’t do that oil part here. And of course, I have my own definition for tempering.
So, what do you mean by tempering Denise?
I use tempering as a catch-all phrase for my spice and flavor profile for Indian dishes. This includes dry roasting spices. For pineapple lentil soup, that’s roasting the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds and black peppercorns plus a few dry red chilis. Then I add garlic and ginger and lime zest, toast for a minute. My next step is to either use a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder (or coffee grinder) and blend everything into a paste. That’s the meaning behind my tempering. I’m sure it defies many the authentic Indian cook, but I suppose that’s the beautify of cooking. The method/meaning is firmly held in the hands of the individual cook.
Curry leaves are a common ingredient in many traditional Indian and Thai recipes. Having left tradition when I decided to define tempering for myself, why stop there? Although I can get curry leaves where I live, I nearly always use lime zest as a substitute.
I started on this path a few years ago and haven’t looked back. If you check out my Fresh Thai red curry paste, you’ll spot it right away. Personally, I find the taste more palatable, but again, that’s me. If you want to use curry leaves, 1 lime zest equals 8 curry leaves.
Here's my soup-making method
As a sequential person, I organize myself for cooking in ways that make sense (to me). For this recipe, I took on that pineapple chopping first and then moved on to the lentils. This gave me enough time to do make the tempering and get the pineapple and tomatoes blended. Then it’s just a mix and go process. Simmer that soup on low for a few minutes while you clean up your blender and grinder. Then you can just relax over a bit bowl of soup with maybe a bit of flatbread thrown in for good measure. (Greek flatbread Pizzas). This is also a great soup for pakoras and mango sauce and although the table might end up entirely too orange, maybe carrot, orange and cumin slaw. Congratulations, you are at meal.
We are surrounded by multiple meanings and every sort of method. The root meaning (like frying spices) might be the same, but where it goes from there is left to us. And sometimes, it causes confusion when we state a term, fully understand our personal meaning, but fail to qualify it.
The term plant-based comes straight to my mind here. Is there a difference between plant-based, vegan, and whole food, plant-based? Sure – if you ask me. Ask someone else and they might agree with an entirely different understanding. As I’ve continued along my journey, it’s occurred to me that there isn’t any universal meaning. And let’s get serious - it doesn’t really matter. My approach is to cook and eat plants (no animal products including dairy and honey) and no added oil. That’s the method behind my meaning. It might not be yours and that’s all good. We are nothing if not individuals. Spice of life folks. Peace.Print
pineapple lentil soup
Pineapple lentil soup combines the sweet-sourness of fresh pineapple, creamy red lentils and a special Indian-inspired spice blend for a unique flavor.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes
- Yield: 6 big bowls 1x
- Category: Soups & Stews
- Cuisine: Indian
- 1 fresh pineapple, cut into small chunks (4 ½ cups diced)
- 4 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 ½ cups dry red lentils, rinsed (I used the split, but whole lentils are fine too)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or 4 cups water plus 2 veggie bouillon cubes)
- ½ tsp. turmeric
- 2 tsp. cumin seeds
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds
- 1 tsp. black peppercorns
- 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds
- 4 small dried red chilis (we like our on the hot side, so adjust accordingly)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- Zest of 1 lime (save the lime in case you want to add lime juice as a garnish)
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- If you are using fresh pineapple, start by cutting this into chunks. Refer to the video in my post for more information. You will be blending half of it, so those chunks can be a bit bigger. The other half will be used in the soup so make those smaller. Place the bigger chunks in a blender and your smaller chunks into a bowl.
- In a medium soup pot, add 1 ½ cups lentils, 4 cups vegetable broth and ½ tsp. turmeric.
- Bring the pot to a boil and then lower the heat to simmer and cover the pot. Cook the lentils until the liquid is absorbed and the lentil are tender and starting to break down (about 15 minutes). Add more water if you need to.
- Dice the 4 medium tomatoes and add them to your blender with the pineapple chunks. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
- To prepare the tempering, heat a small skillet to medium and add 2 tsp. cumin seeds, 1 tsp. coriander seeds, 1 tsp. yellow mustard seeds, 1 tsp. black peppercorns and 4 dried chilis. Toast the spices by constantly moving them about the pan for about 2 minutes until the chilis start to brown slightly and you can really smell the spices. Add the 4 cloves minced garlic, the 1 tsp. minced ginger and the lime zest. Sauté for another 30 seconds.
- Immediately remove from the heat and transfer the spices to a spice grinder, pestle and mortar or tall jar if using your immersion blender. Blend everything until smooth.
- Once the lentils are done, add the pineapple-tomato mixture, the tempering and 1 ½ cups vegetable broth. Now add the remaining pineapple chunks and allow the soup to simmer for another 10 minutes. Add additional water or broth if it becomes too thick.
- Taste and add salt if desired.
- Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro if desired.
- I used split red lentils for the soup, but the same amount of whole red lentils is a perfect substitute. Whole lentils may take 10 minutes longer to get tender. That longer cooking time may require you adding additional broth or water. Just check on the pot to make sure your lentils don’t start to burn.
- I used small, dried red chilis, but you could also use 1 diced red chili. This would likely be less spicy if you use 4 dried.
- Here are the equivalents for the whole spices:
- 2 tsp. cumin seeds = 2 ½ tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. coriander seeds = 1 ¼ tsp. ground coriander
- 1 tsp. mustard seeds = 1 ¼ tsp. ground mustard
- 1 tsp. black peppercorns = 1 ½ tsp. ground black pepper
Keywords: Pineapple lentil soup