Lentil and Vegetable Soup, The Kooky Way

Lentil and Vegetable Soup, The Kooky Way









Today’s soup recipe has a story behind it.

Purple Rat-tailed RadishMy friend brought home a bunch of rat-tailed radish (also known as purple mogri) and I was a bit stumped since it was my soup day and I didn’t know how to make use of this vegetable.

As the name suggests, rat-tailed radish is part of the radish (mooli) family. These are radish pods which can be green or purple and can vary in length. To the right is the photo of what ours looked like.

In terms of taste, if you bite into them raw, they are quite pungent. Once cooked, their pungency reduces.

They can be used in stir fries or salads.

As it was my soup day, I decided to make an Indian style soup of this vegetable with lentils and fenugreek leaves.

Rat-tailed Radish, Moong Dal and Fenugreek LeavesThe soup recipe is totally flexible. It has three components: lentils, vegetables and leaves. I used yellow moong dal (split peas), rat-tailed radish and fenugreek leaves (methi).

You can substitute with whatever is in your kitchen or larder or vegetable box.

Lentils:  You can use red lentils, green lentils, brown lentils or even black lentils. For this recipe, you need to use the ones which are quick cooking.

Vegetable: Substitute with cauliflower or turnip or pumpkin or courgette or any other vegetable that is seasonal.

Greens: Spinach, Kale, Collard Greens, Watercress, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens or any other leafy vegetable can be used.


1 Cup lentils

1 Cup vegetable of your choice, washed and chopped

1 Cup leaves of your choice, washed and chopped

2 Onions

2 Tomatoes

1 Head of garlic

2 Green chillies

Fresh ginger, the size of your thumb

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds

1 Teaspoon cumin seeds

A pinch of asafoetida (optional)

1 Tablespoon oil

Salt to taste


  1. Peel, wash and chop the onions.
  2. Wash and finely dice the tomatoes.
  3. Peel and chop the garlic.
  4. Grate the ginger.
  5. Wash the lentils.
  6. Heat oil in a soup pot (or equivalent). Make sure your cookware is non-stick or you will have to stir continuously to avoid lentils sticking to the base.
  7. Once the oil becomes hot, add the mustard seeds.
  8. Once the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the cumin seeds.
  9. Once the cumin seeds stop spluttering, add the asafoetida (if using).
  10. Give it a quick stir and add the chopped onions and garlic.
  11. Add a pinch of salt, lower the heat, cover and let this cook for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  12. Next, add the diced tomatoes, turmeric, chillies and ginger.
  13. Mix well, cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
  14. Now, add the lentils and vegetables, 3 cups of water, some more salt and combine well.
  15. Bring to boil and once it starts boiling vigorously, lower the heat, cover and let the lentils and vegetable cook for about 20 minutes.
  16. Uncover and mash the lentils with the back of the spoon. Now, you should have a soupy texture of lentils and vegetables.
  17. Throw in the leaves, stir, cover and cook for 10 more minutes.
  18. Serve hot.


  1. You can adjust the quantity of chillies to suit your taste.

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