Tlokhih (Lentil Soup)

Yellow lentils

If you have ever lived in Michigan for any amount of time, you know that Michigan weather can be such a tease. This week we had two fantastically warm sunny summer days where the weather hit 75! And then, the day after, fall rolled back in, with a blustery chill of 40 degrees, gray skies, and biting winds.

But, colder weather brings a generally well-loved food item back to dinner tables: soup! One of my absolute favorite soups is tlokhih, a rich and satisfying lentil soup flavored with curcum, or turmeric. Growing up, we mainly ate this soup on Fridays during Lent. My mom said that for her growing up, they really only ate the soup during soma,  or periods of fasting. Whenever or for whatever reason it was eaten, tlokhih is a cold weather favorite for me! It’s hearty, oh so satisfying, and it’s good for you!

I’m usually only cooking for one, so the portions are smaller, but feel free to double or triple as necessary!

Lentil soup in a bowl


1 cup yellow/red lentils

1/2 small onion, finely chopped

3-4 cups water or vegetable stock

2 teaspoons turmeric

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 garlic (or 1 clove fresh)

1/2 lemon

salt and pepper to taste


Heat about one tablespoon of oil in a pot. Add the chopped onions and sprinkle with salt. Allow the onions to cook until translucent.

Add the lentils to the pot and stir (the oil keeps the lentils from foaming over, so if you choose not to cook the soup with onions, add a bit of oil!)

Add the 3-4 cups of water or stock and let the lentils cook on medium, occasionally stirring.

When the lentils have absorbed all the liquid and become tender, add the turmeric, curry, lemon, salt and pepper. Stir and add water if necessary (depends on how you like the consistency of your soup!)

Dig in and bon appétit!

Lentil soup topped with parsley

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One Comment

  1. […] As I battled the winds back to my apartment, I kept thinking to myself, what do I want to cook? What did I want to eat? I was craving something warm and hearty. Soup could work. We had a squash that had been adorning our table for a few weeks. Butternut squash soup? Maybe. But I didn’t really  have any other vegetables to add to it. Lentil soup sounded good. But I wanted to use the squash. Why not just mix the two together? Aha! Dinner would be butternut squash soup with lentils. Lentil soup is one of my all time favorites. When I was younger, I would always request lentil soup when we went out to eat at middle eastern restaurants. I loved dipping warm pita bread in the golden colored, hearty soup. If you’re a fan of lentils, you can check out my recipe for it here. […]

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