Tomato and Red Lentil Bisque and a Cookbook Review

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on May 8, 2012

I have a new favorite soup.  Since posting my cajun shrimp soup recipe in February we’ve had that soup almost a dozen times and I usually make way more than the recipe makes because we love it for leftovers too.  I’ve moved on though.  Seriously, this is now my favorite soup.  Good news, I don’t have to share with the husband because he doesn’t like lentils.  Bad news, I have to share with a toddler that is also crazy about this soup 😀

A while ago I was sent a cookbook to review, Whitewater Cooks with Friends.  Whitewater is a ski resort that’s just over the mountains from where we live, so I couldn’t resist taking a look and I’m so glad I did.  Just from appearances, this book is gorgeous.  It’s filled with amazing full page pictures which I absolutely love.  Obviously I’m a visual person when it comes to food 😀

I am a little disappointed that the book contains a lot of seafood recipes though.  Because of where we live and the price of seafood, we don’t enjoy it very often, but all the recipes do look delicious.  But I was happy that there were a few vegetarian options, and a lot of recipes that are easily adapted.  And if this recipe is any indication of what the rest are like, I really can’t wait to try more!

The small note at the top of this recipe says “Tana is probably the most vivacious person you could ever meet and her flavorful personality shines through in the his soup… she loves it so much that she says she could bathe in it!”  I couldn’t agree with Tana more.  Did I mention this is my new favorite soup?

Another note about the soup, I made it on a gorgeous sunny day and I was thinking about what bad timing it was because I wasn’t particularly in the mood for soup on such a warm day but it was incredibly refreshing.  It was really perfect for a warm spring day, so don’t hesitate to try it even though it’s warming up.  I served mine with some extremely fast 100% whole wheat naan bread that I’ll share the recipe for soon!


Tana’s Tomato and Red Lentil Bisque

From Whitewater Cooks with Friends by Shelley Adams

Serves 8-10

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 green jalapeno, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 14 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 8 C vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 C red lentils
  • 2 cans coconut milk(I used light)
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 C cilantro, chopped for garnish


Toast cumin seeds in a dry frying pan fora few minutes until aromatic.  Remove from the heat and grind in a mortar and pestle or in a clean coffee grinder.  Set aside

Heat oil in a large soup pot.  Add the onion, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds and jalapeno and saute for 3-5 minutes.  Add the ground cumin seeds, turmeric, coriander, cinnamon and bay leaves and continue to saute for 3-5 minutes more.  Add the tomatoes(I used pureed tomatoes as that’s all that’s left of my supply from last summer and it worked well even if it turned out more red than in the book), stock, tomato paste and red lentils and bring to a boil.  Turn down and simmer for about 60 minutes.

Add the coconut milk, stir well and return to a simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove the bay leaves, season as desired and stir in the lime juice and garnish with cilantro.  I stirred in all the cilantro just before serving and garnished with even more.


**Disclaimer:  While I did receive this cookbook for free, I did not receive any compensation for this review.  Any opinions are 100% my own and I was not under any obligation to write a positive review.

Leave a Comment

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Andre December 28, 2013 at 17:27

Yes, this soup is creamy, tangy, healthy and healthy. I share mine with a toddler too !

Lots of great recipes in the whitewater series, try the roasted yam and chick pea salad, use macedonian feta, divine !


2 Linda July 12, 2013 at 11:41

Oh my gosh. My family loved this recipe. I seldom try a new recipe that gets a 10!


3 SusanM March 22, 2013 at 07:54

I made this last night and it was delicious! Taking leftovers to my mother tomorrow so she can enjoy it too. Thank you for sharing this recipe – I’m going to look for the Naan now…


4 tana February 26, 2013 at 10:13

I am blown away that someone else has my name! Can’t wait to try the soup.


5 Natalie February 16, 2013 at 19:08

I love this soup, too! Thanks for posting!
Have you tried using one can of full-fat coconut milk and making up the rest with water? I’m pretty sure it would taste great, still, and it is a nice way to save some money (that’s how I make mine).


6 Joanne Rocklin January 11, 2013 at 10:59

I made this soup 2 days ago! It was yummy. Question–did you use 2 cans of coconut milk? What size can? I only used one can because two cans would have made the color too light. The can was 14 oz


7 Heidi @ Food Doodles January 23, 2013 at 11:27

Hi Joanne! So glad you enjoyed this! It was quite a while ago when I made this, but I believe I did use two 14 oz cans of coconut milk. Did you use full fat coconut milk? That might make it lighter in color than if you use light coconut milk.


8 Joanne Rocklin January 23, 2013 at 11:31

I did use full fat coconut milk. Thanks.
Have you tried any other recipes from the cookbook?


9 kristin November 17, 2012 at 17:47

Oh I looove the Whitewater books! I’ve made quite a few items from their first book! This recipe looks fantastic! Its going on the menu plan! ; )


10 Judee @ Gluten Free A-Z August 20, 2012 at 14:21

You have some wonderful recipes on your blog. This red lentil tomato bisque looks amazing. I just pinned it..


11 Jen July 14, 2012 at 15:06

Hi there,
I’m making this right now and can’t find the measurement for the cinnamon! It says to add it with the ground cumin seeds but no measurement given?
I added about 1/2 tsp. ground and I hope that’s about right. I’ll let you know how it turns out- it smells great!
Thank you 🙂


12 Heidi @ Food Doodles July 14, 2012 at 15:31

Hi Jen, I’m so sorry about that! But good guess, it is 1/2 tsp 🙂 Let me know what you think!


13 Jen July 14, 2012 at 20:15

Thank you for your quick response, Heidi!
This soup is really good and, after adding the lime at the end, completely delicious!
I just added one can of coconut milk because I think I was too generous with the chicken stock ( I had some in my freezer and thawed and added without measuring thoroughly) and we like a thicker soup. I may add more lentils and the other can tomorrow.
But we are loving it – including my two year old who is slurping it by the cupful!
Thank you for the recipe. It’s the first of yours I’ve tried and I’m impressed 🙂
Those Tex Mex Muffins are next!


14 Cindy May 16, 2012 at 08:43

I made this for dinner tonight, it came together so quick and everyone loved it! Including Mr. Picky 4 year old that won’t eat anything besides hash browns and chicken nuggets. Thanks for a great recipe!!


15 Nora @ natural noshing May 10, 2012 at 15:21

I love the combo of lentils and tomato together, yummm!!! What a lovely looking bisque 🙂 I’ll definitely have to try this one, and since my husband isn’t a huge fan of lentils I don’t have to share!!!


16 Ally May 10, 2012 at 13:01

I am always looking for a new soup recipe & this is at the top of my to-do!


17 Vicky May 10, 2012 at 06:55

Sounds delicious. I’ve made soup with green lentils before but never with red ones – will have to try this!


18 Joanne May 10, 2012 at 05:19

Wow this makes enough soup to feed a small army, which is definitely a good thing because I have a feeling I’ll be craving it for days on end!


19 Ruth May 10, 2012 at 04:30

This sounds nice, might help me get over my hatred of coconut milk!! I really am trying to like the stuff, just need something to really disguise the taste for me.


20 Lou May 10, 2012 at 02:37

Yum, lentils are so comforting… love a good soup like this, and I can’t wait to see your recipe for wholewheat naan – I’ve been wanting a decent recipe for this for AGES 🙂


21 Rawkinmom May 9, 2012 at 19:26

The food looks delicious and that book looks like I need it!!!!


22 Eat Good 4 Life May 9, 2012 at 16:51

Love the color on the soup. I do as well make soups regardless of the weather. I mean in the summer I try not to but the other way it was super hot and I ended up making soup. It got eaten 🙂


23 Melissa @ Dash of East May 9, 2012 at 14:49

Wow, this soup looks amazing. Love the color and I bet it’s so tasty too. Loving your photos and looking forward to the Naan bread recipe! 🙂


24 Heather May 9, 2012 at 09:27

This soups looks so amazing – I cannot wait for the super fast Naan Bread!


25 Chelsea @ Naturally Sweet Recipes May 9, 2012 at 08:39

wow, this looks soo good!! your pictures rock, that color of that soup is amazing!


26 Maryea {Happy Healthy Mama} May 9, 2012 at 05:36

This looks fantastic! I think it’s going on my meal plan for next week. Thank you! My soup days are coming to a close for the summer, so I better hurry and make this. I can’t wait for you naan recipe, too!


27 Kathryn May 9, 2012 at 03:02

One of my friends makes a similar soup and it’s always super popular – it’s such a great combination of flavours and full of texture and delicious goodness!


28 Marina {} May 8, 2012 at 23:45

Oh I love lentils – yum !


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