The Restaurant Favorite Lemon Coriander Clear Soup

At the end of summer, perfectly timed with Ganpati Bappa’s arrival, I landed in my hometown, Pune, to spend some quality time with my mom and dad. With the pandemic, just like everyone else, I hadn’t visited my parents in over 3 years and seized the first opportunity I got to make a quick trip back home. As always, I had the most wonderful time with Ganpati festivities at home, meeting extended family, hanging out with my cousins, and catching up with friends. Of course, food was at the forefront of it all – eating at home or going out to food joints, old and new ones – resulting in me eating my heart out! One of the things I ordered a lot when eating out at restaurants during this recent trip was the humble but extremely popular Indian Lemon Coriander Clear Soup that I had long forgotten about! When I lived in India, I used to order it at restaurants all the time.

Indian Lemon Coriander Clear Soup

Key Ingredients for Lemon Coriander Clear Soup 

This quick and easy clear soup can be whipped up for lunch or dinner at the last minute with just two key ingredients – lemon juice and finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves (commonly known as coriander in India). In addition to these two, you’ll find finely chopped vegetables like cabbage, carrots, green beans or haricot verts, etc. floating in a mild, yet delicious broth that gets its zesty flavor from the aromatics like green onions, garlic and of course, the lemon juice.

I like to add in thinly sliced green chili or two for some heat but otherwise the soup doesn’t have any spices other than the basic salt – pepper seasonings. Vegetable broth is mostly used to make the soup, which is what makes the soup vegan, however, I prefer to use chicken stock as it contains protein, which is absent in the vegetable broth. In addition to the protein, I also think it enhances the overall flavor and texture of the soup, but of course, you can keep it vegan by making it with vegetable broth. However you make it, I promise, this soup will warm your heart and brighten your mood!

Health Benefits of Lemon Coriander Clear Soup

It’s light, healthy, immunity-boosting, and rich in vitamins, thanks to the use of two key ingredients – lemon and coriander or cilantro – I experienced first hand the numerous health benefits that the soup offers . While I was vacationing in Pune, I literally gorged on this delicious soup at restaurants whenever I found it on the menu. It was the perfect appetizer to start with and helped me stay well throughout the duration of my trip, so I could make the most of my time there. Just like everyone else, I didn’t want to fall sick on my vacation and I also didn’t want to put on too many vacation lbs – and this soup definitely helped me achieve both my goals! I returned home to the Bay Area just in time for the soup season and also the dreaded flu season. To ensure we stay healthy during this season, I have been making pots of this childhood favorite soup almost every week and feeding the whole family! It was also great for detoxing after all the Diwali eatings.

Indian Lemon Coriander Clear Soup

Stay fit and healthy during the sniffling season and make this quick and easy soup regularly. I’ve linked a short video below that I put together for you that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

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Indian Lemon Coriander Clear Soup

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: Serves 2


An easy recipe for the light and healthy, Indian-style clear vegetable soup in a lemon and coriander/cilantro flavored broth.


  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 23 garlic cloves, smashed, peeled and minced
  • 12 green chilies, thinly sliced, optional
  • 23 medium green onions, thinly sliced
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium lemon, zested and halved (see Notes)
  • 1 qt (4 cups/946 ml) vegetable broth (see Notes)
  • 810 sprigs of cilantro/coriander, leaves and tender parts of stem, minced (see Notes)

Vegetables (see Notes and also Variations) 

  • 1 small carrot, minced
  • 1/8 head of cabbage, minced
  • 56 medium broccoli florets, minced (optional)
  • handful of baby spinach leaves, minced (optional)
  • 56 button mushrooms, minced (optional)
  • 56 haricot verts or green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced (optional)


  • Heat oil in a pot or a saucepan over medium heat. Once the oil starts shimmering, add in the minced garlic and sliced green chilies, and sauté for a minute, till they are fragrant.
  • Add in all the minced vegetables. Give it a quick stir and then season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the lemon zest and continue sautéing for another minute or two.
  • Pour in the stock and give it a quick stir. Cover the pot and bring the soup to a boil over medium heat.
  • Once the soup is bubbling, in about 5 minutes, turn the heat off. Uncover the pot and squeeze in the juice from half to the full lemon, to suit your taste.
  • Stir in half of the minced cilantro/coriander leaves and give it a good stir.
  • Garnish with the remaining cilantro and spoon it into soup bowls. 

Keywords: Comfort Foods, Healthy Recipes, Restaurant Inspired

Step-by-Step Details

Recipe FAQ’s and Notes

Make use of your Veggies

You can use whatever veggies you have sitting in your refrigerator – carrots, cabbage, green onions, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, haricot verts or green beans, peas, etc.

Use Lemons or Lime!

If you don’t have lemons on hand, you can substitute with lime.

Make it Protein rich with Chicken Broth

Use vegetable broth for keeping the soup vegan or substitute with chicken stock for protein boost and rich flavor.

Skip the Soap (Cilantro) If you don't like the taste

If cilantro/coriander tastes like soap to you, it can be skipped or substituted with parsley, which has an almost lemony flavor.

Recipe Variations

It is not typical for this soup recipe, but for a protein boost, you can also mix in some edamame or chickpeas, shredded rotisserie chicken, or tiny shrimp and turn it into a hearty meal.

Happy cooking

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.


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