This vegan curried lentil soup recipe is wonderfully nourishing and easy to make in 30 minutes in one pot with simple, everyday ingredients.

Bowl of red lentil soup, pot of soup and another bowl of soup in background.

This dish combines the earthiness of red lentils with aromatic spices to create a comforting and satisfying plant-based meal. Loaded with nutrients and plenty of flavours, this is the perfect recipe to brighten up a chilly day.

Red lentils are delicious in soups and curries and create a wonderful soft and creamy texture. You can also try them in this Vegan Red Lentil Dahl with Coconut Milk, Slow Cooker Red Lentil Chili and Red Lentil Tomato Soup.

Why You’ll Love This Soup

  • 30-minute recipe made with simple ingredients.
  • One-pot recipe.
  • Vegan, gluten-free and oil-free.
  • Low in fat.
  • High in protein.
  • Good source of dietary fiber.
  • Good for meal prep.
  • Freezer-friendly.

Ingredient Notes

Overhead view of labelled ingredients needed for making a curried red lentil soup.
  • Red Lentils: This soup is made for red lentils though you can substituted brown or green lentils with additional cooking time.
  • Diced Tomatoes: Any kind works but I like fire-roasted tomatoes for the best flavour.
  • Coconut Milk: I like light coconut milk in this recipe but you can also use full-fat coconut.
  • Broth: Any homemade stock or store-bought vegetable broth is suitable.
  • Sweetener: The recipe calls for a touch of coconut sugar which is lovely alongside the spices, it’s optional but I really like adding a little sweetness to curry recipes…sub with maple syrup if you like!

This list is not complete. Please see the recipe card at the end of the post for the complete ingredient list with measurements and detailed instructions.


  • Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos in place of soy sauce.
  • Extra Veggies:Add up to 1 red pepper or 1 cup peeled and cubed sweet potatoes.
  • Leafy Greens: Add up to 2 cups baby spinach at the end and stir in to wilt.
  • Add up to 1 tsp red pepper flakes or 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper for some heat.
  • Add up to 1 tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger.
  • Use garam masala or red curry paste instead of curry powder for a variation.
  • A squeeze of lime or lemon juice is nice to finish the recipe or brighten up leftovers.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Onion, garlic, carrot and celery cooking in a skillet.

Step 1. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic to a large pot or dutch oven with 2 tbsp of water or vegetable broth. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often until they’re starting to soften.

Onion, garlic, carrots and celery sauteed in a skillet.

Step 2. Add the spices, stir and cook for a few more minutes. If needed, add another 1-2 tbsp of liquid to cook.

Overhead view of a pot of red lentil soup.

Step 3. Add the lentils, diced tomatoes, coconut milk and broth. Stir then simmer lightly over low to medium heat until the lentils are soft. This should take about 20 minutes.

Pouring a small dish of soy sauce into a pot of soup.

Step 4. Stir in the coconut sugar and soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari). Give it a taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.

Divide the soup between bowls and serve topped with a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro, black pepper and squeeze of lemon or lime juice.

Hand spinkling cilantro over a bowl of lentil soup.


How long does this keep in the fridge?

Leftover soup can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Can you freeze this soup?

Yes, this soup freezes well. Let it cool then store in a freezer-safe container or heavy duty freezer bag for up to 3 months. Thaw frozen soup in the fridge overnight then reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave in individual portions.

Can I use green or brown lentils in this recipe?

Yes, though it will have a different colour and texture. You’ll need a bit longer cooking time for green or brown lentils and may need a little extra liquid but you can add that as you go to adjust the thickness as needed.

Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Scroll down to the comment section to leave a star rating and review.

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Bowl of red lentil soup, pot of soup and another bowl of soup in background.

Curried Red Lentil Soup

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 29 reviews
  • Author: Deryn Macey
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6
  • Category: Soup
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan
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A curried vegan lentil soup that can be on the table in under 30 minutes. Chop a few veggies, throw everything in a pot, simmer until the lentils are tender and it’s ready to enjoy!


  • 1 medium white onion, diced (approx. 2 cups, 300 g)
  • 3 carrots, chopped into thick rounds (approx. 2 cups, 300 g)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (approx. 320 g)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked red lentils
  • 1 14 oz can of light coconut milk
  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with the juices
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar or maple syrup


  1. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic to a soup pot with 2 tbsp water or broth. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 5-6 minutes. You can use 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil to saute if you prefer.
  2. Add the spices and stir to combine. Cook for another minute or two, adding 1-2 tbsp more water or broth if the pot is getting too dry. 
  3. Add the lentils, diced tomatoes, coconut milk and broth and stir to combine.
  4. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, over medium heat until the lentils are soft and almost mushy.
  5. Stir in the coconut sugar and soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari). Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. You can adjust the thickness by stirring in a little extra broth.
  6. Serve right away topped with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice, if desired.


The soup will thicken up considerably in the fridge. Enjoy it the next day as a stew or add a little broth or water to thin it back out.

Storing: Let cool before storing. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days in an airtight container or freeze for up to 3 months. If frozen, thaw overnight in fridge. Reheat stovetop or in the microwave until heated to your preference.


  • Serving Size: 1/6th of recipe
  • Calories: 265
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 450 mg
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 48 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Protein: 13 g

Originally published December 7, 2018.