Curried Lentil Soup
This vegan curried lentil soup is wonderfully nourishing and easy to make in 30 minutes with simple, everyday ingredients.
- quick and easy: have it on the table in 30 minutes using just a handful of simple ingredients
- dietary features: vegan, gluten-free, oil-free, soy-free, nut-free
- nutrition features: low-fat, high-protein, high in fiber
- meal prep: works well for food prep as the flavours only get better the next day, freezes well and budget-friendly too!
- red lentils – this soup is specifically made for red lentils
- spices – you’ll need yellow curry powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper, if you want some heat you can add red pepper flakes or cayenne to your preference
- diced tomatoes – any kind work but I like the organic fire-roasted ones from Muir Glen
- coconut milk – use good quality, light coconut milk, you can use full-fat if you like but I prefer light in soups – up to you!
- broth – use homemade or store-bought carton or cubes
- 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!
Complete list of ingredients and amounts is located in the recipe card below.
Step by Step Instructions
Step 1. Add the carrots, celery, onion and garlic to a large soup pot with 2 tbsp of water or vegetable broth. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring often until they’re starting to soften.
Quick Note: If you prefer, you can cook the veggies in 1-2 tbsp of your choice of cooking oil but I prefer to cook them in water or broth.
Step 2. Add the spices, stir and cook for a few more minutes. If needed, add another 1-2 tbsp of liquid to cook.
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.
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. Both of these ingredients are optional but I love the flavour they add.
Serve hot topped with a sprinkle of fresh chopped cilantro.
Notes and Tips
- Sugar-Free Option: Omit coconut sugar.
- Gluten-Free Option: Be sure to use gluten-free tamari or coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
- Low-Sodium Option: Be sure to use no salt added diced tomatoes and reduced sodium broth and soy sauce. Refrain from adding extra salt.
How to Store
- Fridge: Let cool then store in a sealed container for up to 6 days.
- Freezer: Let cool then store in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: If frozen, thaw overnight in the fridge. Reheat stovetop or in the microwave until heated to your preference.
- Slow Cooker Red Lentil Chili
- Coconut Red Lentil Dahl
- Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry
- Butternut Squash Lentil Soup
Did you try this recipe?
I’d love to hear about it! Click here to leave a review and be sure to tag me @runningonrealfood if you post it on social media.
Curried Red Lentil Soup
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 6 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Vegan
A cozy, curried 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 you’re done!
- 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 each cumin and coriander
- 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 1/2 cups uncooked red lentils
- 1 14 oz can light coconut milk
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes with the juices
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
- 1 tsp coconut sugar or pure maple syrup
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the lentils, diced tomatoes, coconut milk and broth and stir to combine.
- Simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered over low to medium heat until the lentils are soft and almost mushy.
- Stir in the coconut sugar and soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari).
- Serve right away topped with fresh cilantro, 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 6 days 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
Keywords: curried red lentil soup, curried lentil soup, vegan red lentil soup
Originally published December 7, 2018. Updated with new photos and text on October 11, 2020.
Just came across your recipe and can’t wait to try it. I’m wondering if green lentils can be substituted in this recipe?
You can, yes. It will just have a different texture since they don’t get soft like red lentils, and the cooking time will be slightly longer.
Beautiful soup, made many times this winter in Oz, I must say I have added 2 cups of lentils rather than 1 1/2 cups, just because I like a thicker soup. Thank you Deryn, a winner and thank you!
Thanks, Heather! More lentils sounds great to me! Glad you enjoy it.
i love this recipe, just wondering if anyone has made made it with orange sweet potato or pumpkin?
I haven’t but you definitely could! I would probably use 1 cup carrot and 2 cups sweet potato or pumpkin but you could play around with the ratio. You may need more liquid as well as it will be a bit thicker.
This soup is delicious, on the repeat list. Thanks for sharing!
This is such a delicious and hearty soup. My kids LOVE it and request it every week – which I’m happy to oblige!
That’s awesome! So glad you guys like it.
I used my Instant Pot.
I water sautéed the vegetables then added the remainder of the ingredients except the tamari & maple syrup which I added at the end.
I set the IP to 16 minutes with a 16 minute natural release. It cooked perfect!
That’s awesome! So glad you enjoyed it and thanks so much for the Instant Pot feedback!
I made this soup and it is absolutely delicious. I will keep on making it. Thank you.
I just discovered your blog. Has a refreshingly intelligent and simple approach to health. (I guess that’s why no bicycle.) I intend to explore it, probably get one or two of your books. Thank you.
I am a 77 year old bachelor living in East Tennessee. Eat as healthy as I can without being a hermit. Lived in Southern California in the late seventies where some ancient fellow told me to stay off my butt and and avoid eating junk.
I forgot to add the coconut milk and found it didn’t need any. Simple and delicious – a very nourishing soup!
Glad you enjoyed it, Jodi!
This might be my favourite food. I often make curries using red lentils but the addition of the coconut milk, soy sauce, and maple syrup was life changing!! My pot was also too small to add 4 cups of broth so I only did 2 cups. But it worked out great- just a little thicker.
Awesome! So happy you loved it. Thanks for the review!
I added ham and more curry, love the coconut milk base
So glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the review!
This recipe is incredible, made this for my family tonight for dinner and everyone loved it. I even shared it in my clean eating group to share with others. Thank you for this amazing recipe!
Really good, easy & taste amazing even after I froze it!
This soup is amazing. I could’ve eaten the whole pot. I only had 1/2 a can off leftover frozen coconut milk but it still was very good. It will be a recipe to keep. On to chickpea loaf tonight! Thanks Deryn for all the recipes you share.
I’m so happy you loved it, Helen! Thanks so much for your review. Let me know how the loaf turns out!!
I made this in the slow cooker today. It turned out very yummy!
Great! So glad it worked out well in the slow cooker.
This is my most favorite soup ever! Making it for the 3rd time tonight!
I’ve been looking to use more lentils in my cooking and I certainly be making this again!
So glad you enjoyed it, Jasmine!