This Curried Lentil Soup with Tomato and Coconut is a creamy, comfy recipe you’ll crave. Curry powder, coconut milk, and fire-roasted tomatoes add mouthwatering flavor.
An Easy, Hearty Soup Recipe with Lots of Bold Flavor
Lentil soup is a versatile kind of meal – there are versions of this recipe with all kinds of different flavor profiles. (I love them all!) It’s no wonder, since lentils are satisfying and flavorful, but still neutral enough to work with any spice or seasoning blend you can throw at them.
This lentil soup is full of South Asian ingredients, for a warm, bright, complex dish that’ll have you coming back for more. Curry powder, coconut milk, lime, and cilantro are a can’t-miss combination. For a chilly day, or anytime you want a quick vegan meal that won’t leave you bored or hungry, reach for this easy recipe.
Is Lentil Soup Good for You?
Yes, lentil soup is definitely a healthy soup option. Lentils themselves are a healthy source of both carbs and protein, and they pack in healthy minerals, too. You’ll get iron, selenium, and folate from this easy recipe – plus, lentil soup delivers fluids and fiber, promoting a healthy digestive system.
What’s in This Curried Lentil Soup?
My recipe for curry lentil soup with tomatoes and coconut is great for anyone looking for a meatless main course that’s filling, healthy, and flavorful. It’s also vegan and gluten-free.
- Olive Oil: Extra-virgin olive oil has a bold, rich taste, but lighter olive oils will work, too.
- Onion: Finely chopped. White, yellow, and Vidalia onions are all good for this recipe.
- Garlic: Finely mince the garlic, or use a garlic press.
- Ginger: You will need a piece of ginger about 2 ½ inches long, peeled and finely grated.
- Curry Powder: Medium curry powder is my favorite, but you can use any kind you like.
- Crushed Red Pepper: For a little extra heat, crushed red pepper flakes are just the thing.
- Lentils: Picked over, rinsed, and well-drained.
- Canned Tomatoes: Look for diced, fire-roasted tomatoes.
- Cilantro: Finely chop some of the cilantro, but leave some leaves with tender stems for serving.
- Salt and Pepper: Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
- Coconut Milk: Use canned, unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well.
- Lime Wedges: For serving.
How to Make Curried Lentil Soup with Tomato and Coconut
While some soup recipes are all about a long, slow cooking process, this is one you can whip up in under an hour – and it’s just as cozy.
- Cook the Onion. We’ll start building layers of flavor by caramelizing the onions. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Then add the onion and cook for 8 – 10 minutes, or until they are softened and golden brown.
- Add the Aromatic Ingredients. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red pepper flakes to the pan, and stir for a couple of minutes to release the fragrance of these ingredients.
- Stir in the Remaining Soup Ingredients. Now, stir in the lentils and sauté them, still stirring, for one minute. Pour in the tomatoes, and stir in half a cup of the cilantro, some salt and pepper, and 2 ½ cups of water. Set aside ¼ cup of the coconut milk for serving, and add the remaining coconut milk to the soup.
- Simmer. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat and let it simmer for twenty to twenty-five minutes, or until the lentils are soft (but not mushy). Taste, and adjust the seasonings as needed.
- Enjoy! Divide the lentil soup among four bowls, drizzle each one with some of the reserved coconut milk, and top with more cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Tips for Success
There’s a lot of wiggle room in this recipe, so if you’re looking for ways to change things up you’re in luck. These helpful recipe notes will show you a few ways to do that.
- Lentil Options: Most kinds of lentils will work perfectly in this recipe. Brown, red, and yellow lentils all cook in about half an hour, while green ones may take closer to 45 minutes.
- Spices: I like to combine fresh ginger and some red pepper flakes with curry powder for an extra punch, but you can tweak this in lots of ways. Omit the red pepper, use ground ginger, or substitute a specific curry blend to your taste.
- Veggies: Soup recipes are great because they are so flexible, and this one’s no exception. Feel free to toss in kale, diced potato, chopped carrots, or any other vegetables you enjoy.
What Goes Well with Lentil Soup?
I love serving any soup recipe with bread and salad, or with a hearty pasta dish. Here are a few healthy ideas to try:
- Crostini: crostini are fun to make and easy to eat, especially this scrumptious Pepper Mushroom Onion Crostini!
- Beets Salad: Beets are a superfood that packs in all kinds of nutrients, and tastes great, too. Try this flavorful Goat Cheese Roasted Beet Salad, and I’m sure you’ll agree!
- Pasta: My Eggplant Goat Cheese Pasta is full of healthy color and flavor! It’s a wonderful side or light main course that goes with just about anything.
How to Store and Reheat Leftovers
To store leftover lentil soup, cool it down and pack it into a tight-lidded container. It will keep in the fridge for up 4 – 5 days.
To reheat, just place the desired amount in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the soup is heated through.
Can I Freeze This?
You can freeze curried lentil soup, but the coconut milk sometimes suffers a little, texture-wise, after freezing and thawing. If you are planning to make this as a freezer meal, consider leaving out the coconut milk – you can add it in once your soup is thawed and reheating. Either way, make sure to freeze lentil soup after it has cooled, and use an airtight container to keep it fresh.
Curried Lentil Soup with Tomato and Coconut
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 2½- inch piece ginger peeled, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon medium curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup lentils
- 1 14.5- ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
- ½ cup finely chopped cilantro plus leaves with tender stems for serving
- Kosher salt freshly ground pepper
- 1 13.5- ounce can unsweetened coconut milk shaken well
- Lime wedges for serving
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium.
- Cook onion, stirring often, until softened and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add lentils and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, ½ cup cilantro, a generous pinch of salt, and 2½ cups water; season with pepper.
- Set aside ¼ cup coconut milk for serving and add remaining coconut milk to the saucepan.
- Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft but not mushy, 20–25 minutes. Season soup with more salt and pepper if needed.
- Serve, divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with reserved coconut milk and top with more cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.