Meet the BEST lentil soup recipe! Made with fire-roasted tomatoes, coconut milk, and curry powder, it's rich, nourishing, and absolutely delicious.
This first night that I made this lentil soup recipe, my family came over for dinner. Every time I’ve seen my mom since, she’s asked, “where is that lentil soup recipe?”
That says a lot about this soup, because my mom has very strict criteria for recipes that make it into her rotation. They have to have minimal prep, they have to be easy enough to eventually memorize (because cooking goes faster that way), and they have to be either batch-able or freezer-friendly so that she can eat them for multiple meals.
This curry lentil soup recipe checks all those boxes and more. It’s made with simple pantry ingredients like dry lentils, canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices, so it’s super easy to whip up without a trip to the store. It has a short cooking time – right around 30 minutes – so you can enjoy it any night of the week, and it freezes perfectly. But best of all, it’s absolutely delicious. Coconut milk, fresh ginger, and curry powder make it rich and comforting, but thanks to a big squeeze of lime juice, it still feels fresh and light. We love this soup, and I hope you do too!
Lentil Soup Recipe Ingredients
As I mentioned above, this vegan lentil soup is made with mostly pantry ingredients. Along with onion, spices, coconut milk, cilantro, and lime juice, it includes two of my favorite ingredients to keep on hand: French green lentils and diced fire-roasted tomatoes. Unlike brown lentils or red lentils, which become mushy as they cook, the French green lentils hold their shape well in this soup, giving it lovely texture. They’re also a great choice for lentil salads, so they’re a staple in my pantry. Recently, they’ve stopped showing up at my grocery store, so I buy them in bulk online.
As for the diced fire-roasted tomatoes, they give this vegan lentil soup a smoky depth of flavor. They’re an excellent addition here, but I like to use them anytime a recipe calls for diced tomatoes. Try them in this lasagna or this spaghetti bolognese (it uses lentils, too!).
How to Make Lentil Soup
For how flavorful this curry lentil soup is, this recipe is simpler than you might think. Start by sautéing onions over medium heat, and then add ginger, garlic, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and sauté a few minutes more. Next, stir in the tomatoes, lentils, water, coconut milk, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer until the lentils are tender, about 25 minutes, and finish the soup with chopped cilantro and a hefty squeeze of lime.
Serve this lentil soup with good crusty bread, a hearty salad, or a slice of avocado toast squeezed with lemon juice. A vegetable side dish, like roasted cauliflower or broccoli or a baked sweet potato, would be good with it as well. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to four days, or freeze them for up to a month!
More Favorite Soup Recipes
If you love this lentil soup recipe, try one of these healthy soups next:
- Many-Veggie Vegetable Soup
- Ginger Miso Soup
- Creamy Potato Soup
- French Onion Soup
- Easy Vegetarian Chili
- Creamy Asparagus Soup
Best Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon mild curry powder (I use this one)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, more to taste
- 1 (28-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 cup dried French green lentils, rinsed and drained
- 2½ cups water
- 1 (14-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup diced cilantro
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook until soft and lightly browned around the edges, 8 to 10 minutes, reducing the heat to low as needed.
- With the heat on low, add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, lentils, water, coconut milk, ½ teaspoon salt, and several grinds of black pepper. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer, stirring only occasionally, until the lentils are tender, 25 to 35 minutes. If your soup is too thick, stir in ½ to 1 cup more water to reach your desired consistency.
- Stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.
This recipe adapted from Ottolenghi’s recipe on Epicurious.