Best Lentil Soup

Meet the BEST lentil soup recipe! Made with fire-roasted tomatoes, coconut milk, and curry powder, it's rich, nourishing, and absolutely delicious.

Best Lentil Soup

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!

Vegetarian lentil soup recipe ingredients

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. If you can’t find them at your regular grocery store, I like to buy Bob’s Red Mill’s French Green Lentils 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!).

Best Lentil Soup

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:

Or check out this post to find 25 of my favorite soup recipes! Then, find more hearty vegan recipes here

Best Lentil Soup

rate this recipe:
4.99 from 294 votes
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves 4 to 6
Meet my favorite recipe for lentil soup! It's warming & delicious, made with tomato, creamy coconut milk, ginger, and a bit of curry.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon mild curry powder
  • 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
  • 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

Instructions

  • 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 1/2 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.

Notes

Store leftover soup in the fridge for up to 4 days. If it thickens too much in the fridge, stir in a little water while you reheat it until you reach your desired soup consistency. This soup also freezes well.

This recipe adapted from Ottolenghi’s recipe on Epicurious.

398 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Ruth
    06.12.2022

    5 stars
    I can’t stop making this, and that is saying a lot for a lentil soup! Sooo good!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.18.2022

      Ha ha, I’m glad you’ve loved it so much!

  2. Ingela
    04.12.2022

    I can’t find fire roasted tomatoes where I live, what would be the best substitute? Sundried, regular tomatoes? What do you think? The recipe looks awesome!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      04.13.2022

      Hi Ingela, just regular canned diced tomatoes will work great.

  3. Nat
    02.24.2022

    I cooked the soup for at least an hour but my lentils turned out crunchy. Any advice?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      02.25.2022

      Hi Nat, oh wow, an hour should be plenty. When beans and legumes are older they can take much longer to cook (or sometimes just never soften). It’s sometimes hard to know how long they’ve been on the shelf at a store. I would just keep simmering, they should soften.

  4. Bridget Cassun
    01.31.2022

    5 stars
    Delicious soup; so quick, easy and tasty. Definitely will be a favorite quick and hearty dinner!

  5. Stevie Smith
    01.31.2022

    5 stars
    Delicious soup! So good with the fresh ginger!

  6. Meg Wiese
    01.31.2022

    5 stars
    Such a delicious and easy recipe. I should have added a bit more water but yummy thicker too!

  7. Kate Milke
    01.31.2022

    Loved this soup, so easy and didn’t need to sit for a day for all the flavor

  8. Claire Poppett
    01.31.2022

    We made this tonight and it was delicious! My 3 year old ate 2 bowls!

  9. Julie Steet
    01.31.2022

    What an easy and delicious soup!!

  10. Carrie McCormack
    01.31.2022

    5 stars
    This soup is SO GOOD! It could not be easier either. It warms you from the inside out. Perfect for winter. We’re definitely adding it to the rotation!

  11. Samantha Barnett
    01.31.2022

    5 stars
    This soup was delicious! Thank you for the recipe!

  12. Joanne
    01.31.2022

    5 stars
    Absolutely delicious! Perfect warm and filling soup for a snowy day.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.