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 262 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.

362 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Emily
    01.26.2022

    5 stars
    This soup is perfect for a -20 degree day in Wisconsin.

  2. Anna Bartels
    01.26.2022

    5 stars
    This was tasty on a cold night, the lime juice really finished it off well. Savory, flavorful, and comforting!

  3. Will Peterson
    01.26.2022

    5 stars
    This recipe was a hit with my family! My son, who is a picky eater, kept asking for more 🙂 We will be making this again!

  4. Kaylyn Petsalis
    01.26.2022

    5 stars
    Well, that was delicious!!! I love a good soup and the flavors in this one brightened up my cold overcast day. Such a simple recipe but definitely not lacking in flavor. Thanks Jeanine!

  5. Susan Bierzychudek
    01.25.2022

    5 stars
    I made this Curried Lentil Soup today for lunch and it was spicy, flavorful, delicious and easy to make. I will add this to my recipe box and during more winter days make it again. 🥣

  6. Sarah Parker
    01.25.2022

    5 stars
    Delicious lentil soup recipe! The lime juice at the end makes it!!

  7. Cecilia Caughman
    01.25.2022

    5 stars
    Delicious and perfect for a cold, snowy day. Can’t wait to make it again!

  8. Carrie Ullenbruch
    01.24.2022

    5 stars
    I made this for the January Cooking Club and honestly wasn’t expecting to like it but I was pleasantly surprised! The curry flavor wasn’t too strong (I’m not a big curry fan) and the cilantro and lime juice added a nice brightness. The more I ate, the more I liked it. I’m so happy I tried this recipe and will definitely make it again!

  9. Susan Collison
    01.24.2022

    5 stars
    Thank you for another winning recipe, Jeanine! The Curried Lentil Soup was PERFECT for this cold winter day!

    • Susan Collison
      01.24.2022

      5 stars
      Trader Joe’s has the cutest little frozen ginger “ice cubes” that I used in place of fresh ginger ~ seems like when I buy fresh, it gets old on my counter…this was the perfect switch! Each cube is 1 teaspoon.

  10. Daly Tongren
    01.24.2022

    5 stars
    Delicious and cozy! Loved making this for the cooking club.

  11. Lindsey
    01.24.2022

    5 stars
    What a delicious and comforting soup during these frigid temps in Iowa!

  12. Brenda Leis
    01.23.2022

    5 stars
    Great choice for a January cooking club recipe. It was -35 C or about-31 F here in Ontario’s cottage country this week.. It is a great meal to enjoy after shoveling snow.

  13. Townsend Crocker
    01.23.2022

    4 stars
    Made it tonight! So good and so easy! Will save this recipe!

  14. Rachel Arenstein
    01.23.2022

    5 stars
    This actually is the BEST lentil soup. I’ve made it before with red lentils because it was all I had. This time I got the green ones, and the texture is really nice. I couldn’t find coconut milk, so I used half a can of coconut cream, and it worked very well. Excited for all my lunches this week!

  15. Janis Pankey
    01.23.2022

    5 stars
    5 out of 5!! This was easy to make, and it was just delicious. A nearby mediterranean restaurant sells great pita, so I made a quick trip for the perfect accompaniment to this wonderful soup! I’ll make it often.

  16. Laura Burke
    01.23.2022

    5 stars
    This soup was so delicious and easy to make. I used hot curry and a little extra pepper flakes and it was perfect. Satisfying and fresh tasting all at once!

  17. Loni Jakubowski
    01.23.2022

    5 stars
    I’m not a menu planner so when I decided to make this today, I had to make a few substitutions. I dumped the last of some soy ginger broth in as well as some lemongrass. Super delicious and would make again. 💕

  18. Amy Rupple
    01.23.2022

    I’m curious where your serving ladle is from?😍

  19. Sibyl Holland
    01.23.2022

    5 stars
    It is unreasonably good for how low effort it is. Glad this was January’s recipe for cooking club!

  20. Kerry Vitiello
    01.23.2022

    Fantastic Flavor! Love the addition of curry to spice up a lentil soup. Will def. ad this soup to my goto’s

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.