This post is for my mom. I made the first version of this soup a few months ago when my family came over for dinner, and every time I’ve seen her since, she’s asked, “where is that 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 be quick to make with 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 she can eat them for multiple meals. Right now, her regular rotation includes this Butternut & Cauliflower Vegetable Curry, the Brussels Sprout & Coconut Rice from our first cookbook, and after today… this soup. I’m sure she’s making her shopping list as you read this.
Why I Love This Lentil Soup Recipe
This soup has been on repeat in our house this winter, and there’s good reason for that. Here’s why I love this lentil soup (and why I think you will, too):
- Filled with curry spices & creamy coconut milk, it’s a warming, comforting way to warm up on a winter weeknight.
- Made with lime & ginger, this cozy soup also has bright flavors that keep it feeling fresh & light.
- It’s made with pantry ingredients like dry lentils, canned tomatoes, onions, garlic, and spices, so it’s easy to whip up without a trip to the store.
- It comes together in just over 30 minutes (and most of the time is hands-off simmering), so you can enjoy it any night of the week.
- It freezes well! Make a big batch to keep on hand for busy weeknights or weekday lunches.
- It’s just really good.
How to Make My Favorite 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.
As I mentioned above, I love how this vegetarian lentil soup is made with mostly pantry ingredients. 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 often become mushy, 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 which is really convenient because now I always have them in the pantry.
Diced fire-roasted tomatoes 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!).
If you make this lentil soup recipe, please let me know how it turns out for you in the comments! Enjoy!
- 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 and serve.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious.