This creamy (yet dairy free) lentil coconut curry soup is packed with flavor, vegetables, and protein-rich red lentils. Make this vegan soup in one pot on the stovetop, and it’s ready to enjoy in 30 minutes. A perfect cozy plant-based weeknight meal.

Prefer green lentils? Try my curried green lentil and quinoa soup!

white speckled bowl of coconut curry lentil soup with a silver spoon and some of the ingredients surrounding it

If you love the flavor of curry, garlic, and ginger, this red lentil curry soup is for you!

As a Registered Dietitian, I believe lentils are an underutilized ingredient.

They’re affordable, versatile, easy to prepare, and packed with plant-based protein!

This vegan coconut lentil soup is flavor-packed and full of different vegetables.

As the red lentils cook, they break apart and thicken the soup into a dreamy creamy consistency.

The coconut curry broth is cozy and comforting, just perfect for a cold winter night.

This recipe is vegan, gluten free, nut free, dairy free, and soy free.

You’ll cook it up in one pot on the stovetop in 30 minutes or less. It makes 6 servings.

More vegan soup recipes to try: broccoli leek soup, butternut squash & black bean chili, and carrot potato soup.

Step-by-step video

Ingredients in lentil coconut curry soup

Here is everything you need to make this soup.

The list may look long, but you likely have most of the ingredients in your pantry.

  • Red lentils
  • Spinach
  • White onion
  • Garlic
  • Ginger
  • Curry powder
  • Turmeric
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Canned coconut milk
  • Canned diced tomatoes
  • Vegetable broth
  • Lime
  • Salt

Kitchen tools needed: The beauty of this recipe is you just need one stock pot to cook it. You’ll also need a good knife and cutting board for chopping veggies.

coconut curry red lentil soup ingredients measured out on a white backdrop

What is curry powder?

Curry powder is a spice blend that may include turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, fennel, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.

Because it contains turmeric, curry powder usually has a vibrant yellow orange hue.

Interestingly, curry powder is not actually a staple in Indian cuisine.

It was first concocted by 18th century British colonialists, in an attempt to mimic traditional Indian cooking flavors.

It’s important to note that cuisine varies immensely within the country of India, and what we know as curry powder represents just a small subset of flavors.

Many other countries besides India have their own curries and curry blends, including Thailand, Japan, Sri Lanka, Jamaica, and more.

For this recipe, I used a madras curry powder, because the flavors pair wonderfully with coconut milk! This one has turmeric, fenugreek, cumin, fennel, cinnamon, garlic, and more.

How to make lentil coconut curry soup

  1. Heat olive oil in a stock pot or enameled cast iron Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Cook onion, garlic, and ginger until fragrant.
  3. Add curry powder, spices, and salt. Stir everything together and cook for about 1 minute to bloom the spices.
  4. Add the lentils, then the canned coconut milk, canned diced tomatoes, and vegetable broth.
  5. Stir everything up. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
  6. Cook for 15-20 minutes until lentils are soft and creamy.
  7. Stir in the spinach, lime juice, and more salt to taste. Let cook for another 5 minutes until spinach is warmed through and completely wilted.
  8. Serve on it’s own or on top of rice. Garnish with fresh herbs such as cilantro or mint, if desired.

Orange pot with coconut curry red lentil soup

Storing lentil coconut curry soup

You can store this soup in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through.

Serving suggestions

You can serve this soup on it’s own, but I love over with basmati rice.

You could serve it over another grain such as quinoa, barley, or farro. I also love to garnish coconut curry soup with fresh cilantro, when I have it!

Hands surrounding a bowl of coconut curry soup, with one hand holding a spoon in the soup

Lentils nutrition & health benefits

Lentils, whether red, green, or brown, are incredibly nutrient-dense.

Lentils, as with other legumes, are high in dietary fiber.

One half cup of lentils provides 8 grams, or 28% of your daily fiber needs! One half cup of cooked lentils also contains:

  • 9 grams of plant-based protein
  • 3.3 mg iron (18% of your daily needs)
  • 0.167 mg thiamin (14% of your daily needs)
  • 179.19 mg folate (45% of your daily needs)
  • 1.26 mg zinc (11% of your daily needs)

As you can see, lentils are a good source of plant-based protein and iron.

If you follow a plant-based diet, these nutrients may be harder to eat enough of, so lentils are an excellent food to include regularly in your diet.

In addition to fiber, protein, and micronutrients, lentils also have plant compounds called polyphenols.

These compounds have antioxidant effects, keeping our cells healthy and helping to prevent certain diseases.

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment or star rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!

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white speckled bowl of coconut curry lentil soup with a silver spoon and some of the ingredients surrounding it

30-Minute Creamy Red Lentil Coconut Curry Soup

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  • Author: Alex Aldeborgh
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: serves 6
  • Category: Soups and stews
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
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Description

This creamy lentil coconut curry soup is packed with flavor, vegetables, and protein-rich red lentils. Make this vegan soup in one pot on the stovetop, and it’s ready to enjoy in 30 minutes. A perfect cozy plant-based weeknight meal.


Ingredients

Scale

  • 1 tbsp olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 can no salt added diced tomatoes (15 oz)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ¾ cup red lentils
  • 8 oz baby spinach or chopped kale
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • Salt to taste


Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot or enameled Dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat.
  2. Add onions, cook for 2 minutes until translucent.
  3. Add garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add curry powder, turmeric, cumin,  cinnamon, and a generous pinch of salt. Stir and let cook for 1 minute until fragrant to bloom the spices.
  5. Add coconut milk, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and lentils. Stir to mix everything and bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender and creamy.
  6. Stir in spinach and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until spinach is wilted and warmed through.
  7. Add lime juice and more salt to taste.
  8. Serve on its own or over rice. Garnish with fresh herbs if desired.

Notes

Storing lentil coconut curry soup

You can store this soup in the fridge in an airtight container. Reheat individual portions in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through.

Serving suggestions

You can serve this soup on it’s own, but I love over with basmati rice. You could serve it over another grain such as quinoa, barley, or farro. I also love to garnish coconut curry soup with fresh cilantro, when I have it!