Snuggle up with a warm bowl of this flavorful Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup! It's easy to prepare, protein-rich, and made with such nourishing, plant-based ingredients. (Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.)
This Coconut Lentil Soup recipe is filled with so much warm, comforting flavor!
It's become a wintertime favorite in our house because of the tasty flavors and ease of assembly.
Plus it's filled with satisfying plant-based protein and fiber. I love to simmer up a pot on chilly days when we need a little extra coziness and wholesome nourishment.
Ingredients for Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
For this recipe you will simmer in a large pot:
- Yellow onion: Or you can use white onion or sweet onion instead.
- Garlic cloves: I like the taste of fresh garlic cloves, but you can substitute garlic powder if desired.
- Fresh ginger
- Curry powder: Most often I use mild curry powder from "Simply Organic" brand or whatever is in the bulk bins at our local co-op.
- Coconut milk: This adds so much richness and creaminess to the broth. I use a can of regular, unsweetened coconut milk.
- Vegetable broth: Be sure to use low sodium if desired.
- Canned diced tomatoes: You can either use regular diced tomatoes, petite diced, or fire-roasted.
- Red lentils: The texture of red split lentils works great with this recipe because they turn into a stew-like, tender consistency when you boil them. (I have not tested this with green/brown lentils or black lentils.)
- Lacinato/dinosaur kale: Or also substitute fresh baby spinach.
Other spices: You can also stir in other seasoning such as ground cumin or red curry paste.
Vegetables: Add other veggies such as carrots or sweet potatoes.
Make it spicy: This recipe has a gentle spice from the curry powder, but you can heat it up even more if you wish. Add cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to taste.
Top your bowl with optional garnish for added taste, texture, and flavor:
- A squeeze of fresh lemon juice or lime juice
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- A dollop of vegan yogurt (plain and unsweetened)
Tip: You can also serve this dish with naan or pita bread which is great for dipping in the golden broth!
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. I find they keep for about 4-5 days. Then simply reheat in the microwave when ready to enjoy.
For more inspiration, also browse all vegan comfort food recipes or kale recipes.
Vegan Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
- 1 yellow onion
- 5 cloves garlic
- 2 inch piece ginger
- 2 Tbsp. curry powder (I use mild)
- 14 oz. can coconut milk (regular, unsweetened)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (or petite diced, crushed, etc.)
- 1 cup red lentils (uncooked)
- 2-3 cups lacinato kale (or spinach)
- Fresh lemon/lime juice, cilantro, cashews, vegan yogurt (plain & unsweetened)
- Dice onion.
- In a stockpot over medium-high heat, sauté onion for 7-8 minutes. (I use 3 Tbsp. water/broth for no-oil sauté method, adding more as needed.)
- Meanwhile, mince garlic and grate ginger.
- When onion is translucent, add garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Stir and sauté 2-3 minutes.
- Add coconut milk, diced tomatoes, broth, and red lentils (rinsed and drained).
- Bring to a light boil. Then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 25 minutes.
- Add roughly chopped kale during the last 5 minutes of cook time. Salt/pepper to taste.
Nutrition Per Serving (Estimate)
Sodium: This is omitted as I cannot provide an accurate number. I encourage you to calculate your own to provide a much more precise reading based on the exact ingredients, brands, and amounts you're using.
If you are enjoying this coconut curry red lentil soup and are looking for more curry-spiced inspiration, also check out:
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So delicious and easy to make! I love the little ginger taste that it brings. Have made it several times and always a family favorite. Plus it heats up just as yummy the next day.
Great to hear. Thanks for sharing, Katie.
I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious.
Wonderful, Sandra! Thanks for giving it a try and sharing your kind feedback. Great to hear you enjoyed!
Delicious and nutritious. My husband and I love this recipe.
So happy to hear you both enjoy this one, Katie! Thanks for sharing your very kind feedback.
Wonderful recipe. So easy to make. The cilantro and lemon really brightened up the soup. I did three modifications because I enjoy a bit more heat. I de-veined/seeded (skip if you want even more heat) & minced 2 habanero peppers and added when I was doing the onions. I also grated a carrot in before I brought to the light boil. Final change, I used Bok choy instead of Kale because that is what I had on hand.
Had a vegan friend drop by the house and they had a bowl and demanded the recipe.
Hi Robert! Fantastic to hear. And really great additions - so glad you were able to spice it up more. Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful and helpful feedback!
This was DELICIOUS and easy to make! I added carrots, celery and used spinach as I didn’t have kale.
So great to hear, Kathy! Thanks for sharing your helpful feedback!
This was easy and delicious! I used tinned lentils and it worked great. I added a splash of lime to my bowl before eating and it was the perfect little tang/freshness to brighten up this delicious curry! Even my two kids ate it and they don’t like spicy.
Fantastic to hear, Jenn! And so glad your kids enjoyed it as well. Thanks for giving it a try and sharing your kind feedback!
This looks warm and cozy, but I only have brown lentils. Do you think this could still work, perhaps with a bit longer cooking time? If you have any suggestions I'd love to hear your advice. Looks delicious!
Hi Sam! The taste and texture will be a little different, but brown lentils should work too. (They will hold their shape much better than red lentils which become broken down and more mushy/stew-like which thickens the soup.) You shouldn't have to extend the cooking time much or at all. I'd estimate 25-30 minutes or until your lentils are tender. Would love to hear if you give it a go!
The first time I made this recipe I was amazed by how tasty it was because it's so simple to make! Usually, quick and easy soups are lacking in richness, but not this one. I also get sick of recipes really quickly, but somehow I can make this one every couple of weeks and thoroughly enjoy it every time. It's a tried and true standby. Highly recommended in a big bowl with some bread!
Really great to hear this, Julia! I'm so glad you're enjoying it still. Thank you for sharing your very kind + thoughtful feedback!
Delicious and so easy! I love your recipes. I’m making it again for a friend who is in quarantine!
Hi Casey! That's so great to hear - thank you for your feedback. Very kind of you to share it with your friend! Wishing you a beautiful weekend! -Kaitlin
Hello, would love to try this recipe but only have green lentils…will they be ok to use? Thanks
Hi Deb! I prefer red lentils with this recipe because they have a softer texture when cooked, but green could probably work too. Just be aware the green lentils will remain firm after cooking and have a stronger, earthier flavor. (You may need to slightly increase the cooking time as well.) Hope you enjoy!
Served with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Delicious recipe!
Wonderful to hear!
Just made this soup on 15th May 21. It bursts with flavour. I added some noodles at the end cooked in a sweet Thai chili flavour noodles.
The noodle addition sounds great!
Can you sub the coconut milk with homemade cashew milk? If so, how much cashews/ water? I don’t like canned coconut milk but the recipe looks great! Thanks!
I haven't tried substituting the coconut milk, however I think cashew milk could work! It'll run slightly thinner, so to maintain the same consistency you may want to use less cashew milk (maybe about 1.25 cups or so). You could also add a little cornstarch (or your favorite thickener) to achieve the creamier consistency as well if desired. Would love to hear if you give it a go and how the substitution works out!
Wow! This soup is amazing. It is so so delicious, and so very easy too. This is the second recipe of yours that I’ve used and both have blown me away with just how tasty they are. I haven’t had to adjust a thing, and I made this today without any extras at all and it was incredible. Added a ton of kale and it was really filling too. I can’t wait to try some more recipes. Thank you Kaitlin, I’m so glad that I found your site.
Hi Emma! Very sweet of you to leave a comment - thank you. I'm thrilled to hear you've found a couple recipes you enjoy, and appreciate you taking the time to come back and let me know!
I just made this and it's so good. I added a little red curry paste in addition to the curry powder and it just slightly kicked the heat up. We’re trying to eat more fiber in the form of beans and lentils so it was very timely! Thank you!
I love your red curry paste addition. Thanks for sharing!
I just made this, and it it’s definitely a keeper. I used lite coconut milk, so it wasn’t as creamy as yours looks, but the flavor was great!
Thanks for sharing, Heather!
This soup is so delicious, and very easy to make! Thanks!
Lovely to hear you enjoyed it, Maryam! Thank you so much for sharing.
Made this soup last night and it was unreal! It was so easy to make and the flavors were incredible. This is the second soup of yours I’ve now made and both were so good! Thank you for sharing and I’m excited to try some others.
Great to hear!