Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup
This recipe calls for medium curry powder, but it’s flexible. If the one you have is mild or very spicy, adjust the heat level with more, or less, red pepper flakes.
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 2½-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon medium curry powder (such as S&B)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup finely chopped cilantro, plus leaves with tender stems for serving
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well
- Lime wedges (for serving)
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Cook onion, stirring often, until softened and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lentils and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, ½ cup cilantro, a generous pinch of salt, and 2½ cups water; season with pepper. Set aside ¼ cup coconut milk for serving and add remaining coconut milk to saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft but not mushy, 20–25 minutes. Season soup with more salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with reserved coconut milk and top with more cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Do Ahead: Soup (without toppings) can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.
Curried lentil, tomato and coconut soup from Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook (page 52) by Yotam Ottolenghi
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- tinned coconut milk
- fresh ginger
- red lentils
- coconut oil
- chilli flakes
- coriander sprigs
- medium curry powder
- tinned chopped tomatoes
Always check the publication for a full list of ingredients. An Eat Your Books index lists the main ingredients and does not include 'store-cupboard ingredients' (salt, pepper, oil, flour, etc.) - unless called for in significant quantity.
More soups please!
If you liked this recipe please try my Greek tomato toup with feta & basil, an ideal partner to crusty bread. A very easy and comforting soup is the traditional Greek chickpea lemon soup, it is delicious and humbly perfect. And real winner is my red kabocha soup with porcini mushrooms, it is creamy and sophisticated with layers of flavor that leave you satisfied & pleasantly surprised.
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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.
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!
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!).
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.
Curried Lentil, Tomato and Coconut Soup
I’ve become soft. That’s what my East Coast family and friends tell me. LA has had an unusally cold and rainy winter and I can’t get warm. By “cold,” I mean below 60 degrees, but above 40 degrees. I know my friends in the midwest have NO sympathy for me. I wouldn’t either. But what to do if you feel cold? Make a warming soup.
I can’t stop making this winner from Bon Appetit and I thought it would be easier for all of us if the recipe had a permanent place on my website. If I didn’t have to recipe-test all the time, I would make this soup more often! It is everything I love: comforting, easy, flavorful, nutritious, inexpensive and makes use of pantry staples. I mean, what more could you ask for? The dominant flavor here is the curry powder, but it’s not overwhelming. My family liked it the way it’s written, I would not have minded a little more or even a little more heat because I really like spicy food. Red lentils have become a regular ingredient around here and they’re easy to find. I love the way they turn into mush when they’re cooked – pure comfort! Plus they have loads of fiber and protein making this an excellent meatless meal or weekend lunch. My son takes leftovers in his thermos with a few whole grain crackers!
Back to warming foods for a minute. If you are trying to stay warm, please do not drink cold drinks, smoothies, and raw foods/salads. These all have a cooling thermal nature and will work against your desire to feel warm. Warm soups and cooked foods, ginger and spices, black pepper and broths are where it’s at. I hope you all have a wonderful President’s Weekend! Check back for my dinner planner which I always post on Friday nights. If you are participating in my online cooking classes, the February class is UP!
Please tag me on Instagram @pamelasalzman #pamelasalzman so I can see all your creations. I love seeing what you are cooking up!!
You can shop the tools I used for this recipe by clicking on the images below:
Yotam Ottolenghi's Curried lentil, tomato and coconut soup
This soup is so deliciously warming and made with ingredients that I usually have on hand (with the exception of fresh coriander). I have made it with ground coriander too and it is still delicious. It is quite spicy with the chilli and fresh ginger, so add less of these ingredients if you need. I have doubled the recipe that appears in Ottolenghi's "Simple" cookbook. Lentils are a nutrition powerhouse, full of fibre that feeds our gut microbes. Cooked and served in just over 30 minutes, this soup is faster, tastier and far more nutritious than take-away.
- 2 tbs coconut (or EVOO)
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed
- 8cm piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 300g red lentils
- 4 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 50g coriander stalks, roughly chopped, plus leaves to garnish
- 2 x 400ml tins of coconut milk
- salt and pepper
On a medium heat, heat oil and fry the onion (stirring frequently) until soft and caramelised. Add the curry poweder, chilli flakes, garlic and ginger and continue to fry for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add the lentils and stir through, then add the tomatoes, coriander and 1000ml water, salt and pepper.
In a bowl, pour in the coconut milk and whisk gently until smooth and creamy. Keep aside a few tablespoons for garnish, and add the rest to the soup. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer gently for 25 minutes or until the lentils are soft but still holding their shape. If the soup looks thick, add a little more water.
Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 (2 1/2") piece fresh ginger, peeled, finely grated
1 Tbs medium curry powder (powder not paste)
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish.
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 (13.5 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well
Lime wedges, toasted coconut, and crusty bread (for serving)
Melt coconut oil over medium heat in a medium sized pot or Dutch oven. Add the onion and saute until soft, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder and continue to cook for another 30 seconds. Add the lentils, tomatoes, cilantro, coconut milk, 2 cups of water, and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes or until lentils are soft.
Serve the soup in a big bowl topped with more cilantro, toasted coconut, and lime wedges.
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 2 onion , finely chopped (about 2 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 tbsp mild curry powder
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils
- 1 400-mL can light coconut milk
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- Boil 5 cups of water in a kettle.
- Heat a large pot over medium-high. Add oil, then onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, 3 to 4 min. Add garlic, curry powder and 1 tbsp water. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 min.
- Add lentils and boiling water. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, partially covered, stirring often, until lentils are mushy, about 30 min. Stir in coconut milk, honey and salt. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with cilantro.
Curried Lentil Soup (Instant Pot)
Rich, creamy Curried Lentil Soup is a delicious vegan meal in a bowl. Lentils, curry, tomato sauce, coconut milk, garlic, ginger and cilantro are the stars of this instant pot soup.
Lentils are seeds in the legume family. They come in different colors – brown, black, green, red, yellow and orange. We’re using red, yellow or orange lentils because they are split and break down quickly.
Lentils are highly nutritious with 19 grams of protein and almost 16 grams of fiber per cooked cup. They are also low in calories and fat (but high in carbs) and packed with B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and potassium. No wonder they are considered an excellent meat substitute for vegetarians or those of us trying to cut back on meat. Also keep in mind that the recipe is both dairy free and gluten free.
This curried lentil soup is a cross between Indian and Thai flavors that include coconut milk, cilantro, curry powder and red curry paste. OK, that may sound a bit odd, but it works. You can make it as spicy or as mellow as you like. In fact, there are many variations you can try. I’ve listed a few below.
You can serve the soup as a starter or make it a complete meal in a bowl. It’s delicious served with warm Naan or any fresh bread.
If you like lentils, also try our very popular Red Lentil Vegetable Soup. Or how about our Vegetarian Split Pea Soup which uses a different variety of legume.
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