Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Story by Natalie
Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
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Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Let’s be honest- lentil soup doesn’t exactly win the award for being the most beautiful...but man is it good.

I grew up on lentils. I come from a big family, so soup was an easy staple that fed us all. Beef stew, chicken noodle, chicken and dumpling...and yes, lentil soup. I think my mom liked how budget friendly soups are and the fact that she could cook an entire dinner for 6 people in one pot, so for all those reasons and more I’m sure, lentils were frequently part of our family’s soup rotation and I loved it.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Now well into my adult life, I have to say that I’ve had some really bad lentil soup. Bad as in bland and mushy.  My mom’s was always loaded with Italian sausage, herbs and plenty of delicious broth. Little did I know how good I had it.

Maybe, like me, you’ve had some bad lentil soup in your life, without enough of the good stuff to balance your opinion of lentils. If so, I’m going to work hard to debunk the theory that lentils are bland and ugly and instead try to convince you to start cooking them and *hopefully* even start loving them as much as I do.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

What type of lentils do you use for soup?

Did you know lentils come in a rainbow of colors? Red lentils, green lentils, brown lentils, yellow lentils and more! For this particular soup we are using brown lentils as they (along with green) tend to hold their shape better, but you can really use any lentils you have on hand for this soup recipe (or any soup for that matter).

Do you have to soak lentils before cooking them?

Unlike dried beans, dried lentils do not need to be soaked before cooking! In fact, you don’t even need to rinse them if you don’t want to, making them ideal for the busy family. The variety in color and the ease of use are two of my favorite things about lentils.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

What is the nutritional value of lentil soup?

Lentil soup is packed with nutrition!

  • Lentils help to lower cholesterol and a lower cholesterol means lower risk for heart disease.
  • High in insoluble fiber (the good fiber), lentils keep you regular and stabilize your blood sugar giving this pulse major points for digestive health.
  • Protein packed. 26% of lentil calories comes from protein. For this reason, lentils make a great vegan or “meatless Monday” option.
  • Being a great source of Iron, lentils use their super powers to give you energy and I know we can all get behind that!
Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

What do you do with the lentils to make them taste great?

The key to a flavorful soup is understanding that broth matters. The broth is really the foundation of flavor for your soup, and it’s that flavor that the lentils will absorb. The higher quality your broth, the more flavor-packed your lentils will be. For this recipe I used a mixture of coconut milk and good quality chicken stock (homemade is best!) for the broth, which results in a very hearty and rich soup.

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

After you’ve decided on your base, the next step is your add-ins. In this soup, the broth is rich enough to omit meat, but I’ve added sweet potatoes, kale, onions, loads of curry, garlic, and ginger for extra flavor. When I feel like getting creative, here is a list of some of my favorite additional add-ins:

  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Cauliflower
  • Mushrooms
  • Chicken
  • Ground turkey
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Zucchini

Now that fall is here, this recipe will be on repeat in our house until the weather warms up again (so, like another 9 months or so). Aside from the fact that it is healthy and delicious, it this meal only takes 30 minutes start to finish! Served with a big hunk of buttered crusty bread, my family is more than happy to embrace a warm bowl of this coconut curry lentil soup any day, and I’m confident yours will be, too!  

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

If you make this Coconut Curry Lentil Soup, we’d love to hear about it! Be sure to snap a photo, add it to your Instagram feed or stories and tag @themodernproper and #themodernproper if you do. Also, feel free to leave a comment on the post and tell your friends where you discovered the recipe!

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

1.5 cups dried brown lentils
2 13.5 oz cans coconut milk
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
2 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, about 2 small potatoes
4 cups packed kale, stems removed and torn into 2" pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 tbsp yellow curry powder
1 cinnamon stick, or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Method

  1. In 5qt pot heat olive oil over medium heat add in onions and saute until translucent.
  2. Add in all other ingredients except for kale and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Allow to simmer covered for 20 minutes.
  3. Add in kale and simmer uncovered for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with warm bread and enjoy!

If cooking a slow cooker or crock pot, add all ingredients to slow cooker except for kale and cook on low for 4 hours. Add in kale halfway through the cooking process for brighter, firmer kale.