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January 9, 2024

Red Lentil Soup

Coconut milk makes this simple red lentil soup creamy and rich, while curry spices give it warmth and complexity. And it’s versatile–you can make it vegan, or add shredded chicken.

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A bowl of homemade red lentil soup with chicken and peas topped with cilantro and greek yogurt

More warming soup recipes

An Easy Red Lentil Soup Recipe You Can Make Your Own

This versatile red lentil soup has a creamy coconut milk base, with curry spices for warmth and fragrance. Cauliflower, spinach, peas and chicken give the soup additional texture. Lentils are extremely nutritious, especially if you’re following a vegan or vegetarian diet, because they pack a lot of protein! We love them in our Tuna Lentil Salad, Walnut and Lentil Bolognese, Paprika & Cinnamon Roast Chicken with Lentils. Check out our 60 Best Vegetarian Meals and 30 Best Soup Recipes for more inspiration.

spinach, onion, lentils, peas, chicken, coconut milk, cauliflower, canned tomatoes, coconut oil, spices and broth in bowls

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Ingredients For Red Lentil Soup

  • Coconut oil

  • Onion

  • Garlic

  • Spices: garam masala, ground ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin

  • Stock

  • Crushed tomatoes

  • Coconut milk

  • Cauliflower florets

  • Red split lentils

  • Frozen peas

  • Spinach

coconut oil, garlic, onion, garam masala, ground ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and cumin in a pot for red lentil soup
coconut oil, garlic, onion, garam masala, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, crushed tomatoes and coconut milk in a soup pot
coconut oil, garlic, onion, spices, crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, cauliflower and red lentils in a pot for red lentil soup
homemade red lentil soup in a pot made with crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, cauliflower, chicken and red lentils

How To Make Red Lentil Soup With Coconut Milk

  1. Make the red lentil soup base in a large pot. Sauté the onions and garlic, then stir in the spices.

  2. Pour in the tomatoes, broth, coconut milk, lentils and cauliflower and bring the pot to a boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are totally cooked.

  3. Stir in the peas, chicken, spinach and salt. Simmer a few more minutes until everything is warm. Ladle into bowls and serve with yogurt and cilantro.

spinach, chicken and peas being added to a pot of red lentil soup
homemade red lentil soup made with chicken, peas and spinach in a large soup pot
A bowl of homemade red lentil soup with chicken, spinach and peas topped with cilantro and greek yogurt
A bowl of homemade red lentil soup with chicken, spinach and peas topped with cilantro and greek yogurt

How to Store Leftover Soup + Tips

  • To freeze this soup, cool it down to room temperature, place it in an air-tight container and pop it in the freezer for 2-3 months. To serve, thaw completely in the fridge and heat it gently in a pot over medium heat. Save the yogurt until ready to serve, do not freeze or rewarm it with the yogurt mixed in.

  • Do red lentils need to be soaked? Nope! Red, brown, green—whatever kind you’ve got, lentils don’t need any soaking.

  • Lentils are a super source of fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and potassium making this coconut red lentil soup good for you.

a pot of red lentil soup made with coconut milk, chicken, spinach and peas
A bowl of homemade red lentil soup with chicken, spinach and peas topped with cilantro and greek yogurt

Find Many Vegetable Soups At The Modern Proper

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Red Lentil Soup

  • Serves: 6
  • Yields: 9 cups
  • Prep Time:  15 min
  • Cook Time:  25 min

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 (14-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk, shaken
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups shredded chicken (optional)
  • Plain Greek yogurt, for serving
  • Cilantro leaves, for serving

Method

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once the oil is glistening, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, 1 minute more. Stir in the garam masala, ground ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, stock, crushed tomatoes, and coconut milk.

  2. Add the cauliflower and red lentils. Increase the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally until the lentils and cauliflower are tender, about 15 minutes.

  3. Stir in the peas, spinach, salt, and chicken if using, and cook until the spinach is wilted and peas are warmed through, 3 to 5 minutes.

  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt and cilantro to serve.


Note: Sometimes we find that soups are even better the next day (or day after!). Store any leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Nutrition Info

  • Per Serving
  • Amount
  • Calories337
  • Protein13 g
  • Carbohydrates14 g
  • Total Fat17 g
  • Dietary Fiber7 g
  • Cholesterol0 mg
  • sodium604 mg
  • Total Sugars5 g

Red Lentil Soup

Questions & Reviews

Join the discussion below.

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  • Katie

    Would subbing cream or half & half make a substantial difference to the cooking or flavor?

    It should be fine, hope you enjoy Katie!

  • Aimee

    Could you make this in an instant pot?

    We haven't tested it in an instant pot yet.

  • Amy

    I am so excited to make this recipe, but am wondering if I make it tonight, will it reheat well tomorrow, or should I wait and make it tomorrow?
    Thank you so much!

    Yes, you can reheat it next day. Hope you enjoy Amy!

  • Anna Banner

    Did you parboil the chicken?

    You will want to fully cook the chicken before adding it to the soup. Hope you enjoy Anna!

  • Aislinn McCann

    Any chance broccoli might work instead of cauliflower? 🤔

    We haven't tried it with broccoli not sure it would hold up as well as the cauliflower but we'd love to hear if you try it!

  • Vanessa t

    Was the nutrition info including the chicken?
    I made this vegan and it was delicious!

    Hi Vanessa, it does not include the chicken. If an ingredient says "optional" next to it we don't include it in the nutrition facts. So glad you loved this one!

  • Cam

    So good and easy to make!

    Thanks Cam, glad you loved it!

  • Karyl

    Just made this and it’s amazing! I wouldn’t change a thing! I did not add the optional chicken so it would be vegetarian.

    Thanks so much Karyl, we are so glad you loved it!

  • Kristina

    Made this today and it’s fantastic!! I’m sure it’ll taste even better tomorrow!

    Thanks Kristina, we are so happy you loved it!

  • Emily

    Wow! This was a hit, and so easy to make. Definitely one I will be adding to my regular rotation.

    YAY, thanks Emily, we are so happy you loved it!