lunch & dinner, recipes, vegetarian & plant-based

Red Lentil Soup With Coconut Milk

This red lentil soup with coconut milk is a comforting, wholesome, delicious, and incredibly easy to make recipe. While fresh ginger, garlic and onions provide the base, tomato puree and curry paste got you covered with an incredibly intense flavor. In addition, the coconut milk provides plenty of creaminess.

If desired you can also add some celery, carrots or potatoes to this comforting, vegan and gluten-free soup or serve it with fresh spinach leaves or some nutty arugula. 

If you love creamy and simple soup recipes, make sure to check out my creamy pumpkin soup or my simple tomato soup with canned tomatoes!

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Creamy red lentil soup with coconut milk in a bowl served with fresh cilantro and limes.
This red lentil soup is comforting, creamy and so incredibly delicious

About this Recipe

Now that fall is becoming more and more apparent, I immediately start craving comfort food. And what better way to satisfy that craving than with a super delicious red lentil soup. 

With its Far Eastern flavors, a slight spiciness, and an incredible creaminess, it not only warms us from the inside, but it also transports us right into the delicious world of Levantine cuisine. 

But don’t panic if you’re thinking this sounds like challenging recipe. This soup can hardly be any easier to make. But at the same time, it tastes like a pretty elaborate dish, so it’s also is a perfect dish to serve our guests. 

And thanks to the increasing popularity of Eastern and Asian cuisine, you should be able to find all the ingredients your local grocery store.

Uncooked red lentils in a bowl.
Red lentils provide lots of protein, fiber, minerals and vitamins.

Ingredients 

  • A yellow or red onion, two cloves of garlic and a small piece of fresh ginger
  • A little bit of oil and a pinch of salt
  • Tomato paste and a tiny bit of curry paste for flavor – choose either a yellow or red curry paste, depending on the availability. The red one is a little bit spicier than the yellow one.
  • Vegetable broth
  • Uncooked red lentils (you don’t need to soak them)
  • Canned strained tomatoes
  • Coconut milk – if you like you can also use the fat-reduced version
  • Black pepper and a pinch of turmeric
  • The juice of half a lime 
  • To serve: some fresh cilantro (if you like), some coconut milk and, if desired, some fresh spinach or arugula. 

You’ll find the specific measurements in the recipe card further down. The amounts given there make about two servings. But you can use the buttons there, to double or triple the quantities. 

Please note, I always base portion sizes on my personal dietary needs (presumably those of the average woman). However, you or perhaps one of your fellow eaters may need more or less than I do. So, feel free to adjust.

Ingredients for the red lentil soup with coconut milk.
Ingredients for the red lentil soup with coconut milk.

Substitutions and Variations 

If you would like to sneak in some additional vegetables, you can chop up a large carrot and add it to the soup. Alternatively, celeriac or bell peppers would also go very well with this soup. In fact, celeriac is my personal go to vegetables for this recipe.

If you want your soup to be even creamier, you can add two small potatoes (about 100 grams or 3.5 ounces). Just chop them like the carrots and add them to the pot alongside the lentils. Since the potatoes release their starch into the soup and make it even creamier and thicker, make sure to add a little more water. 

If you don’t have turmeric on hand, you can also replace it with twice the amount of curry powder or just leave it out.

How to Make this Recipe

To make this recipe you’ll only need a pot or sauce pan as well as a hand blender. Alternatively, you could also use a regular blender or, if you don’t have this one either, you can serve the soup without blending it. It may look a bit different, but it tastes just as good. 

First, peel and finely dice the onion and garlic cloves. Then cut off a small piece of ginger (it should be a bit smaller than your thumb) and either peel it with a spoon or cut the skin away very sparingly. Then cut the ginger into small cubes as well. 

In a pot, add the oil and the finely diced onions, garlic, and ginger pieces. Season them with a pinch of salt and sauté over medium heat until the onions are translucent.

Sautéed onions, garlic and ginger in a pot.
Step 1: Sauté the onion, garlic cloves and ginger.

Next up, add the tomato and curry paste. After a couple of minutes your whole kitchen should smell like a middle eastern restaurant. So, reduce the heat, add the lentils and deglaze with your vegetable broth, the strained tomatoes and the coconut milk.

Put on the lid and let the soup simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the lentils are soft and the soup as a creamy consistency. If that’s the case, you can start puree it with your hand blend. 

Finally, season your red lentil soup with turmeric, some freshly cracked black pepper and the juice of half a lime. And don’t forget the taste test so you can adjust the flavor to your liking.

Process shot showing a pot with sautéed onions, garlic, ginger in a tomato and curry paste mixture.

How to Serve the Soup

If you like, you can serve the lentil soup with some coconut milk and a few fresh leaves of cilantro or parsley on top. To add some greens, serve it alongside some baby spinach or arugula. Especially the nutty, slightly bitter note of arugula goes really well with the complex flavors of our soup.

As with any soup, you can also serve it with some bread on the side. Either choose a fresh baguette, a sourdough bread or some toasted bread slices. 

Here’s How to Save this Recipe or Make It in Advance

Since this red lentil soup is so easy to prepare, it fits perfectly in every meal prep routine. But on the same time it’s an impressive appetizer when you’re have guests coming over.

However, if you want to meal prep this recipe of have some leftovers, you can transfer them to an airtight container. When stored in the fridge they will keep for several days. You can reheat the soup on the stove as well as in your microwave.

Furthermore, you can also freeze any leftovers. Simply transfer them to a suitable container and pop them in the freezer where they will keep for at least three months. 

Creamy red lentil soup with coconut milk in a bowl served with fresh cilantro.

Your Common Questions Answered

In case there are any questions left, I hope these FAQ will help you. If not, feel free to drop your question in the comments below.

Can I add some additional vegetables to this red lentil soup?

Absolutely, especially carrots and celery go well with it. Alternatively, you can also use bell peppers or jarred roasted peppers. Just cut up the veggies and add them to the soup after the tomato and curry paste have released their aroma. Fry them briefly before you add the lentils and then continue as described in the recipe.

How do I serve the lentil soup?

You can serve this red lentil soup as an appetizer or main course. If you like you can garnish it with some coconut milk and fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. If you want to add some more greens, you can serve it with fresh arugula or baby spinach. And of course, some bread or yogurt on top would be a great idea, too.

Is this red lentil soup a healthy and wholesome dish?

This soup is in fact very healthy. Thanks to the lentils, it contains plenty of fiber, minerals, phytochemicals, and plant-based protein. Garlic, onions, and ginger are also rich in antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. In addition, coconut milk provides healthy fats.

Save for later

Click the pin button and add the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards. This way you can also easily bookmark the recipe for later. The pin button will appear as soon as you hover over the picture. 

Use the button in the upper left corner to pin this recipe to your Pinterest board.
Bookmark the recipe for later!

You might also like

I hope you like this red lentil soup with coconut milk and that you give it a try soon. If you have any further questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comments, or send me a massage via email at contact@julesbalancedrecipes.com or Instagram (@julesbalancedrecipes). 

In case, you’ve tried this recipe, I’d appreciate your comment and rating for this recipe. It’s easy to do via the comments section below this post and it would mean the world to me.

And if you loved this recipe, you may also like some of my other healthy soul food recipes like …

Have fun trying it out and bon appétit,
Jules

Creamy red lentil soup with coconut milk in a bowl served with fresh cilantro.

Red Lentil Soup

Julia Schmitt
This delicious, creamy red lentil soup with coconut milk is quick to make and can be served as a starter or main dish. If you'd like to throw in some more veggies, you can add carrots or celery to the soup, or serve it with fresh arugula or spinach.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Middle-Eastern
Servings 2 servings
Calories 316 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 pot
  • 1 hand blender *

Ingredients
  

  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1.5 tsp curry paste (red or yellow)
  • 100 g uncooked red lentils (3.5 oz or ½ cup)
  • 300 ml vegetable broth (10.1 fl. oz)
  • 100 g strained tomatoes (3.5 oz)
  • 100 g coconut milk (fat-reduced) (100ml or 3.5 oz)
  • black pepper, turmeric **
  • 1 lime
  • To serve: more coconut milk, fresh cilantro or parsley, arugula, spinach, or bread 

Instructions
 

  • Peel and finely dice the onion, garlic cloves and ginger. In a pot, add the oil as well as the onion, garlic, and ginger cubes. Season with a pinch of salt and sauté until the onions are translucent. 
    Sautéed onions, garlic and ginger in a pot.
  • Add the tomato and curry paste and keep on frying for another two to three minutes. 
    Process shot showing a pot with sautéed onions, garlic, ginger in a tomato and curry paste mixture.
  • Add the lentils and deglaze with the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and coconut milk. Mix well and make sure nothing sticks to the bottom of your pot. Reduce the head, close the lid, and let it simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes.
    Process shot of making a red lentil soup with coconut milk.
  • As soon as the time is over and the lentils are nicely soft and have absorbed most of the liquid, remove the pot from the heat and start blending it up with your hand blender.* Season to taste with pepper, turmeric, some lime juice, and salt if needed. Garnish with coconut milk, herbs and serve it with your choice of side dish. 
    Creamy red lentil soup with coconut milk in a bowl served with fresh cilantro.

Notes

*Alternatively use a regular blender or skip this step.

Nutrition

Calories: 316kcalCarbohydrates: 32gProtein: 14.5gFat: 12.7gSaturated Fat: 5.6gCholesterol: 0.1mgSodium: 603.4mgPotassium: 464.8mgFiber: 6.8gSugar: 6.2gVitamin A: 27.5IUVitamin C: 3.5mgCalcium: 35.3mgIron: 3.1mg
Keyword coconut milk, lentil soup, red lentils
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2 Comments

  1. Can you please include the amount of lentils you used in this recipe?
    Thank you!

  2. Hi Leanne, I’m so sorry. How could I forgot the lentil in a lentil soup recipe? 😀 I just updated the recipe, you’ll need 100 grams or 1/2 cup of red lentils. Have a great day!

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