Easy Lentil Curry Soup Recipe

You can never have too many healthy, simple soup recipes up your sleeve, especially when you're short on time but still want to enjoy a delicious meal that's full of flavor. For this easy lentil curry soup, we have Jaime Bachtell-Shelbert, who blogs at Wholly Nourished, to thank. As the title suggests, "It's super easy," according to Bachtell-Shelbert, who adds about her colorful, tasty, quick recipe, "This is a great starter plant-based meal."

And don't worry — for anyone afraid of too-hot curries, Bachtell-Shelbert assures Health Digest that this easy soup is "not spicy at all." 

So, if you want to cook up a meal that doesn't take long at all and won't make you feel heavy or weighed down post-meal but instead super satisfied, try this easy lentil curry soup. Eat it alone, or as Bachtell-Shelbert told us, "I like to serve this with coconut rice and roasted vegetables or a green salad." Dinner is done! 

Shop for your ingredients

This easy lentil curry soup requires a few specialty ingredients, but many are items you should have on hand. First, Bachtell-Shelbert notes either coconut oil or olive oil work fine here. Both have the same calorie and fat content and offer various health benefits, so this is really a personal choice.

Next, shop for or gather an onion, garlic, curry powder, turmeric, half of a red pepper, and vegetable base. For those not familiar with what this last ingredient is, Bachtell-Shelbert explained to Health Digest, "Vegetable base is all of the goodness of a vegetable stock condensed into a base that you can add water to and use as stock." Only have stock? That's okay. Bachtell-Shelbert notes, "You could substitute five cups of vegetable broth or chicken broth for the five cups of water and one tablespoon of the vegetable base."

Bachtell-Shelbert's recipe also calls for a can of petite diced tomatoes, red lentils, which Bachtell-Shelbert notes must be dried, as well as full-fat coconut milk. "This is the milk from the mature coconut that comes canned," she said. Note that it's different from light coconut milk and coconut cream. Finally, you will need spinach and cilantro.

Sauté your onion, garlic, and spices

Your very first step is to prep your veggies. So, dice the onion and red pepper, mince your garlic — or use the pre-minced, jarred variety — and chop the spinach and cilantro. Not a fan of this sometimes-divisive herb? It's okay — you can always skip the cilantro. Either way, after you finishing dicing and chopping, set the vibrant array of veggies aside.

Now, heat your chosen oil in a large pot set over medium heat. First, add the onion and sauté it until the onion starts to soften, which Bachtell-Shelbert notes will take about four minutes.

Then, add your garlic to the pot, sautéing the mixture for one more minute. Finally, you will add in your curry and golden-hued turmeric. Mix and cook the veggies and spices for another minute, enjoying the tummy-temping smell filling your kitchen.

Continue building your soup

At this stage, with your onion, garlic, and spices added, the diced red pepper can come to the party in the pot. Cook the soup for two more minutes before layering in the water, veggie base, and the diced tomatoes. 

Bring the mixture to a boil. It's almost time to add the lentils and the final ingredients to the soup. If you plan to serve this dish with any accompaniments, now is a good time to get going on those. Bachtell-Shelbert suggests rice and a salad or roasted veggies as the perfect sides. 

Cook the lentils and add the finishing touches to the soup

Once your soup liquid comes to a boil, add the lentils. Return the soup to a boil, then lower the heat on the stove, simmering the lentils for 12 minutes. Note that although Bachtell-Shelbert swears this soup is super easy and hard to mess up, she has one message of caution: "The only mistake I can think of is overcooking the lentils, which will fall apart and the curry will become mushy." 

So, after 12 minutes, move on to adding in the coconut milk. You will stir the soup until everything is well incorporated, and finally, add the chopped greens — your spinach and cilantro. And now, this bright, bursting-with-flavor soup is ready to savor either solo or with your sides of choice. 

Just don't forget to save this recipe so you can come back to it whenever you have a hankering for a simple, nutritious, hearty bowl of bliss.

Easy Lentil Curry Soup Recipe
5 from 23 ratings
You can never have too many healthy soup recipes up your sleeve, especially when you're short on time but still want to enjoy a delicious meal.
Prep Time
Cook Time
lentil curry soup served in a bowl
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced, about one cup
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable base
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • ¾ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 large handfuls spinach, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until it starts to soften, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute more.
  3. Add the curry and turmeric and saute 1 minute more.
  4. Add the diced pepper and cook for 2 more minutes.
  5. Add the water, vegetable base, and diced tomatoes. Raise heat and bring mixture to a boil.
  6. Add the lentils. Return soup to a boil, then lower heat and simmer 12 minutes.
  7. Add the coconut milk. Stir until incorporated.
  8. Add the spinach and cilantro. Stir.
Calories per Serving 205
Total Fat 7.5 g
Saturated Fat 6.1 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.5 g
Dietary Fiber 5.7 g
Total Sugars 4.1 g
Sodium 255.6 mg
Protein 9.8 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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