Red lentil soup puree in black plate on wooden table.

The days are getting colder, which means it’s time to curl up with a delicious bowl of lentil soup! This indulgent, dairy-free red lentil soup recipe is one of our favorites on those cold nights.

The Magic Soup

I never really thought much of lentils until I married my husband and adored his mother’s famous hearty lentil soup. While I’ve made that delicious recipe many times, and usually have a batch or two in my freezer, this coconut milk-based red lentil soup is my current go-to. Using red lentils, versus black or green lentils, gives it an especially soft, creamy consistency. So it’s equally delicious in a bowl or over some rice.

Not only is this red lentil soup delicious with its hints of cumin, but lentils also pack a powerful nutrient punch. A serving of plain lentils (100 g) has about 100 calories, 10 grams of protein, and 8 grams of fiber. So red lentils are good for you, too! Added bonus: kids like them, too!

Creamy Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Creamy Coconut Red Lentil Soup

Creamy dairy-free red lentil soup.
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: soup, Vegetarian

Equipment

  • pressure cooker, slow cooker, or Dutch oven

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp ginger
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 4 cups vegetable broth can sub chicken or beef broth
  • 1 can coconut milk use regular or light from a can. Don't use the coconut milk beverage from the refrigerator section
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups dried red lentils can sub other colors, but it will change the flavor and consistency of the soup.
  • 2-3 handfuls kale or spinach (optional)
  • salt/pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Turn Instant pot to saute function. Cook onion, garlic, and ginger for a couple of minutes until translucent.
  • Add tomato paste, curry, cumin, and stir together for one minute.
  • Add in broth, tomatoes, coconut milk, and lentils.
  • Turn off saute function. Turn on Instant Pot's pressure cooking feature. Cook at high for ten minutes. Make sure the top knob is sealed.
  • When complete, switch the top knob to vent, and let the steam escape. You can serve the soup immediately, or wait. It should keep for a few days in the refrigerator and much longer in the freezer.

What goes with Red Lentil Soup?

The creamy consistency of red lentils makes this recipe a delicious curry that would go well as a sauce with rice. If you’re trying to minimize carbs, try it over riced cauliflower instead. Hot, buttered naan is another delicious pairing for this lentil soup, and though this plant-based recipe is vegan, you can add in some chicken or beef if you want to increase the protein quotient of this lentil recipe. If you want to pair this recipe with something crispy, why not add lentil chips? Tortilla chips tips pair well with this red lentil soup recipe, too.

So try it out, and let us know what you think in the comments or on your favorite family app!

Curried red lentil tomato and coconut soup - delicious vegetarian food on dark background, top view

Don’t forget the garnish and sides!

Red Lentil Soup Cooking Tips:

  • You could easily make this recipe in a dutch oven or slow cooker, rather than the instapot. It really doesn’t make much of a difference. If you use a stovetop, cook on medium heat or medium-high until the soup starts to boil. Then lower the temperature and simmer on low or medium-low heat for about an hour, or until the lentils are soft.
  • The recipe has vegetable broth, but if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, feel free to mix things up with chicken broth or even beef broth. There’s no wrong way to make this recipe!
  • There’s already quite a bit of a tang from the tomatoes, but feel free to add a dash of lemon juice for some extra zest.
  • Feel free to add as much cumin as necessary and adjust your spices to your specific palate. This recipe is heavily inspired by Vegangela, but mine is a little less spicy.
  • While you don’t have to saute the onions ahead of time, sauteing really brings out the flavor, so I’d highly recommend this step. Olive oil and coconut oil are both great.
  • Don’t forget the garnish! A little cilantro or dollop of cream or guacamole adds a delicious kick to this delicious healthy indulgence.
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