Red Lentil Coconut Curry Soup

A hearty, filling, and utterly delicious one pot meal that will satisfy the vegans, vegetarians, AND carnivores in your life. It is so filling and rich, spicy and flavorful with the warm spices of curry, cumin, and cinnamon.  And the best part?  It’s a one-pot meal.  What could be better than that?

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A few years ago, I decided to go vegan.  It wasn’t an easy thing to do – especially when I had to break up with cheese, which is my favorite food group.  

Closeup of red lentil soup in a brown

I knew that in order to be successful, I had to introduce new and exciting flavors and textures.  Not only did this recipe quickly become my ‘go-to’ favorite, but it is also still one of my most cherished comfort foods even after becoming more of a ‘flexitarian’ in my diet.

Closeup of red lentil coconut curry soup garnished with a sprig of fresh parsley in a black bowl

This red lentil coconut curry soup is one of those recipes that you can use with whatever you have in your pantry.

  • Don’t like or don’t have coconut milk?  Use an equal amount of broth or cream or a combination of both.  You will have a beautifully spiced tomato broth or tomato bisque-like soup.
  • No canned tomatoes?  Swap in additional broth, coconut milk, or cream.
  • Different brands of curry spice have varying flavor profiles.  Experiment with different brands of curry powder or mix up a batch of your own curry powder.
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Brown bowl with red lentil curry soup with parsley garnish



Perfect for chilly evenings or a delicious, healthy lunch, this Red Lentil Coconut Curry Soup is as easy as it is versatile.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemongrass (I buy it in a squeeze tube in the produce isle)
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to your heat tolerance)
  • 23 tablespoons curry powder (more to taste)
  • ¾ teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups split red lentils, rinsed under running water until the water runs clean
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • 115 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup raisins or golden raisins
  • 16 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cans light coconut milk (not the kind in the carton)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Dash salt and pepper


  1. Saute onion, garlic, ginger, and lemongrass in the coconut oil over medium heat until onions are translucent and mixture is very fragrant. Add the carrots and red pepper and saute until soft.
  2. Add spices and continue to saute for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add lentils and vegetable broth and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add diced tomatoes, raisins, tomato paste, and coconut milk, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  5. If desired, you can remove 3 cups and puree in a blender, then add back to the pot for a thicker soup. Stir in the lime juice.
  6. Ladle hot soup into a serving bowl. Garnish with some chopped parsley, a dollop of cooling sour cream, if desired, and a warm piece of flatbread.


  • Serving Size: 1


  • Don’t substitute another type of lentil for the split red lentils.  The split red lentils cook quickly but also help to thicken the soup, making it richer and heartier in texture.
  • Don’t skimp on the fresh lime juice.  The acidity in the juice cuts through the starchiness of the red lentils and the fat of the coconut milk.
  • Use the vegetables you have in your refrigerator.  Chopped spinach, broccoli, or cauliflower are delicious in this soup.


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