This one-pot Coconut Curry Lentil Soup is a quick and easy meal made with everyday ingredients. You’ll find lentils, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and warm curry seasonings in every bite!

coconut curry lentil soup in a large white bowl.

This Coconut Curry Lentil Soup is the ultimate comfort food. Filled with red lentils, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, spinach, and warming curry spices, it’s guaranteed to warm you up on a chilly day! Plus, it’s thick, creamy, and serves up a good dose of plant-based protein.

Why you’ll love this recipe 

  • It’s packed with protein and fiber. The lentils, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and spinach in every bowl pack in plant-based protein and fiber, making it a stick-to-your-bones kind of vegan soup.   
  • Everyday budget-friendly ingredients. Red lentils are an excellent inexpensive protein source that come with a long shelf-life. The rest of the ingredients in this recipe are simple, easy to find, and may already be in your kitchen!
  • It’s just plain delicious. A blend of aromatic vegetables and warm spices you’d normally find in a hearty vegan curry fill this soup with rich, warming flavors and mild spiciness. It’s adult and kid-approved!
a spoon lifting a scoop of coconut curry lentil soup from a large white bowl.

Ingredients needed (with substitutions) 

  • Olive oil – You can saute the aromatics in water or vegetable broth for an oil free version.
  • Onion – A diced and sauteed sweet onion starts this soup with a delicious savory baseline of flavor.
  • Garlic – Fresh cloves are non-negotiable!
  • Ginger – Fresh ginger is best but pre-minced ginger will also work. If all you have is powdered ginger at home, only use 1 teaspoon.
  • Curry powder – It just wouldn’t be coconut curry soup without the curry powder! Just like in my Easy Vegan Curry, this aromatic and warming spice helps set this soup apart from other recipes. It’s warm, comforting, and so vibrant.
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Vegetable broth 
  • Coconut milk – Canned full-fat coconut milk gives the soup a luxurious and comforting consistency. You can use cashew, oat, or soy milk but the soup won’t be quite as rich.
  • Red lentils – I like using red lentils because they cook quickly and take on a soft and creamy texture. You can use brown or green lentils if needed but it will change the texture quite a bit.
  • Cauliflower florets – Either chop a head of cauliflower yourself or save time by buying pre-chopped cauliflower florets or frozen cauliflower. No need to thaw the frozen cauliflower, either – just dump it right into the pot!
  • Sweet potatoes – Or any type of potato you like. Make sure to dice them into small, evenly-sized cubes to help them cook evenly.
  • Baby spinach – You can use fresh or frozen spinach here or swap the spinach for kale. 
  • Salt
  • Fresh cilantro – For garnish. Feel free to use chopped parsley or chives if you don’t like cilantro.
ingredients for coconut curry lentil soup in individual white bowls.

How to make coconut curry lentil soup

Find the complete recipe with measurements in the recipe card below.

Saute the onions in a large oiled soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the garlic, ginger, and ground spices, and cook for 1 more minute. Your kitchen should smell amazing at this point! 

cooking spices onions and garlic in a large white pot.

Next, add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, lentils, cauliflower, and sweet potatoes. 

Bring the mixture up to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Let the soup cook uncovered until the lentils thicken and the sweet potatoes are tender. 

Finish by stirring in the spinach and cook until the leaves wilt. Taste, and add more salt or seasonings as needed.

Ladle the soup into bowls with cilantro on top and fresh bread on the side. Enjoy!

cooking coconut curry lentil soup in a large white pot.

Serving suggestions

Slices of crusty bread are a must with this warming winter soup so you don’t miss out on a single drop. You could even serve it with my homemade vegan naan to go all out.

For a finishing touch, top every bowl with chopped cashews, pepitas, thinly sliced purple cabbage, green onions, or pickled red onions. A dollop of vegan raita or vegan sour cream will add a refreshing cooling element to each bite.

Variations

Curry lentil soup is a very flexible recipe that you can easily make your own. Here are some ideas for inspiration: 

  • Add more vegetables – Instead of (or in addition to) cauliflower, add more sweet potatoes or try other veggies, like asparagus, bell peppers, butternut squash, carrots, pumpkin, white potatoes, or eggplant. 
  • Make it spicy – Turn up the heat with sriracha, cayenne pepper, or red pepper flakes. Feel free to saute a diced jalapeno or serrano pepper with the onions, too. 
  • Puree the soup – Once it’s finished cooking, use an immersion blender or regular blender to puree a portion of the soup (depending on how much texture or creaminess you like).
  • Or thin it out – Is it thicker than what you’d prefer? Stir in more vegetable stock until it reaches your desired consistency. 
using a wooden spoon to stir spinach into a large pot of coconut curry soup.

Frequently asked questions

Do the lentils need to be soaked first?

No. Red lentils cook quickly, so there’s no need to soak them beforehand. To prep, simply rinse under cool running water and remove any small pieces of debris.

Can I make this in a slow cooker?

Yes. Saute the aromatics and spices on the stove, then transfer them and the rest of the ingredients (except the spinach) to a slow cooker. Cook on Low for 8 to 10 hours or on High for 4 to 6 hours. Stir in the spinach in the last 15 minutes of cooking, add more salt as needed, then serve.

Can I make this in an Instant Pot?

For sure! Use Saute mode to saute the aromatics and spices in the oiled pot. Next, add the rest of the ingredients (except the spinach) and place the lid on top. Cook on High Pressure for 6 minutes.

Manually release the pressure, then stir in the spinach. Season the soup with more salt as needed, then serve.

Storing and freezing

Keep any leftover curry lentil soup in an airtight container and store it in the fridge for 2 to 3 days or in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

coconut curry lentil soup in a large white bowl.

Want more easy one-pot recipes?

close up on coconut curry lentil soup in a large white bowl.
5 stars (9 ratings)

Coconut Curry Lentil Soup

This one-pot Coconut Curry Lentil Soup is a quick and easy meal made with everyday ingredients. You’ll find lentils, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and warm curry seasonings in every bite!
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 13.5 ounce can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup red lentils, uncooked
  • 4 cups cauliflower florets about 1 head
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 4 cups baby spinach, sliced into ribbons
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Instructions 

  • In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the diced onion. Saute for 3-4 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
  • Stir in the garlic, ginger and spices and saute for 1 more minute.
  • Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, lentils, cauliflower and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered. The lentils should thicken and the sweet potatoes should be tender.
  • Stir in the fresh spinach and cook until wilted. Add salt to taste and serve with fresh bread and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Notes

  1. Leave out the coconut milk for a lower fat soup, if desired. Or use cashew cream instead.

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 373kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 1575mg | Potassium: 1077mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 13183IU | Vitamin C: 44mg | Calcium: 111mg | Iron: 7mg
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian-inspired
Author: Nora Taylor
Did you make this recipe?Mention @nora_cooks_vegan_ or tag #noracooks!

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Comments

  1. Nora’s recipes are 100% never-fail. This soup was more than perfect for a tired Friday night: the veggies, the seasonings, the combination of textures and flavors. It looks like a bunch of ingredients but it was so easy to throw everything — somehow, I had all the veggies on hand — together. Even a lentil-hater would learn to love this potent little legume after trying this coconut curry recipe.

    1. Hi JoAnne. How awesome the soup was perfect and easy for you, especially on a Friday night! Thanks for your fantastic feedback and review!

  2. This is one of my favourite go to recipes! It’s so versatile when it comes to adding/substituting veg I have left over. Always a crowd pleaser, served with a side of grilled naan. 

  3. Good Lord is this soup delicious!! And its unbelievably healthy. No coconut milk(even though I love that), lots of good veggies and lentils for protein. I cant wait to eat this soup the next day!

  4. Made your recipe in an instant pot.
    Did Step 1 on sauté setting, Step 2 with salt ,cut potatoes a little bigger than a diced cut , set for 4 min high pressure, (I used about a cup less broth for my liking and figured the pot won’t boil liquid away but make more liquid ) then Step3. Turned out great!Thank you again for another delicious recipe. I have made many of them , you are my go to. 

    1. Hi Jan. I’m glad you liked the soup! Thank you for using my recipes, I’m so glad you love them! Thank you for taking your time to share your review!

  5. Very tasty! I let it simmer for a lot longer as I realized I was out of lentils after putting in the veg broth.

  6. I am assuming this freezes well, but wanted to double check. I didn’t see a comment about that but maybe I missed it. Thanks!

  7. This recipe looks incredible and I would love to make it. I have a sensitivity to cauliflower/broccoli. Can you suggest a swap? Thank you!

  8. Oh my GOODness ? I was in the car In front of the grocery store desperately scrolling to find something healthy to eat that night when I found this one and I gotta say it did not let me down ? só jummy and tastefull and really filing with some bread like you suggested ? it was very much to the liking of my tableguest too so this is definitely a stayer in our regular meals ? thank you so much for sharing this delicious recipe and I’ll be nosing through your other ones all well ? compliments ?

  9. This soup is my favorite food! I call it my big pot of happiness when I cook ?. I’m on a low fat Whole Food Diet for my health issues, and this is the one recipe I can get super excited about EVERY time. I eat it with Basmati Rice. I take off the heat and blitz a few times with immersion blender then add 1/2c Cilantro with the spinach (chopped well) into pot. Thank you for such a fantastic recipe!

      1. This is a delicious recipe and I’ve made it few times, but I have a question about your incredients…You have 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth or water at the beginning, but then you never mention when to add them. You also don’t say anything about oil until you give the directions nor what kind or how much…I follow my own instincts of what to do, but I find it curious that the oil isn’t in the list of ingredients and the 2 tablespoons of veggie broth/water are. Just asking.

        1. Thanks Laura! I went in and fixed it to say 2 tablespoons of olive oil OR vegetable broth, for sauteing. Sorry for the confusion! I’m really glad you like the soup!

  10. Warm & delicious! This is the perfect recipe as we’re headed into winter. I’ll definitely be making it many times over. Thank you from a noobie plant based minus oil gal. ?

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