This Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk may be the easiest and most delicious soup you’ll ever make! This creamy soup is loaded with warm and comforting flavors, perfect for wintry weather. This red lentil soup recipe is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and low-GI.
If you’re looking for a hearty vegan soup, you’ve come to the right place!
This delicious soup is made with a blend of vegetables, red lentils, and creamy coconut milk – a trio of ingredients packed with fiber and protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Red lentils are actually orange-ish/red-ish in color. They have a mild, sweet flavor and are great for soups because of their ability to break down quickly while cooking. This gives the soup a thick consistency without having to cook it forever.
You can sip on this vegan red lentil soup for a snack or eat it as a healthy entree.
It also makes a quick weeknight meal or a great appetizer soup that you can offer your guests if you are hosting a dinner party. This hearty soup is so rich that nobody would think that it’s dairy-free.
Before we jump into the recipe details, I’m happy to report that this recipe received rave reviews from many readers. So, I’m confident you’re going to love it.
Why You’ll Love This Healthy Recipe
- No soaking – Red lentils don’t require any extra steps!
- It’s not spicy. The flavors are warm, bright, and cozy.
- If you don’t already have them on hand, the simple vegan ingredients are easy to find.
- The simplicity. This recipe is practically effortless yet packed with bold flavor.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil helps coat the pot and prevent sticking. You can also use coconut oil in this recipe for more coconut flavor.
- Onion: You can use white onion, yellow onion, or shallots here.
- Carrots & Red Bell Pepper: This combo adds pleasantly sweet flavor while giving the soup a boost of healthy nutrients.
- Vegetable Stock & Water: The stock richens the flavor while the water adds volume to the soup broth. You can control the thickness using these two ingredients.
- Red Lentils: I love using red lentils in low-GI soups because they are a great source of fiber and plant-based protein. Not to mention, they don’t need to be soaked like other beans, and they cook down much quicker.
- Ground Ginger: Add some ground ginger for a hint of warming spice.
- Coconut Milk: Unsweetened full-fat canned coconut milk gives this soup a rich, creamy texture.
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed lemon juice brightens up all of the flavors.
- Salt & Pepper: Depending on the stock you use, you may not need to season your red lentil soup much. Season to taste with salt and pepper last to avoid overseasoning.
How To Make Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
- Cook the vegetables: In a medium-size pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften (3 to 4 minutes).
- Simmer the lentils: Add the stock, water, lentils, and ginger to the pot and stir. Bring the liquid to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover the pot and simmer until the lentils fall apart (about 15 minutes).
- Add the coconut milk: Add the coconut milk and lemon juice and season the soup to taste with salt and pepper. Bring the liquid back up to a boil and cover. Lower the heat and simmer for a few more minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool.
- Puree the soup: Once the soup is cool enough to handle, transfer it to a food processor or high-speed blender and process until smooth. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender. Transfer back to the pot to reheat before serving.
You do not need to soak the red lentils, but you do need to rinse away any dust and debris before using them in this vegan red lentil soup.
Make sure all of the vegetables are chopped roughly the same size for even cooking.
Taste the soup after blending to adjust the seasoning.
A reader mentioned adding finely chopped jalapeno and freshly grated ginger instead of ground, which sounds fantastic! Check out the list below for more ideas:
- Add a starchy veggie – Creamy and sweet vegetables like butternut squash and sweet potato are great in this soup.
- Add leafy greens – Add a handful of chopped kale or baby spinach to the soup after blending everything. The greens will soften as you reheat the soup on the stove.
- Experiment with spices – Customize your soup with smokey spices like cumin, chili powder, paprika, and curry powder. You can also garnish the soup with red pepper flakes.
- Garnish with herbs – Add fresh chopped parsley or cilantro before serving.
Storing & Freezing
- Storing: Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Reheat for a few minutes in the microwave or on the stovetop over medium heat.
- Freezing: Transfer the cooled soup to an airtight container or freezer-safe bag (leaving room at the top for expansion) and keep it in the freezer for 3 to 4 months—Thaw in the fridge overnight before reheating on the stove.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can yellow or green lentils be used instead of red lentils?
Substituting a different type of lentil in red lentil soup can be tricky. Yellow lentils take longer to cook, and green or brown lentils are chewier. For these reasons, I wouldn’t recommend using other lentil varieties for this soup.
Do red lentils need to soak for soup?
No. Unlike dried beans, red lentils do not need to be soaked in advance. Just give them a good rinse, and you’re good to go.
How long does it take to cook red lentils?
When simmered in boiling water, or in this case, soup broth, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes to cook red lentils.
Lentil Recipes You’ll Love
- Hearty Ground Turkey Soup
- Chicken and Green Lentil Casserole
- Spicy Red Lentil Soup
- Green Lentil Soup Faki
Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
This comforting soup is smooth and silky. It's also very easy to make, delicious, and filling. This easy recipe is dairy-free, low-GI, gluten-free, and vegan.
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 L / 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 1/4 tsp ground ginger
- 1 can (400 ml / 13.5 oz) full fat coconut milk
- juice of 1/4 lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots and red pepper and cook, stirring occasionally for about 3 to 4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the vegetable stock, water, red lentils, and ginger. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes until lentils fall apart.
- Add the coconut milk and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cover. Reduce heat and let it simmer for 4 more minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool.
- Once the soup is cool enough to handle, transfer to a food processor or a blender and puree until smooth. Warm up before serving.
Nutrition information is a rough estimate for 1 of 6 servings.
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Nutrition InformationServing Size 1/6 of recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 358Total Fat 18.8gSaturated Fat 12.8gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 4.9gCholesterol 0mgSodium 53.8mgCarbohydrates 37.6gFiber 6.6gSugar 3.7gProtein 13.8g
Nutrition facts provided on this website are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a qualified health care provider for personalized diet advice and make sure that each of the ingredients is allowed in your diet.
Wednesday 23rd of April 2014
I absolutely loved this recipe. I made it and even my boyfriend (that frowns at my really healthy food) devoured it! The texture is decadent and it is a nice light flavor perfect for lunch at the office.
Wednesday 23rd of April 2014
Thank you so much for letting me know! I am always so happy to hear that my readers make and enjoy my recipes. You made my day!
Thursday 6th of March 2014
Just made this for dinner. It honestly is one of the best coconut-based soups I have ever had ! My 2 additions: a finely chopped jalapeno pepper at the front end and then a small knob of freshly grated ginger vs. the ground. YUMMMMM. Thank You !
Friday 7th of March 2014
I am so glad you liked it, Kerry! Jalapeno pepper and fresh ginger sound great!
Anne|Craving Something Healthy
Wednesday 26th of February 2014
Hi Maria! Beautiful blog design, and I always love a quick soup recipe! Will be making this one soon :) Wondering if it works with lite coconut milk?
Wednesday 26th of February 2014
I think it will work with lite coconut milk as well. Thanks for stopping by Anne!