Thick, hearty, and filled with a variety of fragrant spices, my curry lentil soup has a little taste of warmth and “magic” in every spoonful. Prepared with finely diced veggies and finished with a splash of rich coconut cream, this warmly spiced soup enlivens the taste buds and comforts the soul!
Curry Lentil Soup, a Little Taste of Magic
Whenever I open up my precious little spice cabinet, I often marvel with a grateful heart at the rows and rows of fragrant, delicious “powders” that it contains within it.
For a cook, or “kitchen alchemist”, such as myself, these spices are my magical ingredients, those things that when sprinkled in, in just the right amounts, make a dish utterly come alive and invigorate the one partaking of it on many different levels.
Curry, turmeric and cumin are some of my favorite spices, as they bring not only intense flavor but also contribute a lovely, earthy color to a recipe. They also provide inner warmth and comfort, and a sense of pleasure and well-being.
On such an occasion when my soul longs for something a bit magical, warming, and scrumptiously comforting that will nurture and nourish me from within, I go to that precious little spice cabinet, pull out several “magical powders”, and take pleasure in preparing this curry lentil soup, a hearty and cozy favorite.
How to Make Curry Lentil Soup Brimming with Delicious Spices
The wonderful (and convenient) thing about lentils is that they cook up rather quickly, in under 30 minutes typically, and they don't require any soaking or pre-boiling.
For this curry lentil soup recipe I like to use red lentils, which look quite orange in the bag when dry, but turn a pale yellow once cooked, lending a warm hue to this soup that works well with the yellow curry and turmeric.
To prepare the lentils, I simply rinse them in a fine mesh strainer under cold water, and pick through them to check for any little debris or stones which may have slipped through during the processing of the lentils.
As for the fragrant spices I use in this cozy soup, I opt for some yellow curry powder, golden turmeric, cumin, paprika, black pepper and a pinch of white pepper.
This combination of aromatic spices infuses the soup with just the right amount of kick, as well as a deep earthy flavor.
Here's a glance at my curry lentil soup recipe: (or just jump to the full recipe below...)
- I add a little ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil to my soup pot, and once hot, I add in the diced vegetables.
- Once the veggies are softened, I sprinkle in my spices and some garlic, and stir those in just until they become aromatic.
- Next, I add in my rinsed lentils and my chicken stock (or broth), cover things with a lid, and allow the soup to gently simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender and split, and the soup is thickened.
- To finish the soup, I add in the coconut cream and fresh cilantro leaves, and serve with warm naan bread on the side.
Curry Lentil Soup
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 6
Nutrition Info: 269 calories
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), or coconut oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 1 rib celery, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch white pepper
- 1 pound split red lentils
- 6 cups chicken stock, hot
- ½ (14 ounce) can coconut cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
- Place a pot over medium-high heat, and add in the ghee; once hot, add in the onion, carrot and celery, and saute for about 5-6 minutes, until slightly tender.
- Add in the garlic, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, smoked paprika and black pepper, and stir to combine; once aromatic, add in the lentils and stir to blend, followed by the chicken stock.
- Cover the soup and allow it to gently simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until lentils are tender and soup is slightly thickened.
- Finish the soup by stirring in the coconut cream and the cilantro, and serve with warm naan bread, if desired.
Tips & Tidbits for my Curry Lentil Soup:
- Ghee or coconut oil for flavor: Ghee can typically be found in the oils section of the market quite readily these days. It is similar to clarified butter, often used in Indian cuisine, and has a high smoke point and delicious flavor. If you prefer to go dairy-free, or would just like to underscore the coconut flavor in this soup, opt for coconut oil instead.
- Vegetarian or vegan curry lentil soup: To make this soup either vegetarian or completely vegan, use coconut oil and substitute vegetable stock/broth for the chicken stock. Super easy and delicious!
- Added protein: To make this soup a bit heartier and packed with more protein, feel free to add some shredded or diced chicken to the mix. I like rotisserie chicken for convenience, and add it to individual bowls when serving, as desired.
Cook's Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2014, and has been updated with even more love!