This creamy red lentil soup is full of warm earthy flavors and it’s completely vegan too! Made with veggies, red lentils, lots of flavorful spices, and a little coconut milk for extra creaminess. It’s the perfect cozy meal for the cold winter months!
If you’re looking for a soup that’s vegetarian, full of protein, fiber, and has great flavor, you’ve come to the right place. This creamy red lentil soup checks all the boxes and on top of all that it’s incredibly easy to make.
What Are Red Lentils?
Lentils are a quick cooking legume. You can buy them whole or split, but for this red lentil soup you’ll want to use split variety. Red lentils are actually yellow lentils that have been hulled and split.
The flavor of lentils is often described as earthy. Red lentils tend to be milder and less peppery in flavor compared to green and black lentils. They also have a little bit of sweetness to them.
Ingredients For Creamy Red Lentil Soup
- yellow onion
- tomato paste
- smoked paprika, ground cumin, ginger, turmeric, and cinnamon
- sriracha (optional)
- split red lentils
- low sodium vegetable broth – you can also substitute with chicken broth if you don’t mind that it won’t be vegetarian/vegan.
- canned coconut milk (optional) – use more water or broth if you want to omit.
- unsalted cashews (optional) – The cashews are seasoned with curry powder, smoked paprika, and salt and used as a crunchy topping for the soup.
How To Make Creamy Red Lentil Soup
This red lentil soup is a one pot soup that is made on the stove. Because lentils cooks so quickly, this is an ideal soup to make when you’re short on time.
Start by sautéing the onion, carrots, and celery in a large pot with olive oil. Once the vegetables are slightly tender add in the garlic, tomato paste, and all of the spices. Stir everything around and let it cook for another minute.
Add in the rinsed lentils, cilantro and pour in the broth and water. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape any brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Bring the soup to a boil and then lower the heat to medium-low and cover the pot with a lid.
Let the soup simmer for 15-20 minutes. The lentils should be tender at this point and some may be falling apart. Turn off the heat and use an immersion stick blender to purée the soup to your desired consistency.
I wanted this lentil soup to be smooth and creamy so I puréed it completely. You can also just partially purée it for a chunkier consistency.
To add extra creaminess and a hint of sweetness, I added coconut milk to the lentil soup. Doing this does add additional fat to the recipe, so if that’s an issue for you you can substitute it with light coconut milk, or just use additional vegetable broth or water.
To garnish the soup I recommend a drizzle of sriracha for a spicy bite, extra cilantro, and curry spiced cashews.
To make the cashews all you need to do is toast the cashews in a small skillet on the stove with a little olive oil, curry powder, smoked paprika, and salt. All of the garnishes are optional, but they do add additional flavor and texture to the soup.
Health Benefits Of Lentils
- Full of magnesium, zinc, potassium, and B vitamins
- A great source of protein. A 1/2 cup of cooked lentils has 12 grams of protein.
- Lots of fiber! Fiber is known for lowering blood cholesterol levels as well as protecting against colon cancer and Type 2 diabetes. There is approximately 15 grams of fiber in one cup of cooked lentils.
- Iron – A 1/2 cup of cooked lentils provides you with about 15% of your daily iron needs.
More Lentil Recipes
- Mediterranean Lentil Salad
- One Pot Cheesy Mexican Lentils, Black Beans and Rice
- Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil Salad
- Sweet Potato and Lentil Tacos
- Italian Lentil and Vegetable Soup
Did you make this Creamy Red Lentil Soup? I’d love if you’d leave a recipe rating and review below.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1 cup diced celery
- Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 2 cloves of garlic, grated
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (optional), use more water or broth in it’s place
- 2-4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Curry Cashews (optional)
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
Curry Cashews (optional)
- In a small bowl combine the oil, spices, salt and pepper. Add in the cashews and stir them until coated in the spice mixture. Add the cashew to a skillet heated over medium-low heat. Let them toast for 3-5 minutes stirring them occasionally until they're golden brown and fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Creamy Red Lentil Soup
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add in the onion, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic, tomato paste, sriracha, and spices and sauté another minute.
- Add in the red lentils and cilantro and pour in the broth and water. Stir everything together and bring the soup to a boil. Once boiling lower the heat to medium-low and cover with a lid. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils are tender and starting to break apart.
- Turn off the heat and use an immersion stick blender to purée the soup to your desired consistency. Pour in the coconut milk and lemon juice and stir until combined. Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper as needed. Garnish the soup with the curry cashews, cilantro, and extra sriracha if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 243mgCarbohydrates: 52gFiber: 9gSugar: 6gProtein: 17g
Nutritional information is an estimate. Please consult a registered dietician for the most accurate nutritional information.