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4.91 from 10 votes

Lentil Soup

This lentil soup, a family favorite, is creamy and loaded with colorful veggies like celery, carrots, onions and mushrooms and perfectly cooked brown lentils. Warm curry spices and garlic add the perfect kick for the cool weather and mint and coconut milk stir in unexpected but welcome flavor. There is so much healthfulness in this soup and you can make a meal of it with a hunk of crusty bread. The soup is vegan, gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Soup/Dinner
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Lentil Soup
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 156kcal

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (coconut oil is fine, or any vegetable oil. To keep this free of added oils use ¼ cup vegetable stock instead of oil.)
  • 1 medium onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (finely chopped)
  • 1 medium carrot (finely chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced or crushed)
  • 1 heaping tbsp tomato paste
  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms (or button mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup brown lentils (or green lentils. Dried, not cooked)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (or water)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mint
  • 2 heaping tsp curry powder
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (or fresh parsley, chopped)

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the onions, celery and carrots along with a good pinch of salt and ground black pepper. Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions start to brown.
  • Stir in the garlic and continue sauteing for a couple of minutes.
  • Stir tomato paste into the roasted veggies and continue sauteing for a couple more minutes.
  • Add in the mushrooms and let them cook a couple of minutes.
  • Add apple cider vinegar to the pot to deglaze the fond that has developed at the bottom of the pot and scrape those tasty bits up.
  • Stir in the paprika and ground cumin.
  • Add the lentils to the pot followed by the vegetable stock. Mix well.
  • Stir in the mint. Bring the soup to a boil. Cover and let the soup simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Don't overcook the lentils to the point where they will disintegrate--you want them whole so they make for a nice presentation.
  • Stir the coconut milk and curry powder and immediately turn off the heat.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

Notes

  • Chop the carrots, celery and onions as finely as you can. You want the veggies to not be much larger than the cooked lentils for the best flavor. The only exception are the mushrooms, which should be sliced.
  • The coconut milk makes this soup very creamy, and the whole lentils give it a very pretty look. However, if you wish, you can blend a couple of ladlefuls of the soup after it has cooked and add the purée back to the pot for additional creaminess. You can also use an immersion blender for this but be careful not to overblend.
  • You can use green lentils or French lentils or beluga lentils in this soup, or you can even make it with red lentils, which would cook even faster.
  • I don't add chili pepper (other than paprika, which is mild) because the curry powder has some heat. For a spicier soup stir in some red pepper flakes with the cumin and paprika.
  • You can add other veggies to this soup to make it even more nutritious. Cauliflower, zucchini, bell peppers, cabbage and most leafies like kale, spinach and watercress would be great additions. You can also add longer-cooking veg like potatoes, sweet potatoes or eggplants, cut into small cubes.
  • Increase or decrease the amount of curry powder depending on how much of the flavor you like in your soup. Some curry powders can be spicy, so make sure you factor that in, especially if you're serving it to kids.
  • The soup tastes great the next day and you can store it in the fridge for up to four days.
  • Freeze the soup in an airtight container for up to three months. Defrost and reheat. Keep in mind that the coconut milk can get a curdled appearance after freezing, but it will taste the same. So if you plan to freeze the soup for later right after making it, don't add the coconut milk -- add it instead when you reheat before serving.

Nutrition

Calories: 156kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Potassium: 482mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 1716IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 3mg