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This vibrant curry lentil soup is ultra cozy and healthy! It’s a hearty plant based recipe that’s filling enough for lunch or dinner.

Curry Lentil Soup
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Are you a soup lover? Alex and I had a curry lentil soup at a restaurant lately, and after one bite I knew we had to make it at home. Here’s our take on it, and I must say: it’s one of our very favorite soup recipes to date. (With over 50 vegetarian and vegan soup recipes on our website, that’s saying something!) It’s full of hearty red lentils and root vegetables, and the broth is swirled with red curry paste and coconut milk. With all the texture and flavor going on, it feels rich and luxurious. But at the same time it’s a healthy, plant based meal!

Curry lentil soup

What’s in this curry lentil soup?

This curry lentil soup is almost a stew, and it’s vibrant orange-red color is perfect for cozy afternoons or chilly evenings. It’s chock full of veggies and good for you ingredients, and the perfect example of a whole food plant based (WFBP) recipe gone right. Here’s the magic sauce that makes this recipe tick:

  • Onion, potato, carrots, and…parsnips (optional). The root veggies in this soup are your standard hitters, with one unique element thrown in: parsnips! They’re uniquely sweet and earthy. But they’re not a flavor deal breaker: sub in an extra carrot if you can’t find them.
  • Garlic and ginger. Aromatics garlic and fresh ginger perfectly flavor the body of the soup.
  • Kale. Why not throw in some leafy greens? They add both color and nutrients.
  • Red lentils. Red lentils cook quickly, making the simmer time on this soup just 10 minutes.
  • Thai curry paste & coconut milk: To bring in the curry element, jarred curry paste brings big flavor, and coconut milk adds creamy body. (See the Curry Paste section below.)
Curry lentil soup

Tips for cutting the veggies: small dice!

The vegetables in this curry lentil soup are a little different than other soups for one reason: they’re chopped into very small squares. Remember that restaurant soup I mentioned up top? Alex and I loved the texture of the veggies being smaller than the standard dice. Here you’ll chop the onion, carrot, potato and parsnip into 1/4-inch cubes.

This method of chopping takes a little longer than a traditional dice, since more precision is required. But it’s worth it! Here’s a photo so you can see the approximate size.

Chopped veggies for soup

The flavor maker: Thai curry paste

The secret to the flavor in this curry lentil soup? Thai red curry paste! This is a jarred paste that combines flavors you’ll find in a Thai curry: garlic, lemongrass, ginger and more. Is Thai curry paste spicy? Actually, it really depends on the brand. So, you’ll have to taste it and add curry paste to taste. The brand we love is very mild, so it doesn’t add heat to this curry lentil soup.

Where to buy Thai curry paste? You can usually find it in the grocery in the international foods aisle. It keeps for months in the refrigerator and you can use it in lots more recipes, like our Curried Butternut Squash Soup or Quick Coconut Lentil Curry. If you can’t find it at your grocery, you can buy it online: Thai Kitchen red curry paste | Amazon.

Lentil vegetable soup

Are there time savers?

It takes about 40 minutes to make this curry lentil soup. This is about the average time to make a soup, but here are a few time saver ideas:

  • Prep the soup with a spouse, partner, friend, etc. The longest prep time is the chopping: so you could save 10 minutes by adding a second person. That makes it a 30 minute meal!
  • Chop the veggies the night before (keep potatoes in water). You can chop the veggies in advance: this makes it a 20 minute meal! Refrigerate them until making the soup. Potatoes can brown when exposed to air, so keep the peeled and chopped potatoes in a separate container covered with 1 inch of cold water. They’ll keep this way overnight.
Curry lentil soup

Make it a meal! Ways to serve curry lentil soup

This curry lentil soup makes for a tasty, healthy plant based meal. It’s a great intro meal for people who are wary of plant based eating! You can serve it in any season, though it’s best for warming winter meals and chilly fall days. Here are a few things we’d suggest serving alongside:

This curry lentil soup recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free, and gluten-free.

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Curry Lentil Soup

Curry Lentil Soup (Vibrant & Healthy!)

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4.8 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


This vibrant curry lentil soup is ultra cozy and healthy! It’s a hearty plant based recipe that’s filling enough for lunch or dinner.


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 russet potato
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 parsnips (or substitute 1 carrot)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon minced or grated ginger
  • 3 large kale leaves (1 cup loose, finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ½ cups red lentils
  • 28-ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons red curry paste*
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Fresh cilantro, for garnish


  1. Cut each of these vegetables into small, 1/4-inch cubes (see the photo above for approximate size). Dice the onion, and chop the potato, carrot, and parsnips.
  2. Mince the garlic. Peel and mince or grate the ginger. Finely chop the kale.
  3. Add the olive oil to a large pan and heat over medium heat. Add the onion, potatoes, carrots and parsnips and saute for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and ginger and saute for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the lentils, kale, tomatoes, broth, water, and kosher salt. Bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the lentils and veggies are tender.
  5. Stir in the curry paste (to taste)* and the coconut milk. Serve warm, garnished with torn cilantro leaves. Leftovers store well and taste even better: refrigerate for 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.


*The spice level in Thai curry pastes can vary. Taste and add additional curry paste to your liking. The brand we like (Thai Kitchen) is very mild; we used 3 tablespoons of it and it didn’t add heat to the soup. Others can vary, so just add a bit, taste the soup, and add more to taste.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Vegan

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Sofie Franklin says:

    I agree with others that this is bland without additional spices. I also added cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes and cayenne pepper, plus more salt and pepper and it is delicious.

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