My hearty and filling Spicy Lentil Soup is loaded with red lentils, carrots, coconut milk, and chili peppers. Made in one-pot, this easy soup is perfect for weeknight dinners or meal prep!
I cannot get enough of this vegan Spicy Lentil Soup. So hearty, filling, and flavorful, I love the layers of spice and all of the healthy ingredients. Plus, the red lentils keep me full for hours!
My spiced carrot and lentil soup has just the right amount of heat – not overwhelmingly hot but never boring. It’s a flexible recipe so feel free to play around with the spice level or add even more ingredients into the pot. A few of my favorite add-ins are leafy greens, celery, butternut squash, and bell peppers.
Are lentils healthy?
Lentils are a legume that are packed full of good stuff. Not only are they a wonderful source of fiber, but they’re also full of iron, magnesium, polyphenols (to prevent cancer cell growth and lower blood sugar), and can help lower your risk of heart disease. Next time you want to cook with beans or chickpeas, I recommend switching them for lentils instead!
Red lentil soup ingredients
- Red lentils – The star of the show! Red lentils cook and soften really quickly, and are loaded with protein. I made this recipe with red lentils but you can use green or brown lentils instead (they’ll just need to cook a little longer).
- Carrots – The carrots will soften and tenderize as they cook, giving each bite of soup lots of texture.
- Vegetable broth – Or use chicken or turkey broth if you prefer.
- Onion and garlic – Both are necessary for a savory soup recipe.
- Coconut milk – Adding coconut milk to the soup at the end gives this soup a creamy touch.
- Lemon juice – For a touch of acid and brightness. It’s necessary for balance!
- Chili pepper – Use your favorite pepper! You can lower the spice by using bell peppers or removing the seeds and veins from a jalapeno. If you like spicy food, use aleppo, habanero, or fresno peppers.
Seasonings – Like cumin, ginger (fresh or dried), and chili powder. Use cayenne powder for more of a kick!
How to make spicy lentil soup
Saute the onion and garlic in some oil in a large soup pot. Once they’re soft and fragrant, add the tomato paste, spices, and seasonings. Stir everything together.
Next, add the broth, lentils, carrots, and chili pepper into the pot. Stir, then cover the pot with a lid and let everything simmer until the lentils and carrots are tender.
To finish, stir the lemon juice and coconut milk into the soup. Use a ladle to serve the soup and top each bowl with cilantro.
Sould I blend lentil soup?
I like it served as-is with lots of texture but you can puree it if you prefer a smooth soup. To blend, use an immersion blender and puree the soup (without the coconut milk and lemon juice) in the pot. You can also blend it in batches in a regular blender.
When the soup is pureed and in the pot, stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice. Serve and enjoy!
Lentil soup add-ins
This vegan lentil soup has minimal ingredients but still turns out hearty and delicious. There’s plenty of room for add-ins, so feel free to get creative:
- Vegetables: Celery, butternut squash, tomatoes, broccoli, or bell peppers.
- Greens: Kale, spinach, or swiss chard.
- Meat: Leftover turkey, pre-cooked shredded chicken, ground beef, sausage, or any ground meat you like.
- Herbs and seasonings: Mint, parsley, turmeric, or smoked paprika.
Can I make it ahead of time?
Yes! In fact, spiced lentil soup is perfect for meal prep. To make it ahead of time, prepare the entire batch and store individual portions in airtight containers in the fridge for up to 5 days. Reheat a bowl for lunch and enjoy with freshly baked bread and a green salad.
Storing and freezing lentil soup
Leftover lentil soup stores well in the fridge and freezer:
- To store: Keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- To freeze: Wait for the soup to cool completely, and freeze for up to 3 months. Let it thaw in the fridge first or reheat right from frozen.
More hearty soup recipes
- Tomato Gnocchi Soup
- Black Bean Mushroom Carrot Soup
- Instant Pot Chicken Noodle Soup
- Cannelini Sausage Kale Soup
Spicy Lentil Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup carrots, chopped or sliced
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- fresh cilantro
Seasonings and Spices
- 1/2 tsp sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ginger, freshly grated
- 1/4 tsp chili or cayenne
- 1 hot pepper of choice fresh or preserved
- Heat oil in a large heavy pot and stir in onion and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent and fragrant (about 5 miutes)
- Add tomato paste and all the spices and seasoning minus the hot pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add the vegetable broth, lentils, carrots and pepper (of choice). Give it a good stir. Cover and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in lemon juice and coconut milk. Stir well. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.