This easy Carrot and Lentil Soup features a cozy blend of warming spices (lots of garlic and ginger!), along with rich and creamy coconut milk for added texture. Bolstered by protein and fiber-rich red lentils, this naturally vegan bowl is hearty (and nutritious) enough to serve as a complete meal all on its own.
Is there anything more comforting than a warm bowl of soup when it's cold out? It's one of the easiest meals to prep ahead of time (most soup recipes are freezer-friendly). And you'll never get bored. There are so many ways to change up the ingredients and flavors.
The best soup recipes have a balanced mix of carbs, protein, and fat, so they can serve as a complete, one-bowl meal all on their own. (We all want to keep mealtimes nice and simple, right?)
This Creamy Carrot and Lentil Soup is a perfect example. Lentils are loaded with filling protein and fiber, coconut milk lends satisfying fats, and the carrots, aromatics, and ground spices pack in a plethora of vitamins and antioxidants.
The result is a flavorful, entree-worthy soup that leaves you feeling full and satisfied without spending hours in the kitchen.
Bonus: you only need 10 ingredients (not including the optional garnish) to make it.
For more vegan soup recipes, check out my roundup post. In addition to this Carrot and Lentil recipe, a few of my personal favorites are Vegan Potato Soup with White Beans, Vegan Lasagna Soup, and Instant Pot Black Bean Soup. All are worth adding to your menu this soup season!
If you're looking for a simple lunch or dinner with lots of cozy flavor, this Carrot and Lentil Soup is deserving of a top spot on your must-make list.
Ready to give it a try? Let's get started.
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this Carrot and Lentil Soup at home.
- Grapeseed oil - I like grapeseed oil for cooking because it has a neutral flavor and handles high heat well. You can sub whatever oil you like to cook with if you'd like.
- Yellow onion
- Garlic - I use fresh garlic, but garlic powder could also work in a pinch.
- Ginger - Fresh ginger is my preference, but again, you could swap in ground ginger if that's what you have.
- Green onions - Optional for garnish
- Fresh mint leaves - Optional for garnish
- Ground cumin
- Ground coriander
- Crushed red pepper flakes - Optional for garnish
- Dried red lentils
- Vegetable broth - Homemade broth is delicious here if you have it!
- Canned coconut milk - Look for unsweetened coconut milk. I like full fat (not light). The canned coconut milk is located near the Asian foods in my local supermarket.
See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the exact quantities and preparation steps for each ingredient.
These are the basic steps for how to make this lentil soup recipe. You can find more detailed instructions and cooking tips in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
Cook diced onion and carrots until the onion is translucent and the carrots are tender.
Stir in garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander.
Add the lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to simmer until the lentils are tender.
Turn off the heat and stir in the coconut milk. Transfer about half of the soup to a blender and blend until smooth.
Return the blended soup back to the pot and stir until its evenly mixed with the unblended soup. Transfer to bowls and garnish with green onion, fresh mint, and crushed red pepper flakes if desired.
Hint: You don't need to soak lentils before cooking them, but it's a good idea to rinse them in a fine mesh strainer to remove any possible dirt and debris.
This recipe is naturally vegan and free of common food allergens.
Here are a few substitutions you can make to best fit your preferences and ingredient availability.
- Red Lentils - Use brown lentils if you don't have red. You can also substitute canned lentils or chickpeas (drain and rinse them first).
- Coconut Milk - Substitute extra creamy full fat oat milk (plain, unsweetened) if you don't have coconut milk. You can also use whole milk or cream if you don't need the recipe to be vegan/dairy-free.
- Vegetable Broth - Chicken broth also works if you don't need the recipe to be plant-based.
If you're feeling creative, there are lots of ways you could change up the flavor profile of this recipe. Here are a few ideas.
- Spicy - Add cayenne pepper for more heat. Start with ½ teaspoon and add more to taste if needed.
- Brothy - Skip the coconut milk and don't blend the soup in a blender or food processor after it's cooked for a thinner, "brothier" result.
- Curried - Add a tablespoon of your favorite ground curry powder for more Indian-inspired flavor.
Try this version of lentil soup with turmeric, cayenne pepper, and fresh greens for another option!
You'll need a knife and cutting board to prep the veggies and aromatics for this recipe. Use your knife to dice (chop into small cubes) the onion and carrot and mince (chop into very small pieces) the garlic.
I like to use a microplane to grate the fresh ginger. If you don't have one, use your knife to mince the ginger into very small pieces instead.
The primary piece of cooking equipment you'll need is a large pot to prepare the soup on the stovetop.
If you want the soup to be thick and creamy (as pictured here), you'll also need a blender or food processor. If you have an immersion blender, that'll work, too.
This Carrot and Lentil Soup is a great option for meal prep. You can prepare the full recipe five days in advance if you're storing it in the fridge.
If you plan to freeze this soup, you can prep it up to three months ahead of time.
I just recommend adding the optional garnish immediately before serving. Other than that, you can just prepare the recipe as written and it'll taste great later on!
Once the soup is cooked, transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to five days. (I like to portion the soup out into small, single-serving containers so it's easy to grab and reheat later.)
To freeze, transfer the soup to an airtight, freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to three months.
Thaw frozen soup in the refrigerator overnight. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.
Blending a portion of the soup gives it more thick and creamy texture. Blend more for a thicker soup and less (or none at all) for a thinner finished product.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
A serving of lentils is a rich source of plant-based protein and fiber. The combination of these pulses with nutrient-dense vegetables and spices makes lentil soup a healthy option for lunch or dinner.
You can think of lentils as a blank slate for adding your favorite spices and flavorings. Try lentils with garlic, ginger, cumin, curry powder, or paprika.
Add carrots for sweet and earthy flavor, coconut milk for creamy texture, and lots of spices and aromatics, such as garlic and ginger, to make lentil soup extra flavorful.
Easy Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup with Ginger
- Knife and cutting board
- Large stock pot
- blender or food processor
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, or as needed to coat the bottom of the pot
- ½ cup diced yellow onion (½ medium)
- 3 cups diced carrots (1 pound)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 (13.66 ounce) can coconut milk (unsweetened, full fat)
- ½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Chopped green onions
- Fresh mint leaves
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Once hot, stir in onion and carrot and cook for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until onion is translucent and carrots are tender.
- Stir in garlic, ginger, cumin, and coriander, and cook for 1 minute, or until aromatic.
- Stir in lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 15 minutes, or until lentils are tender. (if you prefer softer lentils, cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until desired consistency is reached.)
- Turn off heat and stir in coconut milk and salt to taste (if using).
- Transfer about half of the soup to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return the blended soup to the pot with the unblended soup and stir until evenly mixed.
- Transfer to bowls and garnish with green onions, mint leaves, and crushed red pepper flakes if desired.