Traditional recipes

Curried Lentil Soup

Curried Lentil Soup


  • 3 Tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon coriander
  • 4 Cups vegetable stock
  • 1 Cup lentils
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • Sour cream, for garnish


In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 10 minutes until soft, and just starting to brown. Add the garlic, curry powder, cumin, and coriander. Stir to coat the vegetables in the spices and cook for about 1 minute. Add the stock, lentils, lemon juice, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into serving bowls and garnish with cilantro and a dollop of sour cream.

Nutritional Facts


Calories Per Serving308

Folate equivalent (total)253µg63%

Curried Lentil Soup

This vegan curried lentil soup is wonderfully nourishing and easy to make in 30 minutes with simple, everyday ingredients.

Curried Lentil Soup - Recipes

Most good bloggers have wonderful editorial schedules where they publish stuff like this at a time when it will actually be useful (i.e., before Christmas). I am not one of those bloggers. Like so many people, I spend the weeks leading up to Christmas running errands, gift shopping, gift wrapping labeling (hubs does the wrapping), making food for the umpteen million potlucks and meals, and attending the zillions of Christmas gatherings. So I focus on doing rather than writing/posting about doing.

Now that things have calmed down a bit, and I have a few minutes, I wanted to share a gift that I've made for friends/family/co-workers for the last two years. These soups in a jar are great for so many reasons.

I've done gifts in a jar before (these cowgirl cookies at Christmas a few years ago) and while they are cute, I feel like they aren't the greatest gift to give because they are more about making ME look good than doing something nice for the recipient. Because making cookies in a jar is actually work, and you need to buy more ingredients (i.e., eggs, butter, milk), and do work. I don't want to make work for busy people. I want to SAVE them work.

And also, frankly, the last thing people need after Christmas is more sugar-laden baking.

So enter lentil soup. I came across the initial recipe on the Good Housekeeping website, but the proportions didn't work right for any of my jars, and it was way too salty. So I adjusted the proportions a bit and have come up with a great adjustment to the recipe that fits perfectly in 500 mL/2 cup mason jars. You can easily double it for 1L mason jars, but then it makes a lot of soup, and in keeping with the idea where I want to make people's lives easier, I want to give them just enough to enjoy, but not so much they are overwhelmed with a huge amount of leftovers.

This recipe is awesome. It's very simple, with no super-processed ingredients. It's suitable for many different dietary needs (it is naturally gluten-free and nut-free, as well as vegan. though I purchase my ingredients at Bulk Barn, so I would not personally guarantee that *MY* jars are nut-free if allergens are a concern, you should purchase sealed packages of ingredients that are labeled appropriately).

But best of all, the soup is completely easy for the recipient to make and it tastes fantastic. I made 17 jars last year. This year I made 39. Who knows what next year will bring?

I seem to have this terrible habit of unintentionally destroying printers, so I hand-wrote all my labels, and then just decorated the jars with some butcher twine. It's simple and rustic, and I think it looks nice. You could go full-Martha on this if you had the time and inclination.

Lentil Soup Mix in a Jar (this will perfectly fill a 500 mL mason jar)
(modified slightly from Good Housekeeping)

6 oz green lentils (just under a cup)
1 T curry powder
3 T dried minced onion
1/2 t garlic powder (I brain-farted and put 1t in all of mine. they are still good!)
1 T dried parsley
1 t kosher salt
5 oz red lentils (just under a cup)
2 T chopped dried apple

1. Layer ingredients. I like to put green lentils on the bottom, followed by seasonings, then red lentils, then as much chopped apple as I can fit under the lid.

2. Cooking instructions - add three jars of water and simmer 30 minutes (this instruction works no matter how you scale the recipe - 6 cups of water for a 500 mL mason jar, or 12 cups for a 1L mason jar).

Some lentils may need to simmer a bit longer, and people may want to puree the soup a bit (or add more water if they want a thinner soup). But the basic instruction is so simple and requires no extra ingredients and just one pot.

TIP: dried apples rings are a pain in the butt. I drop mine into a running food processor a few at a time. If you aren't making a zillion jars, you could just hand chop them, but they are TOUGH.

If curry is not to your liking, here are a few alternate suggestions (omit the curry for all of these):

classic French - 2 t herbes de provence

italian - 1 t italian seasoning (or mix of basil, rosemary and oregano), 2 T chopped sundried tomatoes in lieu of apples

moroccan - 1/2 t cinnamon, 1/4 t cardamom, 1/2 T cumin, dried cilantro in lieu of parsley, dried raisins and apricots in lieu of apples

southwest/mexican - 1 T chili powder, dried cilantro in lieu of parsley. Omit apples

So better late than never. Pin this one for next year! Or just make up a couple of jars for yourself to keep in the pantry for busy nights.

And might I suggest you pair the soup with a quick salad and this fantastic five-minute focaccia for a deliciously satisfying meal.

Curried Lentil Soup

I’m glad that you guys are excited about the thumbnail feature! I am such a visual person with recipes and I need to see pictures whenever possible. I finished inserting all the thumbnails and links last night so things are looking quite good on the Recipes page now. I didn’t even die from boredom like I thought I would. Check out the sea of Vegan overnight oat parfaits under the Breakfast section. Mmm.

I have procrastinated talking about this soup for a week now and I’m not sure why. It’s not that I didn’t like this soup- in fact, I love this soup and I have made it 3 times already- but it is just a bit homely looking and may instill fear in those who first see it (my husband).

But regardless, this is damn good comfort food. It even got the seal of approval from Eric, a former non-curry lover.

The good news is, OSG is a safe place for homely looking soups. There will be no judgment, only acceptance with open arms…

And a bell jar and cute bow for good measure.

Curried Lentil Soup

Ultra thick, stick-to-your-bones, and spicy, this protein-packed comfort soup will warm you on even the coldest day. It also makes a great post-workout meal. Be sure to add in the curry slowly and adjust to taste as curry powders vary in flavour and heat.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1.5 cups chopped onion (approx 1 medium onion)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped (optional)
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons curry powder (I used Arvinda’s)
  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt & black pepper, to taste (I think I used 1/2 tsp?)
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

1. Heat olive oil in heavy large skillet or pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, optional celery, and carrot and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until onion is translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes or so.

2. Add finely chopped garlic and stir until vegetables are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes longer. Reduce heat if necessary to avoid burning.

3. Add curry powder. I started with 1.5 tablespoons. Now, add the rinsed uncooked lentils and 4 cups water. Season with a sprinkle of kosher salt and pepper, add in lemon juice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

4. When lentils are tender, I poured about half of the soup into my blender and I blended the soup for a minute. I did this to create a very thick texture. After blending, stir the soup back into the skillet/pot and you will have a very thick soup with some chunky pieces left from the soup you did not process.

5. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and additional curry powder, if desired. Sprinkle with thinly sliced green onions and serve with lemon wedges.

The first time I made this soup, I made a mistake and cooked the lentils beforehand. When I added in the 4 cups of water and cooked lentils, it was a huge mess because there was nothing to soak up the water. Please do not repeat my mistake. I still have a huge container of watery soup in my fridge and I’m not sure what to do with it…

The beauty of this soup is that you don’t cook the lentils beforehand, not only saving you a step, but also making sure there is something to soak up the 4 cups of water you will put into the pot!

It all makes perfect sense to me now.

Chop your onion, carrot, 2 garlic cloves, and celery stalk.

Gather 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil and your desired curry powder.

Sauté everything in a very large skillet or pot for about 10 minutes.

It will look nice and translucent when it is ready.

FYI- The rest of the pictures below were taken in my light box at nighttime. (Post is coming on the light box!)

Be sure to add in the curry slowly and adjust to taste as curry powders vary in flavour and heat.

Add in the rinsed lentils and 4 cups of water.

Stir well. You may think you did something wrong at this point, but don’t worry because the lentils will soak up the water as they cook!

Bring to a boil and simmer on low-medium for 30 minutes or so until the lentils are tender.

I poured half of the mixture into my blender and pureed half of the soup. This is optional, but it creates a beautiful thick soup.

Add it back into the skillet and stir…

Initially, I wasn’t happy with the light box pictures, but Eric adjusted the top light last night and it seemed to help. I will be doing a post on the light box soon though. I’m just trying to play around with it a bit more before I give my thoughts on it.

Garnish with some green onions and serve with lemon wedges.

Every time I make it, I curse myself for not doubling the batch. It goes fast!

This weekend, we enjoyed a bowl of this soup for lunch after coming in from shoveling snow. We were sweating by the time we finished our bowls. Smoothies ensued.

Store leftovers in a jar in the fridge. Add a bow if you think it looks a bit sad.

Just make sure to hide it from others… They will act like it looks homely, but secretly, they just want to eat it all.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped into small florets
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 1 (14 ounce) can reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bunch kale leaves, stems and inner ribs discarded, leaves coarsely chopped

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add cauliflower and carrots saute until softened, 7 to 8 minutes.

Pour boiling water and vegetable bouillon into a bowl and stir until dissolved. Add broth and coconut milk to cauliflower mixture. Bring to a boil.

Stir lentils, garlic powder, onion flakes, curry, paprika, turmeric, and cumin into the pot. Cover and let simmer until lentils are fully cooked and tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in kale and let sit over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve.

How to make vegan curry lentil soup

It’s real easy, just get a pot and the ingredients in the photo!

Start by frying off some onion, garlic and ginger. Add about a tablespoon of curry powder and cayenne pepper, if necessary.

Each brand and type of curry powder is different so that’s why I say “about” a tablespoon of curry powder. You can adjust the quantity depending on the flavour profile and strength of your particular curry powder.

The only brand of curry powder closest supermarket sells is not spicy in the least. That’s why I added some cayenne pepper to my vegan curry lentil soup as well. I put this as optional in the recipe as it depends on how spicy or not spicy your curry powder is.

Give the curry powder a minute in the pot with the onions to allow the flavours to come out then add in your veggies, lentils and vegetable stock.

I used potatoes and carrots because they’re cheap and delicious but this recipe lends itself well to a variety of vegetables so go ahead and feel free to use your favourite veggies. It would be great with any other root veggies, peas, cauliflower, tomato, anything really!

What I love most about lentils is that they’re extremely cheap when you buy them dry, especially if you buy from the bulk food bins, and unlike dried beans they do not need to be presoaked.

Just give them a rinse and throw the dried lentils right into the pot. They cook from dried in only about 30 minutes!

To simplify this curried lentil soup recipe I threw the veggies and lentils into the pot together (as opposed to adding the veggies later). Don’t worry, the veggies don’t overcook and you can leave the pot on the stove and relax a little bit while the soup cooks!

After about 30 minutes the lentils should be tender. Add in the frozen spinach and coconut milk and give it another couple of minutes to heat through.

As I mentioned in my vegan roasted cauliflower soup recipe, I prefer adding the coconut milk at the end like this because it can split and do weird things when you simmer it for a long time. Adding it at the end ensures that your soup will be uber creamy!

Now you can taste and season. Always wait to add salt to lentils and beans until the end of cooking or else they will get tough. Now it’s ready to serve!

Serve this vegan curry lentil soup just as it is, with naan or crusty bread, or with rice to extend the servings to feed more.

Are Lentils Healthy?

Yes! Lentils are rich in iron, folate, potassium, calcium, polyphenols, fiber and protein. In fact, comparing their protein content to all other beans, they rank #2 and during WWII lentils were used as a substitute for meat. Lentils are relatively low in calories and because they’re high in protein and fiber they curb your appetite leave you feeling satiated for a longer period of time than many other foods. A single serving of lentils meets 32% of the daily recommended intake of fiber. Lentils have been grown since at least 8,000 BC making them one of the world’s oldest health foods. This curried lentil soup packs in these healthy lentils along with an array of healthy vegetables and spices.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ tablespoons mild curry paste
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cubes vegetable bouillon
  • ½ pound lentils
  • 3 cups water, more if needed
  • ¾ cup spaghetti sauce
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper to taste (Optional)

Heat olive oil and curry paste in a large pot over medium heat cook and stir onion, carrot, celery, red bell pepper, and red pepper flakes until onion is softened and translucent, 5 to 10 minutes. Break the bouillon cubes into onion mixture add lentils and stir.

Pour enough water into the pot, so the water line is 1 inch above the lentil and onion mixture bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until lentils are fully cooked, about 40 minutes. Stir spaghetti sauce into the soup and simmer 5 minutes. Stir cilantro and black pepper into soup right before serving.

Red Lentil Curry Soup

Ten minutes after walking into the kitchen , I told my husband to keep an eye on this slow simmering skillet of red lentil curry soup.

Today we are cooking with red lentils! I have shared my kitchen cabinet project with y’all it sure has been helpful. Do check it out here. Seeing each jar opens a new realm of new kitchen ideas on meals. Like this flavorful bowl of curry lentil soup.

Red Lentils cook super quick, so this is definitely what you want if you want to spend as little time as you want in the kitchen. This weather definitely calls for a warm bowl of soup. We are keeping it light but feel free to add cup of diced Idaho potatoes to give it a little more body. Green lentils will work just fine , but it will take a little longer to cook.

This soup is strictly vegan, low calorie and the perfect cleanse after the holidays. Lord knows I had one too many treats this season. If your new years resolution involves eating a little better, I hope you add this to your weekly meal plan.