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Coconut Curry Soup with Red Lentils

This coconut curry soup with red lentils is rich in flavor and a simple, one-pot dish from the stovetop to the table. It uses red curry paste and coconut milk to invite warm Thai flavors to a hearty soup that’s thickened with red lentils. This dish will thicken the longer you cook it due to the lentils breaking down into the soup.

Depending on what you have in your kitchen, you could add other vegetables like carrots, butternut squash, zucchini, eggplant, kale or spinach. For a spicier soup, you can add more curry paste or leave the seeds in the jalapeño. Top this dish with cilantro, lime wedges and greek or plain yogurt and serve it with white long-grain basmati rice. 

Learn more about curry and its origins.

Coconut Curry Soup with Red Lentils

Recipe originally from Tina, via Scaling Back
Yield: 6 servings 
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • 2 cups red split lentils
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 fresh jalapeño or Serrano chili, finely chopped, seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Thai curry paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 7 cups water
  • 1 can unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • fresh cilantro and lime wedges for serving


  1. Heat the tablespoon of coconut oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pan and add the onions, bell pepper and jalapeno. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables have softened and start to take on some color. 
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, cinnamon, salt, curry paste and tomato paste to the pan. Continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes until the mixture is toasty and fragrant.
  3. Add the water, coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas and cook uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes.
  4. Add the lime juice at the end of cooking. Taste and adjust with more salt or more lime juice if desired. Serve the curry over rice and top with a sprinkling of fresh cilantro and some extra limes on the side.

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