Rich, creamy, and comforting, this nutritious coconut lentil soup features French lentils, coconut milk and warming curry spices. It comes together in under an hour, and is freezer friendly. It’s rich in flavor like my Spicy Red Lentils, and Thai Eggplant Red Curry. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
This recipe was first published in Feb. 2015 and was updated March 2022 with new photographs and recipe notes.
Why You’ll Love this Soup
- It’s Economical
- Simple to Make in One Pot
- Minimal Prep Time
- Packed with Nutrition and Flavor
- Freezer Friendly
Pam said: “I made this for dinner tonight and loved it. It’s simple, hearty, and delicious!”
French Lentil Coconut Soup
Simple, nutritious and in my collection of Pantry Friendly Recipes, this lentil soup with coconut milk recipe is ideal for busy weeknights and hungry bellies. Curry spices do the heavy lifting in the flavor department while veggie broth and coconut milk creates a luxurious broth tying all the flavors together.
Not only is prep time minimal, but while the lentil and coconut soup is cooking away on the stove, there’s time to whip up a salad and warm some Naan, crusty Multigrain Sourdough Bread or Multigrain Gluten Free Sourdough Bread.
Quick Guide: How to Make Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
Use a large soup pot or Dutch oven to cook this recipe in. You’ll also need a blender or an immersion blender for pureeing the soup. Leave it a bit chunky or puree the soup until it’s thick, rich and totally creamy. In summary, here’s how to make this flavorful soup ( see recipe card for details):
- First, cook the onion and garlic in a bit of olive or coconut oil.
- Second, stir in the spices like curry powder, cumin, a bit of cinnamon.
- Third, pour in the vegetable broth and stir in the French lentils.
- Next, simmer soup over medium heat until lentils are tender.
- Last, transfer a portion of the soup to a blender, purée then return to the soup pot or use a stick blender to partially or fully purée the soup. Stir in the unsweetened coconut milk, black pepper, a squeeze of lime and adjust salt to taste.
See how easy it is to make? Round out this delicious vegan coconut curry lentil soup with a big green salad and warm crusty sourdough or Naan.
Nutritious and Economical Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
Lentils are a low-fat food that boast high amounts of protein and fiber among other nutrients. With a long storage life they’re a nutritious and a convenient addition to your pantry.
But there’s more to love about this French lentil soup recipe, besides its nutrition. This meatless lentil soup is economical too! With only a few fresh ingredients, purchasing the spices and lentils in bulk while employing a concentrated veggie broth paste, this soup will help stretch your grocery budget further.
About French Lentils
French lentils are dark green and have a speckled appearance. They’re delicious in recipes where you want some texture. Unlike other lentils that turn soft when cooked, French lentils hold their shape well.
French lentils are the ideal legume for adding bulk and texture in vegetarian cooking like in my Vegetarian Dirty Rice, but they’re also delicious in stews like this Moroccan Chickpea Stew and make a hearty filling for sandwiches like in these Vegan Lentil Sloppy Joes!
In this French Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk recipe, lentils add bulk and texture. While the soup can be served fully puréed, I prefer a partially pureed soup to retain some texture.
Variations On Vegan Coconut Curry Soup
- For Spicy Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk: add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the spice mix, or as a maker in the comments said “I added a pinch of cayenne for a little heat.”
- Stretch this Recipe Further: share this curried coconut lentil soup with a side of Jasmine rice.
- Chunky or Pureed: this recipe can be pureed or shared with some lentils in tact – this is my favorite way to enjoy it.
- Thin or Thick: as written this soup is on the thicker side, but if you’d like a thinner serving, add more veggie broth towards the end of cooking.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Freezer Friendly? Yes Please! This coconut curried lentil soup can be frozen up to three weeks.
- Spicy Coconut Lentil Soup: just a pinch of cayenne at the end of cooking takes the heat up. Add a pinch more if you’re into spicy things!
- What to Serve with this Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk: Naan or crusty Sourdough Bread and a big green salad.
- Sprinkle with Fresh Herbs: the finished soup benefits from a good sprinkle of fresh herbs, either fresh thyme or fresh cilantro – share both on the table for an herby buffet!
- About Curry Powder: there are many types on the market. I prefer Hot Madras Curry Powder in this recipe. It’s bold but not overpowering, and perfectly balanced.
More Boldly Flavored Soup Recipes to Love
- African Peanut Stew
- Moroccan Chickpea Lentil Soup
- White Bean Cabbage Potato Soup
- Moroccan Butternut Squash Lentil Soup
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Did you make this vegan lentil soup? If so, please leave a comment and rating below as it helps others considering making this recipe. If you’re on Instagram, be sure to take a picture and tag me @VanillaAndBean so I can see and share in my stories!
Coconut Curried French Lentil Soup Recipe
- 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil or olive oil
- 3 Plump Cloves of Garlic minced, about 1 1/2 tablespoons
- 1 cup (125 grams) Yellow Onion small dice, about one small onion
- 1 1/2 teaspoon Cumin ground
- 1 teaspoon Curry Powder I use hot madras
- 1 teaspoon Thyme dried
- 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon ground
- 6 cups (1.45 kilograms) Vegetable Broth
- 1 1/2 cups (295 grams) French Green Lentils rinsed (aka Lentils du Puy)
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 14 ounce (403 grams) Can of Full Fat Coconut Milk 3 tablespoons reserved for drizzling
- Juice From Half a Lime
- 1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
- 3/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- Pinch of Ceyanne optional for a little spice
- Fresh Cilantro chopped, for garnish (optional)
- Fresh Thyme for garnish
- Heat oil in a 4 quart Dutch oven or soup pot on medium heat. Turn the heat to medium low, add the garlic and onion, stirring frequently until the onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the cumin, curry powder, thyme, and cinnamon and cook for one minute, stirring several times until fragrant.
- Pour in the broth, stir in the lentils and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, then turn heat to low, gently cooking the soup for about 35 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
- Remove the bay leaves. Transfer half of the soup to a high speed blender and puree. It'll be thick. Alternatively, use an immersion blender to blend in the soup pot, leaving some lentils whole for texture if desired. Return the pureed portion back to the soup pot. Stir in the coconut milk and lime juice. Stir in the salt and pepper and cayenne if using, then taste to adjust seasoning if needed. Gently warm through on low for a few minutes and stir in additional veggie broth to thin if desired.
- Ladle into bowls and drizzle reserved coconut milk over the soup. Garnish with fresh cilantro and/or thyme.For an extra hearty meal, and to stretch the portion sizes, share with Jasmine or Basmati rice with Naan or sourdough on the side.
- To Freeze: cool soup completely, then store in a lidded storage container for up to a month. Thaw in fridge overnight and gently reheat stovetop.
This looks delicious!
Thank you, Jenny!
Made this for dinner tonight. So easy to make and so much flavour! Served over rice as suggested which made it very filling. Will add this to my list of favourite curry recipes. Thanks Traci.
Hi Victoria! So happy to read your note. Thank you for giving the soup a go and coming back to share your success!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
This looks totally delicious Traci! We both love curry spices, so I’m sure it would be a hit at our house. I can just tell by your photos how rich and creamy it is!
Hiii Mare! I love the sound of that. LMK if you give it a go!
This soup comes together with ease. I started the soup going then the rice. Delicious, even though it may look a weird green color 😄. Definitely finish it off with a drizzle of coconut milk, another squeeze of lime juice, and a sprinkle of cilantro. The soup was daughter approved, though without cilantro on her’s!
ii Cindy! I LOL at the “weird green color” – definitely reason for that coconut drizzle with a sprinkling of cilantro. SO happy to hear you and your daughter enjoyed it. Thank youuuu for your review!
This recipe was easy to make and came together really quick! Super creamy and delicious!
Hi Pooja! Thank you for your note and giving the recipe a go! SO happy to hear you enjoyed it!
Delish. Made this for my vegie houseguest and it was a hit with the meat eaters too! They suggested some more kick with cayenne peepper. Putting it in my permanent files.
Love hearing this, S! Mmmm cayenne sounds fabulous! Thank you for sharing!
I saw the photo of this soup and I made it tonight, It was absolutely amazing. However, I did use chicken stock because that is what I has on hand. This soup smells so goooood cooking with the fragrance of curry and cumin. Feels like you’re eating in an Indian restaurant. The coconut milk defiantly makes this soup even more delicious. Great photo too. Thanks for sharing your recipe. Can’t wait to try more, especially puréed soups. This would also be great in a nice warm bread bowl.
I made this for dinner tonight and loved it. It’s simple, heart, and delicious! I used chicken, rather than vegetable stock, as that’s what I had on hand, but otherwise followed the recipe which I rarely do. This is an absolute keeper!
Hooray Pam! Thank you so much for sharing! :D
Hi! Can I sub with regular green lentils? Looks delicious!
Hi Elise! Are you referring to split peas? Most of the flavors in this soup come from the spices, so I’m sure just about any lentil will work. But I’m not sure what regular green lentils are. French lentils are dark greenish… Send a link to show me! I’d love to see what you’re working with. Go for it if you wish! Please let us know how you do!
It is so Yummy. Made it today. Tripled the recipe for a crowd. I know, that was gutsy but it worked!!! I will definitely make this again!!!
Hooray Beverly! It IS soooo good, right? I’m so excited that you tripled the recipe and it turned out… that’s not always the case with all recipes! Gutsy yes! Yay YOU!! Thank you for sharing my dear! :D
I just saw this soup, and know I must try it, however, I have zero chance of finding French lentils as I live in a very small town in the Arctic. I’m hoping that another lentil will still work in this soup? Your recipes are always soooo good, I don’t want to mess with the ingredients, but up here, improvise is the name of the game. Any thoughts on how changing them out might affect the flavour?
Hello Chris from the Artic! Thank you for writing and your kind comment. I’ve read that beluga or brown lentils would make a good sub for French Lentils, but I’m thinking those cold be problematic to get as well. Red may be a good sub, with obvious color difference. If you use red (or pink), reduce the cook time by about 5-10 minutes. Since most of the flavor comes from the spices, I don’t see the flavor changing much if you stick with lentils. And since the soup is pureed, texture shouldn’t be an issue. Good luck Chris! I hope you’ll share your results with us!
Hi Chris from the Arctic! I’m in the arctic too. No french lentils here either, but I do have Chickpeas which I’ll try to sub for French lentils.
What a great sub, Lu! I hope you enjoy it!
this looks SO delicious! I love that it’s gluten and dairy free. I’m going to try it
Oh that’s great Lisa! I hope you enjoy it! :D
Just made this soup and it turned out great. So simple and easy to make. Smells good in the process . Very fragrant. Thanks for posting. As with all the other posts, I agree that the pictures are very appetizing and rich!
This is fabulous, Heather! Oh, yeah, all those spices wafting through the house is a treat! Thank you for writing and letting us know your thoughts :D! So glad you enjoyed it!