Curry lentil soup is an easy and tasty one-pot recipe where earthy lentils are simmered in a delicious curry sauce with spices, tomatoes, and vegetables.
This recipe is warming and comforting, perfect for the colder fall and winter seasons. It’s excellent for a weeknight dinner or meal prep as it keeps well for days and freezes for months.
The flavor is bold, rich, earthy, and aromatic and will please meat eaters and vegetarians alike.
Table of Contents
Dietary Note: This recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet.
Our curry lentil soup is an Indian-inspired recipe where the lentils are simmered in a rich tomato sauce enriched with spices and vegetables.
The recipe, however, is not authentically Indian, and I have adapted it to my cooking preferences. I would describe it as a fusion between Indian and Italian cuisine.
To make it, we use simple ingredients and spices. We add veggies like potatoes and kale, but you can switch those to match your preferences.
You’ll love this recipe because it’s easy to make in just over 30 minutes in one pot. It’s also packed with flavor and umami!
Curry lentil soup is wholesome, nourishing, fulfilling, and satisfying. You’ll feel great after eating this comforting meal!
Ingredients & Substitutions
Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
Use dry green lentils or dry brown lentils. Dry lentils don’t require soaking and cook in about 30 minutes.
Substitute canned lentils for dry ones if you don’t have 30 minutes for them to cook.
If you want a recipe with yellow or red lentils, check out our red lentils soup.
Make the flavor base with olive oil, onion, carrots, garlic, and ginger.
Substitute avocado oil for olive oil and leek for the onion.
Curry powder, ground turmeric, ground cumin, and red pepper flakes are essential to flavor the curry lentil soup.
If you are comfortable with using spices, you can always add more. For example, ground coriander and garam masala work well in this recipe.
We don’t use curry leaves for this recipe as they are not a staple in our pantry and are hard to find in western supermarkets.
If you like to use them, add them to the pot with the hot oil and let them shimmer for a minute before adding the onion and the rest of the ingredients.
We recommend adding diced potatoes and chopped kale to make the soup more flavorful, creamy, and nutritious.
Substitute sweet potatoes for potatoes and spinach or chard for kale.
Canned crushed tomatoes are our favorite.
Substitute diced tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, or whole canned peeled tomatoes for crushed ones.
We prefer vegetable broth to chicken broth so that the recipe is vegetarian and everyone in our family can enjoy it.
Feel free to use your favorite broth.
Salt and black pepper
Sea salt or kosher salt and a few twists of black pepper.
Serve it with
You can serve curry lentil soup with a slice of toasted bread rubbed with garlic, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lime juice or lemon juice, and some fresh cilantro or parsley.
This recipe is without coconut milk. Check out our lentil curry for a coconut curry lentil soup.
How to make curry lentil soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and carrot cut into thin slices and fry them gently for 3 minutes.
Now, add grated garlic, grated ginger, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and red pepper flakes and fry for one more minute, stirring often.
Add vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, rinsed dry lentils, peeled and diced potatoes, chopped kale, and season with salt and black pepper.
Cover with a lid, bring to a boil on high heat, then crack the top open and let it simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Stir occasionally.
Note: larger lentils might take longer than 30 minutes, and smaller lentils might take a few minutes less. Taste and adjust cooking time and add more broth if necessary.
Taste and adjust for salt and spices, then serve the soup in a bowl with a squeeze of lime or lemon on top and optionally some fresh cilantro or parsley.
Curry lentil soup is a nourishing and fulfilling main meal, satiating on its own.
However, if, like us, you love soaking up soup leftovers, we recommend the following:
Lentil vegetable soup
Lentil vegetable soup is a delicious and hearty recipe with dry lentils, and spinach simmered in a warming and tasty broth.
Check out the recipe for lentil vegetable soup.
Italian Lentil soup
Our lentil soup is a rustic, hearty, and aromatic Italian recipe with nutritious lentils and beautiful herbs such as rosemary and thyme.
Serve it with a slice of toasted crusty bread rubbed in garlic and drizzled in olive oil, and you’ll be transported to the Italian countryside.
Check out our Italian lentil soup recipe.
Red lentil soup
Our red lentil soup is inspired by Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cuisine. It combines creamy red lentils with a delicious and aromatic broth.
Plus, it’s easy to make in 30 minutes in one pot.
Check out our red lentil soup recipe.
More lentil recipes
If you love cooking with lentils, try these delicious lentil ideas:
There is no need to soak lentils overnight before cooking them. However, we recommend rinsing the lentils under running water before boiling them.
Also, check for small stones that might hide between the lentils.
Dry lentils have different cooking times, depending on the types of lentils. For example, split red lentils usually cook in about 20 minutes, small brown Italian lentils cook in about 30, and larger brown or green lentils might take up to 45 minutes to soften.
The best way to check for doneness is to taste the lentils. They should be soft to the bite.
Make ahead: curry lentil soup is an excellent recipe for meal prep, as its flavor gets better a day after it’s cooked. Also, it keeps well for days.
Refrigerator: let the soup cool down, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezer: this recipe is perfect for freezing. Let it cool down completely, transfer it to a freezer-friendly container, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Thaw: defrost curry lentil soup in the fridge over several hours or in the microwave with a thawing function.
Reheat: warm the soup in the microwave for a couple of minutes or in a saucepan. Add a dash of water if necessary.
More soup recipes
Get more whole and tasty soup recipes with these one-pot meals:
For more curries, stews, and soups, check out our soups category page.
Curry Lentil Soup
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 carrots cut into discs
- 3 cloves garlic grated
- 1 teaspoon ginger grated
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes more or less to taste
- 5 cups vegetable broth or more if needed
- 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup dry lentils green or brown
- 1 pound potatoes peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
- 5 ounces kale or spinach, chopped
- 1 teaspoons salt or more to taste
- 2 twists black pepper
- 1 lime optional, to squeeze on top
- Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add 1 large onion (chopped) and 2 carrots cut into thin slices and fry them gently for 3 minutes.Add 3 cloves garlic (grated), 1 teaspoon ginger (grated), 2 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, and ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes and fry for one more minute, stirring often.
- Add 5 cups vegetable broth, 1 can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes, 1 cup dry lentils (rinsed), 1 pound potatoes (peeled and diced), 5 ounces kale (chopped), and season with 1 teaspoons salt and 2 twists black pepper.
- Cover with a lid, bring to a boil on high heat, then crack the top open and let it simmer on medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked. Stir occasionally.
- Taste and adjust for salt and spices, then serve the soup in a bowl with a squeeze of lime or lemon on top and optionally some fresh cilantro or parsley.
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