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.

Curry lentil soup with potatoes and silver spoon

Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet. It’s low in cholesterol and saturated fats.

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What is curry lentil soup?

curry lentil soup with sourdough bread and a spoon

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, unlike our lentil curry is not authentically Indian. We would describe it as a fusion between Indian and Italian cuisine.

To make it, we use simple ingredients and spices, similar to what we do in lentil vegetable soup.

We add veggies like potatoes and kale, but you can substitute those to match your preferences.

You’ll love this recipe because like our Italian lentil soup 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!

Curry lentil soup video

Ingredients and substitutions for curry lentil soup

curry lentil soup ingredients

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

Lentils

Use dry green lentils or dry brown lentils. Dry lentils don’t require soaking and cook in about 30 minutes.

To learn more about lentils, check out our guide on how to cook lentils.

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.

Flavor base

Make the flavor base with olive oil, onion, carrots, garlic, and ginger.

Substitute avocado oil for olive oil and leek for the onion.

Spices

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.

Vegetables

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.

Crushed tomatoes

Canned crushed tomatoes are our favorite.

Substitute diced tomatoes, fire-roasted tomatoes, or whole canned peeled tomatoes for crushed ones.

Vegetable broth

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.

curry lentil soup with toasted bread and lime wedges

How to make curry lentil soup

Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.

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.

curry lentil soup flavor base in a casserole

Add vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, rinsed dry lentils, peeled and diced potatoes, chopped kale, and season with salt and black pepper.

curry lentil soup in a casserole with kale leaves

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.

curry lentil soup in a casserole before serving

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 with toasted bread and lime wedges

Serving suggestions

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:

Variations

Moroccan lentil soup

Moroccan lentil soup with a silver spoon and pickled red onions

Aromatic, warming, creamy, and packed with North African and Mediterranean flavors.

Here’s our Moroccan lentil soup recipe.

Lentil vegetable soup

Lentil Vegetable Soup with hand

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

Lentil soup with cheese and bread

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 lentil soup recipe.

Red lentil soup

Red lentil soup with garlic, lemon and rosemary

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:

Questions

Do I need to soak lentils overnight?

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.

How long does it take for dry lentils to cook?

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.

Storage

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 with carrot, kale and potatoes

Curry Lentil Soup

By: Nico Pallotta
5 from 28 votes
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.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Course: Main
Cuisine: International

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

  • 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.
    curry lentil soup flavor base in a casserole
  • 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.
    curry lentil soup in a casserole with kale leaves
  • 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.
    curry lentil soup in a casserole before serving
  • 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 with garlic, turmeric and lime wedges

Video

Curry Lentil Soup in 30 mins

Notes

Nutrition information is an estimate for 1 serving of curry lentil soup out of 4 servings.
STORAGE
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.
ALSO ON THIS PAGE

Nutrition

Calories: 372kcal, Carbohydrates: 72g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 1g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Potassium: 1593mg, Dietary Fiber: 25g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 8934IU, Vitamin B6: 1mg, Vitamin C: 77mg, Vitamin E: 2mg, Vitamin K: 155µg, Calcium: 205mg, Folate: 309µg, Iron: 8mg, Manganese: 2mg, Magnesium: 133mg, Zinc: 3mg
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If you liked this curry lentil soup, you might also enjoy:


Nico and Louise in the kitchen

Hi! We are Nico & Louise

Welcome to The Plant-Based School, a food blog with easy, tasty, and wholesome recipes.

Our aim is to help you and your family eat more veggies through delicious recipes with simple ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




24 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Hello! Made this for dinner today after eyeing this recipe for months. Outstanding! Very filling and flavorful. I will be saving this in my successful recipe hall of fame. Thank you!

    1. Hi Alex, that’s wonderful. We’re honoured to become part of a recipe hall-of-fame! 🎉

      I’m delighted you enjoyed the soup, thank you very much for taking the time to leave a comment here. All the best,

      Louise

  2. My wife came and and toasted up some naan and we ate it with this soup. Omg and I never say omg it was amazing. Just saying, and I never leave comments!

    1. That’s fantastic, Anthony! What a wonderful meal with Naan bread on the side, YUM!

      Thank you for taking the time to write a comment here. All the best,

      Louise

  3. 5 stars
    amazing recipe! I just made it , it’s so good. The only thing I did differently was I cubed the potatoes to half in squared, and added garam masala and cardamom. I’m supposed to have it for dinner but every time I walk by it a take a spoonfull. I never leave comments, it’s really good.

  4. 5 stars
    Yummy and highly nutricious! I subbed half the potatoes for cauliflower. I also did a dash of chili powder instead of crushed red pepper because my kids don’t like biting into crushed red pepper.

  5. 5 stars
    This is an amazing soup!!! My husband gave it 7 stars out of 5! It reminds us of our favorite soup at our favorite Indian restaurant. We are very excited to have found this recipe!!! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    1. Yay, that’s wonderful Kelley. I’m delighted that your husband likes it too!

      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here 🎉 All the best,

      Louise

      1. Hello, when u say “dry lentils “. Does that mean lentils that WEREN’T soaked overnight and right out of the bag? I ask bc I just soaked them overnight. So do I put the lentils at the end when it’s finished cooking?

        1. Hi Mermaid,

          When we say dry lentils we mean lentils that are not canned/not cooked/not soaked.
          I you use soaked lentils they would still need to cook.
          Not sure how long your soaked lentils need, but probably around 20 to 30 minutes. So you’ll need to keep that in mind when you add them.

          I hope this helps.
          Nico 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    YUM!! I’ve made many lentil soups before, but this one really stands out with how flavorful and comforting it is—it truly warms you up from the inside. I already know I’ll be making this one often, thank you so much for the amazing recipe! 🥣

    1. Hi Mindy,

      It’s our pleasure – I’m so delighted you enjoyed the flavors of this soup 💪

      Thank you for your kind feedback, and for taking the time to leave a rating. All the best,

      Louise

  7. We made it twice in less than 3 weeks.
    I think this has become one of our favourite soups EVER.
    Thanks for sharing such a simple but great recipe!

    1. Yay I’m so happy to hear you liked the soup, Marco.
      Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment here, we appreciate it!
      Kindest,
      Louise

  8. There appear to be quantity errors on the amount of vegetable broth for the 2X and 3X ingredients. They read 10-6 and 15-6 respectively. I believe they should read 10-12 and 15-18.

    1. Thanks R.G.
      I fixed that now.
      It was a coding issue with the calculator 🙂 Unfortunately it doesn’t multiply the second number correctly.
      Have a great day!
      Nico