My carrot lentil soup recipe is perfect for a cold day to warm you from the inside out. Naturally vegan and dairy free, this spicy lentil soup is flavored with fresh garlic and ginger and a variety of warm spices, adding flavor and some subtle heat.
If you love a delicious easy soup recipe read on! This easy lentil and carrot soup is full of plant-based protein with the addition of hearty red lentils and creamy coconut milk. This soup is also perfect for meal prep and big batch of this can be reheated as needed.
You can easily turn this into instant pot lentil soup and I've included instructions for cooking this soup in the pressure cooker later in the post.
Why You'll Love This Carrot Lentil Soup recipe
- A delicious lunch or dinner option, just serve with a side of crusty bread.
- Heat up leftover soup and pack in a thermos for an easy lunch on the go.
- This carrot and red lentil soup recipe is vegan and gluten free.
- This recipe can easily doubled up in a big pot if you are feeding a crowd.
- Lentil and carrot soup also freezes really well, so make a double batch, enjoy some now and freeze the rest for a quick and easy meal another day.
- Try some of my favorite vegan soup recipes:
Easy Carrot Lentil Soup Ingredients
Find the full list and quantities in the recipe card below.
Carrots - I use 4 medium sized carrots to serve 4. Use any variety of carrot.
Lentils - I use red lentils in the soup as they cook quickly and give a great texture. They're also full of plant protein.
Spices - The soup is flavored with fresh ginger and garlic, along with ground cumin, ground coriander and turmeric. If there is a spice you don't like you can leave it out or switch it up for one of your favorite spices.
Broth - This is a vegan soup so I've used vegetable broth, but if not serving to meat free diners, you could swap for chicken broth. For gluten free diners ensure you use gluten free broth.
Coconut Milk - Coconut milk adds a lovely creamy texture to the soup, you can use full or half fat coconut milk.
Garnishes - I like to garnish the soup with freshly chopped cilantro and a spoon of Greek yogurt. Use a dairy free alternative if required.
How to Make This Hearty Soup - Step-By-Step
Find the full printable recipe below.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over a medium-low heat.
Sauté the chopped onions and carrots in the olive oil until soft - around 10 minutes.
Stir in the minced garlic, cumin, coriander and turmeric then add the lentils and vegetable stock and season well.
Bring the soup to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes or until the veggies and lentils are tender but not mushy.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the coconut milk then serve and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a swirl of (dairy-free) sour cream or yogurt if desired.
How to Make Instant Pot Carrot and Lentil Soup
Use the sauté setting on the pressure cooker to follow all the instructions to cook the onion and carrots then add the spices, lentils and broth.
Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes then allow it to release naturally.
Stir in the coconut milk and serve as before.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between red, green and puy lentils?
Red lentils are hulled, their outer shell has been removed, which means they tend to cook quicker than other types of lentils. Red lentils work well in a soup where they break down a little.
Green lentils, brown or puy lentils have their outer shell intact so they tend to hold their shape better when cooked and are better for heartier stews.
Can I use another type of lentil in this soup?
Yes, you can use any variety of lentil in this soup, you just need to extend the cooking time a little to allow larger lentils to soften. The reason I use red lentils is that they are quick to cook.
Can I add other vegetables?
Yes you can add any variety of vegetables to this soup, it will all build in flavor. Options to try could include celery, leek, parsnips, potato, sweet potato, squash or pumpkin.
You could also throw in a handful of leafy greens like spinach or kale towards the end of the cook.
Can I use cream or evaporated milk instead of coconut milk?
Yes, absolutely. I make this easy lentil soup with coconut milk as I love the flavor and texture it gives the soup. However, heavy cream, half and half or evaporated milk are all a good alternative. So use what you prefer and have at home.
Variations & Substitutions for this Lentil Carrot Soup Recipe
I like a chunky soup, but if you prefer a smooth soup just use a high speed blender or an immersion blender until you get the consistency you like.
The spicing in this easy lentil and carrot soup is mild, but very adaptable. If there is a spice you don't like you can leave it out.
For extra spice with a bit of heat try adding chilli flakes or red pepper flakes Or stir through some chopped red chili along with the ginger and garlic.
To brighten the flavors try adding a squeeze of lime juice or lemon juice at the end, before serving.
Tips & Tricks For Making Lentil Soup Recipe
Make sure the heat is low when simmering the soup - too much heat can make the lentils mushy on the outside.
Take time to taste and properly season the soup. Soup needs salt and proper seasoning will make a big difference to the finished dish.
Make the soup a day in advance and allow it to sit. As with all soups it will taste even better the next day when all the flavors have had a chance to intensify.
If the soup is too thick, add a splash of veggie broth or some water to loosen it a little.
How To Serve Carrot Ginger and Lentil Soup
Soup is a great one pot meal, I like to serve it with some crusty bread, toasted sourdough, or warm focaccia.
How To Reheat Carrot and Red Lentil Soup?
Store leftover soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 3-4 days. To re-heat place the soup in a saucepan and place over medium heat to warm up to piping hot.
How to Freeze Spicy Lentil Soup?
Carrot lentil soup freezes really well. Once cooked and cooled, place the soup in a sealed container and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, remove the soup from the freezer and defrost in the refrigerator.
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More Easy Soup Ideas
Carrot & Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 small Onion - chopped
- 4 medium Carrots - around 4oz/100g each, peeled and diced small
- 2 cloves Garlic - minced
- 1 inch Fresh Ginger - peeled and minced (optional)
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- ½ tsp Ground Coriander
- ½ tsp Turmeric
- 1 cup Red Lentils - rinsed and drained
- 4 cups Vegetable Broth
- 13.5 oz Coconut Milk
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper - to taste
- Fresh Cilantro (Coriander)
- Greek Yogurt - or sour cream, dairy-free if required
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over a medium-low heat.
- Sauté the chopped onions and carrots for around 10 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the minced garlic, cumin, coriander and turmeric.
- Add the lentils and vegetable broth. Season well with sea salt and black pepper.
- Bring the soup to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes or until the veggies and lentils are tender but not mushy.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the coconut milk.
- Serve and garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and a swirl of (dairy-free) sour cream or yogurt if desired.
Instant Pot/Electric Pressure Cooker Method
- Use the sauté setting on the pressure cooker to follow all the instructions to cool the onion and carrots then add the spices, lentils and broth.
- Pressure cook on high for 15 minutes then allow it to release naturally.
- Stir in the coconut milk and serve as before.