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Red Curry Soup with Lentils by Vegan Richa

Serve this very slurp-able soup with large soup spoons. For a brothy soup, add more coconut milk or water. (From Vegan Richa’s Everyday Kitchen copyright © 2017 by Richa Hingle. Used by permission Vegan Heritage Press.)
Course: Soup
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 4 servings
Author: Richa Hingle


  • 1/2 cup (95g) red lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
  • 3 1/4 cups (780ml) water, divided
  • 1 teaspoon organic safflower or other neutral oil
  • 3/4 cup (90g) coarsely chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 1/2-inch (1cm) knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced or grated
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) red curry paste
  • 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 cups (250 to 350g) thinly sliced bell pepper (any color), carrots, or zucchini (or small cauliflower or broccoli florets)
  • 13.5 ounces (400ml) full-fat coconut milk (1 can)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons 18g raw sugar or other sweetener
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (20g) loosely packed fresh Thai basil or sweet basil
  • 1/4 cup (10g) coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided (optional)
  • Fresh lemon wedges for garnish


  • Combine the lentils with 2 1/2 cups (600ml) of the water in a small saucepan over
  • medium heat.
  • Cook the lentils for 13 to 15 minutes, or until they are al dente, stirring
  • once halfway through the cooking time.
  • Drain the lentils and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, and a pinch salt and cook until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the ginger and red curry paste and stir to combine.
  • Cook the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, until the paste is fragrant.
  • Add the bell pepper and a splash of water and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the milk, remaining 3/4 cup (180ml) water, salt, sugar, cayenne, lime zest, and lime juice and stir to combine.
  • Add the cooked lentils and bring the mixture to a rolling boil, 6 to 7 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Add the Thai basil and 2 tablespoons (6g) of the cilantro (if using) and stir to combine.
  • Cover the saucepan and simmer for a few minutes, until the vegetables are cooked through and the flavors meld.
  • Garnish with the remaining cilantro and lemon wedges and serve.


Variations: Add some smooth peanut butter and curry powder for a Massaman-style
soup. Add 10 ounces (284g) cubed firm or extra-firm tofu instead of cooked lentils.