This vegan carrot and red lentil soup with coconut milk is a nutritious and delicious one pot recipe. This easy to make, plant based soup has great texture, a hint of sweetness from the coconut milk, and a smoky heat from the chipotle in adobo sauce. It is a great flavor combo your whole familia will love.
During my first lunch ever in France, at a little bistro in downtown Nantes called La Trinquete, I received some pretty upsetting news.
I’m not going to get into details because I don’t want to get too dramatic. I mean, I can get as dramatic as the lead of the 9 p.m. Brazilian soap opera. We shouldn’t go there right now.
Anyway. I sat there, trying to assimilate everything and trying not to break any of the furniture around me. (Again, NOT dramatic…)
And then, I had to order my food, in French.
My brain was spinning way too fast for me to make sense of anything, let alone speak a foreign language. So, soupe du jour, s’il vous plait.
Minutes later, a beautiful red lentil soup arrived.
After my first spoonful of the soup, I stopped and wrote down in my food journal: ‘red lentil soup – chunky, sweet, light smoke, light/medium heat, beautiful orange color, heart fixer, soul hugger’.
For a second, I forgot just how sad that stupid news made me feel.
Why I love this easy red lentil soup:
I knew right away I wanted to be able to eat some version of this soup for all eternity.
I had to come up with something that made me feel just as wonderful as I felt when I tasted that red lentil soup for the first time.
So here we are with my version of it!
I hope you love it as much as I do.
What you’ll need to make this recipe:
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- Dutch oven or heavy bottomed soup/stock pot
- Sharp knife and cutting board
- Can opener
- Airtight food storage container
Other than these tools, you’ll just need the following easy-to-find ingredients:
- Coconut oil — or another neutral oil, like olive oil
- Onion — a yellow or white onion
- Carrots — you need two regular sized carrots to add to this soup base
- Garlic or Brazilian sofrito — for garlicky goodness
- Red lentils — there is no substitute for these since this is a red lentil soup recipe
- Tomato paste — for a pop of bright, sweet tomato flavor
- Coconut milk — for sweet creaminess. I like to use a can of full fat coconut milk instead of the refrigerated kind from the grocery store. This is not the same thing as coconut cream, which is a lot thicker.
- Vegetable stock or water — use your favorite brand!
- Chipotle in adobo sauce — this adds a nice smoky heat to the soup without overwhelming it. There is no replacement for it.
- Bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- Fresh parsley, for garnish
How to make Red Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk
This carrot and red lentil soup recipe comes together in just 5 easy to follow steps:
Sauté the aromatics. Cook the diced onion, then add in the carrots to it. Once they’re softening, add the garlic.
Add lentils. Stir the lentils into the aromatics.
Add the liquids. First comes the tomato paste. Next, stir in the coconut milk and the veggie broth.
Don’t forget the spices. This includes the bay leaf and the chipotle sauce. Stir them up.
Simmer. Let the ingredients come to a gentle boil, season with salt and pepper, and reduce to a simmer. Let it simmer until the lentils are cooked through.
Serve. Add fresh parsley for a bright pop of color, and enjoy warm.
How to store and freeze
This soup is excellent for making ahead of time and serving later. It’s also great for freezing.
To store the soup, let cool and transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.
How to freeze: After you cook the soup, let it cool off completely, then transfer it into to freezer safe containers (or cubes, like SouperCubes). Cover with a lid and freeze until solid. It can stay frozen for 3-6 months.
How to reheat: Let the soup defrost in the refrigerator. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave until warmed through.
Frequently Asked Questions
Lentils, like beans, are part of the legume family, because they grow in pods. They’re full of health benefits. For example, they’re high in protein, rich in minerals, low in fat, high in fiber…! They’re great!
Lentils do not require soaking, as beans do. You certainly can soak them to reduce cooking time, but they already cook in under an hour, so, I find it unnecessary.
No! All you need to do is rinse them to remove dirt and dust that you don’t want in your food. After that, you can add the rinsed, uncooked lentils right into the recipe and it’ll cook with the soup.
Yes!! Lentil soup freezes well. After you cook the soup, put it into to freezer safe containers, make sure it cools off completely before you cover with a lid, then freeze!
You can freeze lentil soup for 3-6 months.
More lentil recipes you’ll love:
More legume recipes to try:
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Vegan Red Lentil Soup With Coconut Milk
- 1 Tbsp of coconut oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 large carrots cut into small cubes
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 cups of red lentils rinsed
- 1 Tbsp of tomato paste
- 1 15 oz can of coconut milk
- 4 cups of vegetable broth if you need more, add more… water ok too
- 1 Tbsp of chipotle in adobo sauce or more if you like it hot!
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bay leaf
- Heat up the coconut oil in a dutch oven or heavy bottom pan
- Add the onion and cook for about 3 mins until its translucent
- Add the carrots
- Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant, about 2 minutes (do not brown it)
- Add lentils, stir
- Add tomato paste, stir
- Add coconut milk, broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper, and chipotle sauce and stir
- Let it come to a gentle boil, and reduce to a simmer
- Let it simmer until the lentils are cooked through, about 25-40 mins