This flavourful 1-pot vegan soup is laden with red lentils and vegetables. We used equal quantities of leeks, carrots, potatoes, and edamame beans, but you could easily replace the leeks with onions, add more of one vegetable than another, or substitute in yam or squash for potatoes. Red curry paste, minced jalapenos, and ginger make this vegetable soup spicy, while coconut milk skews it creamy. Optionally, add some freshly squeezed orange juice and a grate of rind for brightness and complexity.
About the Ingredients
Not all red curry pastes are the same!
We used this Thai brand of red curry paste – this is not an affiliate link. We find this brand stronger and more flavourful than Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste. For comparison, we’d use one teaspoon of the Cock Brand Red Curry Paste versus one tablespoon for Thai Kitchen. Even with the increased amount, the flavours won’t be exactly comparable.
Red lentils are great for quick soups!
Red lentils are great for a quick soup because you don’t have to soak them overnight and they only take about 20 minutes (or less) to cook. They don’t have a strong flavour and they don’t hold their shape when cooking – they meld into to the soup broth.
This recipe uses leeks, but you could easily substitute onions as they’re similar. Leeks look a bit like giant scallions (green onions). Just as with onions, sauteing some leeks is a great way to start making soup.
Leeks can be a bit of a pain to clean. Cut off the roots and peel off the tough outer layer or layers. Then cut across the leek, leaving you with circular cuts. Add the leeks to a colander and rinse them well with cold water.
Making the Soup: The Big Picture
Most of the work in making the soup is in the preparation of the vegetables.
Chop the jalapeños, leeks, carrots, and potatoes, and measure out the edamame beans (we used frozen, shelled beans).
Once you’ve got the vegetables organized, you can start sauteing – give the leeks and jalapenos an advance start, then add in the carrots, along with the ginger powder and red curry paste.
Measure out the red lentils, rinse them in cold water, and set aside.
Once the carrot mixture has cooked for 10 minutes, add the lentils, water, and potatoes. Bring this to a boil and then down to a simmer, cooking for about 20 minutes until the potatoes and lentils are tender.
Add in the coconut milk and optionally, the orange juice and rind. Taste and add salt and more orange juice if desired. You can let this simmer on the stove to intensify the flavours or eat it right away.
Tips for newbies
If you're new to plant-based eating, you might be wondering: "How do I get my protein?" Often with plant-based (and vegetarian) meals, you'll find that dishes contain multiple sources of protein.
In this soup, both the lentils and the edamame are sources of protein. If you top with crushed pistachios, that's a third source of protein.
There are many different kinds of lentils. Versatile and inexpensive, they make a great addition to your food pantry. Unlike some other legumes, lentils cook relatively quickly and don't need to be soaked ahead of time, making them useful for impromptu dinners.
For detailed nutritional information, see the bottom of the Recipe Card. Be sure to also read the Nutritional Information details provided (right above the nutrition count) as it details how the information was calculated. In this case, the calculation does not include the optional pistachios or orange slices.
1-Pot Coconut Lentil Vegetable Soup
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or substitute other vegetable oil)
- 1 cup leeks, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons jalapeno, diced
- 2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste (if using Thai Kitchen brand, use 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon ginger powder
- 1 cup carrots, diced
- 1 1/3 cup red lentils (Follow package directions for preparing - usually you just need to rinse them with cold water and pick out any random stones.)
- 1 cup potatoes, diced
- 1 cup shelled edamame beans (we used frozen)
- water (3 to 5 cups) (less water equals thicker soup)
- 1 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/2 cup orange juice
- 1/8 teaspoon grated orange rind
Optionally, to Serve
- orange slices
- crushed pistachios
- In a large soup pot, heat the coconut oil. Add the jalapenos and leeks and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add the red curry paste, ginger powder, and carrots, and saute for another 5 minutes. Add a bit of water if the mixture gets too dry.
- Add in the lentils, water, potatoes, and edamame. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes and lentils are tender.
- Stir in the coconut milk and orange juice and rind, if using. Taste and add salt.
- Simmer until heated through. You can leave simmering for longer if you want to intensify the flavours.
- Serve garnished with orange slices and pistachios.