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Coconut Curried Red Lentil Soup with Spinach

Lentils are a versatile bean and can be made into incredible and hearty salads, a thick Indian dal or a creamy and luscious soup. Just vary the ingredients, spices and amount of liquid and you can make three distinctly different dishes. This is a light and tasty soup that has diced vegetables, a hint of ginger and the richness of a cup of coconut milk. Serve as a soup, with a dollop of rice or a salad and this is a nutritious meal that makes you yearn for leftovers tomorrow.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 6
Author The Cowgirl Gourmet in Santa Fe


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or virgin coconut oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 big carrots or 4 small carrots, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 inches fresh ginger peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon yellow curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups dried red lentils rinsed
  • 1 large tomato, diced or 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth or homemade stock ofchoice
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup coconut milk organic
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cups raw spinach chopped, about 1/3 cup per bowl, if using raw
  • cilantro garnish
  • lemon wedges garnish


  1. Heat the oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the onion and carrots and cook, stirring until tender, about 5-8 minutes. 

  2. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder and turmeric and cook, stirring another minutes more.

  3. Add the salt, pepper, lentils, tomato and bay leaf and then add the broth and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and allow it to simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.

  4. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Stir in the coconut milk and lemon juice and cook until fully incorporated and warmed through, about 2-3 more minutes. If you are adding spinach to the soup, drop it in now and let it melt and meld with the coconut milk and  lemon juice.

  5. If you are like me and prefer your soup the day after it was made, either refrigerate or freeze the soup after it completely cools.

  6. Otherwise, serve the soup in big bowls--with a handful of raw spinach in the bowl if you didn't add it to the pot of soup--and garnish with cilantro and serve with a lemon wedge.