Vegan Carrot, Lentil + Fresh Ginger Soup with Coconut Milk
This carrot, lentil + fresh ginger soup is rich and creamy with coconut milk and so incredibly flavourful – with just 9 ingredients! – because I’ve used store bought Thai red curry paste instead of an assortment of spices. Ready in 30 minutes: a nourishing, complete meal on its own or served with bread!
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On a chilly day, there is nothing as cozy and comforting as a really good bowl of soup. Soup is the cozy sweater of the food world. Scratch that: it’s the fuzzy pyjamas because after 6PM that’s my desired uniform.
And this, my friends, is one of those plant-based recipes that will have even plant-skeptics admitting that wow, vegan stuff is delicious. It’s just creamy enough, a little spicy, and deeply flavourful. The secret? Using Thai red curry paste as a flavour booster, meaning that you don’t need a whole drawerful of spices to make a yummy soup.
I’m a lazy weeknight cook My dietitian heart loves it when I can build a complete meal in just one pot. You’ve got plenty of vegetables (carrots + onion + ginger) plus slow burn carbs and plant-based protein from the red lentils. A hit of coconut milk offers fats that help you feel full and satisfied as well as boosting your absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like the beta-carotene in carrots.
This carrot, lentil + ginger soup is also ridiculously easy to make, even on those nights when you’d rather not cook because all you have to do is saute the carrots and onion in a big pot on the stovetop, drop in the fresh ginger and curry paste then simmer the red lentils until they’re tender before pureeing the whole thing with an immersion blender. So you can avoid the takeout trap AND the unnecessary trip to the store because you might already have these ingredients in your kitchen!
PS – if you’re a soup lover, you might want to preorder my latest book, Plant Magic, as the soup and stews chapter alone will put you in a very good mood!
How to make this vegan carrot, red lentil + fresh ginger soup…it’s so easy!
Step One: grab your ingredients…you’ll need 1lb of carrots, an onion, some ginger, dried red lentils, Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, Better Than Bouillon Vegetarian Chicken stock concentrate (OR salt), a lime and a bit of oil and perhaps maple syrup. If you’re into toppings, I like salted peanuts, chopped cilantro and if you really want to turn up the heat, a Thai red chile.
Step Two: You’ll saute the onion and carrot in a bit of oil on medium heat until the onion is glossy and translucent, about 10 minutes, then add the curry paste and ginger and stir constantly for a minute.
Step Three: Now, just add the water and coconut milk, bring it to a boil and then add the lentils and salt or BTB. Let that bubble away on medium heat until the red lentils have fully softened, about 10 – 15 minutes.
Step Four: Once that’s done, remove from heat and then puree with an immersion blender until that soup is golden and glorious. Now taste it. Is it perfect? You’re done! Need a little boost? Add the juice of a lime and taste again. Need more? Try a tablespoon of maple syrup.
Step Five: Top – or don’t – and enjoy! I LOVE adding a bit of chopped salted peanut and cilantro to the top. Looks cute and adds another dimension of flavour but this soup is so delicious on its own too. And if you’re someone who can’t eat soup without bread, go ahead and toast up a few slices.
On the off chance you have leftovers, it keeps really well for 3-4 days. You’ll need to thin it out a bit with water when you reheat as it does thicken over time.
How to choose a good Thai red curry paste
The flavours of red curry enhance the fresh ginger and carrot so beautifully but the flipside of that is that you want to make sure you use a really delicious Thai Red Curry paste – I’ve tried a LOT of them and some are just so bland.
I have to admit that I had not thought of using Thai red curry paste as a condiment until I had the chance to interview my friend Pailin Chongchitnant – an actual Thai chef – for the podcast where she mentioned the hack. Of course, I seized on the chance to ask her for her fave curry paste brands and she said AROY-D – they make my favourite coconut milk too. You also get way more curry paste than other brands…and yes, it’s vegan!
Worried that it might be too spicy? Start with just 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of curry paste and you can always add more at the end if needed. My 8 year old prefers 1 tablespoon… I prefer 2!
More cozy vegan soups
- Pumpkin Miso Soup
- Hearty Mushroom Barley Soup
- Easy + Nourishing Green Soup
- Sunchoke Soup with Cilantro Pesto
Vegan Carrot, Lentil + Fresh Ginger Soup with Coconut Milk
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil, or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound carrots, scrubbed and chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 inch piece fresh ginger, about 1 heaping tablespoon chopped
- 2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste, I like AROY-D
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon Better than Bouillon Vegetarian Chicken, OR 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt
- ¾ cup dry red lentils
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup, optional
- ½ cup salted peanuts, chopped
- ½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 Thai red chili, sliced…careful! It's HOT.
- immersion blender
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat, then saute the onion and carrot until the onion is glossy, golden and translucent, about 10 minutes. Then add the curry paste and ginger and stir constantly for a minute.
- Add the water and coconut milk, bring it to a boil on high and then add the lentils and Better than Bouillon (or salt). Stir well, reduce heat back to medium and let that bubble away until the red lentils have fully softened, about 10 – 15 minutes.
- Remove from heat and then puree with an immersion blender until that soup is silky smooth. Now taste it. Is it perfect? You’re done! Need a little boost? Add the juice of a lime and taste again. Need more? Try a tablespoon of maple syrup.
- Top as desired – or don't! – and serve on it's own or with some nice flatbread or sourdough.