This Thai Coconut Curry Lentil Soup has sweet and spicy flavors from coconut milk, sweet potatoes and red curry paste. Lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves add extra fragrance to this delicious, healthy soup. I love Thai food, especially Thai curries. Thai curry is completely different from Indian curries. The base for Thai curries is Thai curry paste, which comes in a variety of colors/mixtures. The most common are red Thai curry, green Thai curry and yellow Thai curry. I find the flavor of Thai curries more complex because it is made many fragrant ingredients, such as lemongrass, Thai red chilies, onion, garlic, coriander, galangal, paprika, kaffir lime leaves, and cumin.
This Thai coconut curry lentil soup was one of the first recipes I created for my blog in 2010 when I was craving both Thai coconut curry soup and lentil soup. Perhaps, it’s because I wanted to relive the heady bowl of Thai Coconut Curry Noodle Soup I had for lunch at a local restaurant that rainy cool Spring day. Recently, I made this soup for a friend, and made it even more fragrant by adding some fresh lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
There is something warming and completely comforting about Thai curry paste in soups and stews. The same can be said for lentil soup. Thai red curry paste, coconut milk and lentils just seem to go together naturally in this Thai Coconut Curry Lentil soup.
Thai curry paste can be found at Asian grocery stores and in the ethnic aisle in some supermarkets. Thai red curry paste typically contains lemongrass, Thai red chilies, onion, garlic, coriander, galangal, paprika, lime leaves, cumin, and turmeric. This curry paste is quite potent, so most recipes only need a few spoonfuls. I usually freeze any extras in small portions, so I have it on hand.
If you can’t find fresh lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, feel free to leave them out of the recipe. That’s the way I originally made this soup back in 2010. Be sure to use real coconut milk (the unsweetened kind that comes in a can). It mellows out the spicy curry, and adds a velvety mouth feel.
I hope you find this Thai Coconut Curry Lentil Soup as comforting as I do.
Thai Coconut Curry Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger minced
- 1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste use 2 teaspoons if you like it spicy
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup red lentils picked through for stones, rinsed
- 1 medium sweet potato cut into 1/2" pieces
- 1 stalk lemongrass tender bulb only, smashed with a mallet
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup coconut milk
- fresh kaffir lime leaf slivers or minced cilantro for garnish, optional
Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Add the onions, ginger and garlic. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in Thai red curry paste, and cook several minutes or until fragrant. Add broth, lentils, sweet potato, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook about 20-25 minutes or until lentils and sweet potatoes are soft. Remove lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. Add salt and stir in coconut milk. Cook five more minutes. Puree if desired. Garnish with kaffir lime leaf slivers or fresh cilantro, and a drizzle of coconut milk.
I use homemade vegetable stock such as Magic Mineral Broth for this soup because it has extra nutrients in it.