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 That’s the way I originally made this soup back in 2010.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 low sodium 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.
I am definitely making this soon!
Hope you like it Kalyn. Red curry paste does wonders.
That sounds delicious. I usually make my own paste, but I make extra so I can store it too.
I would love to see your recipe for red curry paste. Please do share.
I love lentil soups and this one sounds amazing!
Thanks Christina, hope you get a chance to try it. This soup is really warming.
Thanks Lisa, looking forward to seeing all the other legume recipes for this month's submission on My Legume Love Affair.
Such a lovely dish. I can't wait to try it. Thanks so much for your submission.
This looks amazing! Going to make it this weekend.
Thanks, I love the combination of coconut an curry, and lentils are so good for you!
Thanks for giving Two Blue Lemons a shout out! Looks delicious, I may have to go make some!
Maryse Speckner says
I found your recipe tonight through a link on the Soup Chick. Since I had almost everything in my pantry (I substituted a red potato for the sweet potato), I made it for dinner. It was a big hit with my family! Thank you so much for posting this delicious and simple recipe.
Maryse, thanks so much for trying my recipe and letting me know that you and your family enjoyed it!
Had all of my wisdom teeth removed and was craving something savory (please no more yogurt and apple sauce). Made a pot of this and pureed until silky smooth. So delicious and easy to eat. Thanks so much for sharing these lovely soups!
Hi Ashley, so glad you were able to try this soup and enjoy it. I know how hard it is to find food to eat that tastes good and fills you up after you have your wisdom teeth pulled. You picked a good soup, packed with protein and flavor. Thanks for your feedback – I really appreciate it.
Can’t wait to make this it looks delicious! Do I puree it at the end?
You can puree it at the end or you can leave it as is.
I am making this tomorrow to take to a friend whose husband has cancer. I hope it will appeal to him. I think the kaffir lime might help it be more palatable, too-added freshness? I made with homemade bone broth and I’m wondering if I can stir in coconut milk, then cool and package for them? Thank you for this recipe! I, too, have four young children, and can appreciate your motivation and drive 🙂
I hope your friend’s husband enjoys this soup. It can be eaten warm or cold as well. I think adding coconut milk to bone broth is a great way to add some calories. You have a wonderful heart!
You do as well, and thank you for your reply!
I love this soup. Exactly the taste I was looking for. Thank you so much for sharing
So glad you enjoyed this soup Laura – thanks so much for letting me know! 🙂
I made this tonight because I have had to eat pureed and liquid food. And it was so tasty! I also put in the vegetable broth I made from your Magic Mineral Broth! It made it so great. I can’t wait to make it again!
I’m so glad you enjoyed this soup – the Magic Mineral Broth is a great base!