This spiced carrot and lentil soup is a flavorful and wholesome meal that's perfect for a chilly day. The combination of carrots, lentils, and aromatic spices creates a hearty, nutritious dish that's both satisfying and delicious.
Lentil soup is a humble yet delicious dish that’s perfect for a cozy, fuss-free lunch. This spiced carrot and lentil soup is a super flavorful variation that packs loads of nutrients and comes together quickly in one pot.
It’s the perfect soup to make when you’re craving something spicy but want to keep things light. This carrot and lentil soup is a feel-good meal that’s also good for you.
I make this soup only mildly spicy to keep it family-friendly, but you can adjust the level of spiciness to make it as fiery as you like.
Why you’ll love this spiced carrot and lentil soup
- Nutrient-packed goodness — This soup is loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and plant-based protein, thanks to the combination of carrots and red lentils.
- Cozy comfort in a bowl — Nothing says comfort food like a warm bowl of soup, and this spiced carrot and lentil soup is extra coy and satisfying.
- Easily adaptable and customizable — This is a highly customizable recipe, and you can mix and match ingredients, substitute spices, or adjust the heat level to make it your own.
Ingredients and substitutions
Onion — I made this soup with a classic yellow onion, but you could also opt for a red onion or shallots for a slightly sweeter and milder flavor.
Garlic and fresh ginger — I recommend using fresh garlic and ginger in this carrot and red lentil soup as they pack a punch of flavor and warmth.
For a convenient substitute, use ¼ to ½ teaspoon of garlic powder and ginger powder, respectively, for each fresh clove or teaspoon of minced ginger.
Red chili flakes — These little flakes add a kick of heat to your soup. If you prefer a milder flavor, you can reduce the amount or leave them out altogether.
Tomato puree — This adds depth and richness to the soup. You can use canned crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce as a substitute.
Carrots — Carrots add natural sweetness and a pop of color to the soup. If you don't have carrots or want to try something different, use sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or parsnips as a substitute.
Red lentils — Split red lentils are packed with protein and fiber, and they cook relatively quickly. They break down easily in this soup and contribute to the soup’s natural creaminess.
How to make carrot and red lentil soup
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened and translucent.
Add the minced garlic and grated ginger and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
Next, stir in the tomato puree and cook for another minute.
Add the chopped carrots to the pot, and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the rinsed red lentils and the vegetable broth. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and let it simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the carrots and lentils are tender.
Once the carrots and lentils are cooked, use an immersion blender to partially blend the soup to your desired consistency. If you prefer a chunkier soup, skip this step.
Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro if you like.
Leftovers and storage
- To store the spiced carrot and lentil soup, let it cool to room temperature before transferring it into an airtight container. Keep it in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days.
- Reheat it in a saucepan over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally until heated through. If the soup has thickened too much, you can add a splash of water or broth.
- This soup freezes beautifully for up to 3 months, making it perfect for meal prep or a quick meal when you need it. To reheat, defrost the soup in the refrigerator overnight, then follow the reheating instructions above.
Recipe notes and tips
- If you like soups with a chunkier texture, blend only a portion, leaving some bits of carrot and lentil intact.
- This soup pairs well with a slice of crusty bread, a warm pita, or even some naan for dipping.
- If you'd like to add more protein and texture to your carrot soup, consider topping it with some roasted chickpeas.
- Make your spiced carrot and lentil soup Instagram-worthy by garnishing it with fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley, a drizzle of coconut milk, a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds, or even a pinch of red chili flakes for an added pop of color and heat.
If you liked this spiced carrot lentil soup, you might also like some of my other easy vegan soup recipes:
- Vegan Lasagna Soup
- Vegan Enchilada Soup
- Mushroom Barley Soup
- Sopa de Lentejas (Spanish Lentil Soup with Vegetables)
- Krupnik (Polish Barley Soup)