Quick Curry Lentil Soup
Bursting with flavor, this fast lentil soup recipe with curry roasted cauliflower should be at the top of your list of new recipes to try. It is the perfect healthy meal for cold weather and is ready in just 40 minutes!
If you’ve never been a big soup enthusiast, we’re about to change your mind. How? With fragrant spices that create deep levels of flavor in a super simple recipe . . . And a special ingredient commonly found on the menus at Indian restaurants – lentils. Typically cooked in dishes called dal or daal, lentils are a great source of protein that is also low in calories.
South Asian cuisine really does do soups unlike any other. Over the centuries, India has used vegetables, lentils, and ghee to transform ingredients and create dishes worthy of second helpings . . . and third and fourth. In fact, The Fascinating History of the Humble Dal explains that ancient Indian texts record how dal was prepared for royalty, so you know it has to be good!
“I had to convince my kids to taste this, but once they started eating it, they ended up asking for seconds and thirds. We all loved this meal!”
– Chrystal H.
While you may have an unfortunate experience in the past where lentils seemed to take ages to cook, that’s one of the reasons we chose red lentils for our recipe. They cook faster than green and brown lentils, so your entire meal can be on the dinner table in only 40 minutes – and that includes roasting curry cauliflower!
Between the cauliflower, carrots, tomatoes, and lentils used in this recipe, get ready for a healthy dinner that tastes incredible, yet still has 24 grams of protein per serving. One of the key ingredients in this soup is a cup of coconut milk, which has essential vitamins and minerals, as well as antiviral properties. It also brings a great creaminess, and if you want a super smooth consistency, all you need to do is quickly puree the finished soup with a standing or immersion blender. That’s one of the great things about veggie soups – you can easily customize the texture to your liking.
Now that you are undoubtedly wanting to try your hand at this delicious meal right now, let’s get to the recipe! Below we’ll go over the basic cookware you need and our favorite tips for meal prep, time-savers, and leftover ideas for this dinner. We include these elements in every single recipe we create and have tons of other features in our meal plan service. Find out how to make cooking even faster and easier right here.
“Quick and easy with really nice flavor. Used an immersion blender and really liked how the texture turned out.”
– Jenn S.
Meal Planning Smarts
- Budget Cooking: This is already a very inexpensive recipe because it is packed with protein while not requiring any meat. A budget-friendly way to bulk up the meal even more is to add some soft naan on the side.
- Time Savers: Since this lentil soup reheats well, you can easily make it all ahead and then just warm it up to serve on a busy weeknight. You can also save time in the evening by prepping your cauliflower, onions, carrots, and garlic up to 5 days in advance! (See how with the short video tutorials below.)
- Leftovers: Soups are famously good at freezing and reheating well, and this recipe is no exception. Just make extra and pop it in your freezer for any night you need a quick dinner. You can also add leftover lentil soup to a quick stir-fry for a fun Indian-fusion dish that is packed with flavor and protein!
- For easy ways to chop your veggies and get dinner on the table quickly, watch these short videos:
How to Chop Cauliflower
Cauliflower is such a tasty vegetable to cook. See how easy it is to prep here.
How to Chop & Dice an Onion
Learning how to dice an onion correctly will save you so much time in the kitchen.
How to Chop Carrots
Watch this video to learn our tips on how to best peel, chop, and dice carrots easily.
How to Mince or Crush Garlic
Garlic adds great flavor and aroma to any dish. Learn how to impart the flavors of garlic to any dish with this short video.
- If you don’t have a Dutch oven yet, it makes a great addition to any kitchen. This thick-walled pot and lid are great for preparing and serving soups, but can also be used for stews and roasts.
- A good sheet pan is a must for anyone who cooks more than a couple times a year. It allows you to make deliciously caramelized, roasted veggies like the cauliflower in today’s recipe, but also warm, gooey cookies. 😉
- If you enjoy silky smooth soups, then the immersion blender is about to become your favorite appliance. It’s rod-like structure makes it perfect for blending and pureeing directly in your cookware. No more precariously transferring hot substances to a blender!
For more kitchen and equipment and tool smarts, visit our Essential Kitchen Cookware and Tools
- Cauliflower, medium - 1 head, chopped
- Onions, medium red - 1, diced
- Carrots - 4 oz, diced
- Garlic - 3 cloves, chopped
- Green onions - 2 stalks, chopped white and green parts separate
- Butter - 2 Tbsp
- Curry powder, yellow and mild - 1 Tbsp + 1½ tsp
- Cumin - 1 tsp
- Red pepper flakes - 1/4 tsp
- Tomatoes, crushed (15 oz / 397 g) - 1 can (we liked fire roasted tomatoes in this, but regular will work)
- Coconut milk - 1 cup
- Stock, any type - 3 cups
- Lentils, red and uncooked - 1 1/4 cups (sub yellow lentils)
- Oil, cooking - 1 1/2 Tbsp
- Salt - 1/2 tsp
- Lemon juice - 1 tsp
- Yogurt, plain or Greek - for serving
- Cauliflower / Onions / Carrots / Garlic – Prep as directed. Store cauliflower in one container. Combine onions and carrots in another container. Store garlic in a third container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Green onions – Chop green onions. Store green and white parts separately. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Heat oven to 400F / 204C.
- While oven is heating, heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter. When butter melts, add onions and carrots with a pinch of salt. Saute until soft, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Add white parts of green onions, garlic, first portion of curry powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Saute for 1 minute more.
- To soup add crushed tomatoes, coconut milk, stock, and lentils. Bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- While soup simmers, toss cauliflower with oil, second portion of curry powder, and salt. Spread out on a sheet pan and transfer to oven. Roast cauliflower, shaking the pan halfway through cooking, until cauliflower is tender and golden brown in spots, ~30 minutes total.
- When soup is finished, stir in lemon juice. (Optional: If you would like a smooth soup, puree with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender and blend until smooth.)
- Season soup to taste with some salt and pepper.
- Ladle soup into bowls and top with green parts of green onions. Serve with yogurt for topping, if you’d like. Enjoy with cauliflower on the side!
A little note:
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