Spicy red lentil and pineapple soup will energize you with creamy lentils, sweet-sour pineapple, and an Indian-inspired spice blend.
This easy vegan soup recipe cooks quickly and is refreshing enough for warm days with the comfort you seek when it's cool.
Table of Contents
⭐ Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Satisfying red lentils require no soaking and break down into a creamy soup in 15 minutes.
- This is a great recipe for fresh or canned pineapple.
- Make it ahead for satisfying lunches or freeze it for quick meals.
- Do you love vegan curry recipes? Reduce the vegetable broth and make Indian pineapple curry.
📋 Recipe Ingredients
Red lentils – Split red lentils make the creamiest of lentil soups. Use split mung beans (moong dal) as a substitute. Whole red lentils work, too - they take 5-10 minutes longer to cook.
Pineapple – Use a medium, fresh pineapple cut into bite-sized chunks. For convenience, use prepared pineapple chunks or canned pineapple packed in juice.
Tomatoes – Fresh tomatoes are pureed with half the pineapple to flavor the soup. Substitute with canned tomatoes packed in juice.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
📖 Recipe Variations
If you want to substitute ground spices for whole, use the following equivalents as a rough guide:
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds = 1 ½ teaspoon of ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds = ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns = 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds = 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 4 dried chilis = 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Pro tip: No need to toast ground spices. Mix them in with the tempering.
🥘 Making This Recipe
Step 1: Cook the lentils
Grab a medium soup pot or Dutch oven and cook the lentils in vegetable broth (or water) with added turmeric and salt.
Step 2: Make the tempering (spice blend)
Toast the whole spices, dried chilies, garlic, ginger, and lime zest. Use a heated skillet and stir constantly for 1-2 minutes.
Use a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder to break down the spices.
Step 3: Tomato-pineapple puree
Blend the tomatoes and half the pineapple chunks in a blender or food processor.
Step 4: Make the soup
Once the lentils are tender, stir in the tempering, then add the tomato-pineapple puree.
Add more vegetable broth to thin the soup, then stir in the remaining pineapple.
♨️ Pro Tips
The lentils get creamier the longer you cook them. Add more vegetable broth if needed. If there's broth left, no worries - it's soup!
Dice the pineapple into small enough cubes to scoop them up easily with a spoon.
💭 Frequently Asked Questions
Red lentils don’t need to be soaked before cooking; however, you should always rinse and pick out any discolored or broken lentils. For firmer lentils such as French (Puy) or black lentils, soaking will reduce cooking times. Unlike beans, soaking lentils won't help in reducing digestive upset. The best course to mitigate this is to be sure lentils are fully cooked.
Red lentils are a great source of low-fat fiber and other nutrients. Consider adding them regularly to your diet because they are an excellent source of plant-based (cholesterol-free) protein.
The easiest way to cut a fresh pineapple is first to use a knife to cut off the greenery and skin at the top and the bottom of the fresh fruit. Next, quarter the pineapple lengthwise and cut out the core of each section. Cut the quarters in half lengthwise so that you end up with 8 pieces. Then, cut the fruit away from the skin of each piece and dice the fruit.
A medium fresh pineapple that is cored and cubed yields about 5 cups. For red lentil soup, use 2 cans of pineapple packed in water or natural juice. Use the liquid from the can for the tomato puree plus ⅓ of the chunks of pineapples. Use the remaining pineapple chunks to add to the soup at the end of cooking.
Allow the soup to cool to room temperature, then store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It keeps for 5 days or freezes for 3 months. Add a little vegetable broth or water when you reheat it. Lentil soup gets thicker as it cools.
🍲 More Vegan Red Lentil Recipes
Spicy Red Lentil and Pineapple Soup
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- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 4 small dried red chilis - we like our soup on the hot side, so adjust accordingly
- 4 cloves garlic - peeled and minced
- 1 teaspoon ginger - minced
- 1 medium lime - zest
- 1 ½ cups split red lentils - rinsed
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon salt - optional if your vegetable broth contains salt
- 1 medium fresh pineapple - 4 ½ - 5 cups cubes, see notes
- 4 medium tomatoes - diced, or 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- In a medium soup pot, add the lentils, vegetable broth, turmeric, and salt. Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer. Cook, uncovered until the lentils are tender (15-20 minutes).
- Toast the whole spices, chilies, garlic, ginger, and lime zest in a small frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Stir the ingredients for 1-2 minutes.
- Transfer the spices to a clean spice or coffee grinder. Grind to a fine powder.
- Cut the pineapple into bite-sized chunks. Add half the pineapple and tomatoes to a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
- Once the lentils are done, add the blended spices, the pineapple-tomato mixture, and 1 ½ cups of vegetable broth. Stir the soup and allow it to simmer on low for a few minutes until it thickens up.
- Mix in the remaining pineapple chunks and give them a few minutes to heat and absorb the flavors. Remove the soup from the heat.
- Taste the soup and add lime juice if it's too sweet.
- See my guide in the post for substituting ground for whole spices. Don't toast the ground spices. Add them to the tempering when you grind it.
- To cut fresh pineapple, first, use a knife to cut off the top and bottom of the fresh fruit. Next, quarter the pineapple lengthwise and cut out the core of each section. Cut the quarters in half lengthwise so that you end up with 8 pieces. Then cut the fruit away from the skin of each piece and dice the fruit.
- Substitute canned pineapple packed in water or juice for fresh pineapple. A medium fresh pineapple will yield about 6-8 cups, about 2 regular cans of diced pineapple. Add the liquid and ⅓ of the canned pineapple chunks to the tomatoes for the puree. Use the rest of the pineapple for the soup at the end of cooking.
- Store pineapple soup in an airtight container for 5 days or freeze for 3 months.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.