Spiced carrot and lentil soup with protein-packed lentils, warm spices, ginger, and plant milk is a simple vegan soup recipe with flavorful satisfaction.
Table of Contents
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- This is a full-on spicy carrot soup recipe, and carrots deserve to be the star because, as we all know, they are sensationally good for you. So why not enjoy them in a mouthwatering soup?
- A few hearty red lentils add a creamy texture and are a good protein source to satisfy you.
- Cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and red chili flakes accentuate the ginger and sweetness of the carrots. They also make a pretty garnish.
Ingredients, Notes, and Substitutions
Carrots. 8- 10 cups of shredded carrots make digging out that grater blade for your food processor a good idea. You can also use yellow carrots (Nantes) ] for this soup. They have a more earthy sweet flavor and will make a tasty, creamy carrot soup.
Lentils. My preference is split red lentils. They break down for the creamiest lentil soup. Green lentils will have a lot of texture if you use them. Whole red lentils or yellow lentils are great alternatives too. Estimate 10 minutes more cooking time for whole lentils.
Spices. The combination of cumin and mustard seeds has an earthy flavor with chili flakes for added spiciness. If you don't have cumin seeds, use 1 teaspoon of ground cumin. Cayenne pepper makes an excellent substitute for chili flakes.
Fresh ginger. Grate a tablespoon of ginger for the most intense flavor. You can get by with a teaspoon of ground ginger, but fresh ginger is tastier.
Please see the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the complete list of ingredients with measurements plus recipe instructions.
Easy spice variations include replacing the toasted seeds with 2 teaspoons of curry powder or garam masala. The flavor will be closer to our Instant Pot red lentil soup (which also has tomato paste) or a carrot masoor dal. Still yummy, though!
Along with the cumin and mustard seeds, toast a few coconut flakes. With the carrots, they add sweet flavors and make a yummy topping.
Looking for a great way to get more greens? Add spinach after pureeing the soup for a lovely contrast of colors. Spinach or thawed and pressed frozen spinach are welcome additions.
Step 1: Toast the cumin, mustard, and chili flakes for 1-2 minutes. Remove half the seeds.
Step 2: Cook the onions, garlic, ginger, and salt.
Step 3: Add vegetable broth, lentils, and carrots.
Step 4: Bring to a boil, then add the plant milk.
Step 5: Simmer the carrots and lentils for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are broken down and tender.
Step 6: Use an immersion blender (stick blender) or transfer the soup to a standing blender. Blend until smooth.
You'll be surprised at how filling a base of lentils and carrots can be! Add a side of crusty bread, and you have the perfect meal for winter days or when you need a comforting pick-me-up.
Garnishes include a pinch of red chilies. Chopped fresh cilantro, lemon juice, or red chopped onion,
Storage / Freezing / Reheating
Store leftover soup in an airtight container for 5 days. This is another excellent lentil soup recipe for freezing. Make a double batch and prepare piping hot soup for the next chilly day.
Reheat soup on the stove on low so the soup doesn't stick or scorch. You can also reheat it in the microwave.
Frequently Asked Questions
Carrot peelings contain a lot of plant nutrition – that's a good excuse not to peel. Some people find the peelings bitter, but that can be somewhat mitigated by scrubbing the carrots like a potato. I've made this spicy carrot soup with peeled and unpeeled carrots and didn't notice much difference when they were cooked and combined with spices.
To make this soup in the Instant Pot, after adding the lentils, carrots, and vegetable broth, cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Naturally, release the Instant Pot for 15 minutes. Then, remove the lid and puree the soup.
The healthiness of any recipe is directly related to the ingredients. Because this spiced carrot and lentil soup is made without added oil or coconut milk, it is low in saturated fat and highly healthy.
More Carrot and Lentil Recipes
Do you have a question or recipe request or need a cooking tip? Leave a comment below or contact Denise. I’m here to help! If you want more healthy vegan recipes, please subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on Facebook or Pinterest for the latest updates.
If you make this recipe, please leave a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating. It’s much appreciated!
Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
Rate this Recipe:
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 medium onion - diced (1 cup)
- 3 cloves garlic - minced or crushed (2 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon ginger - grated
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 8-10 medium carrots - shredded (about 10 cups)
- ¾ cups red lentils
- ½ cup plant milk
- ¼ teaspoon coconut extract - optional
- Heat a medium soup pot to medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and red chili flakes. Toast the spices for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Scoop out half of the spices to reserve as a garnish if desired.
- Add the onions and allow them to soften for about 3 minutes. If they begin to stick, add a tablespoon of water or broth.
- Add the garlic and ginger and stir for 30 seconds.
- Add the carrots, lentils, and vegetable broth. Bring the pot to a rolling boil, then lower it to simmer.
- Add the plant milk.
- Simmer the soup for 15 minutes until the lentils are tender and start to break down. You can leave the pot uncovered or cover with a lid leaving a space for the steam to escape.
- Once the lentils are cooked, remove the soup from the heat. Puree the soup using an immersion blender or transfer it to a blend, a few batches at a time, and blend until smooth.
- Garnish with the reserved, toasted spices.
- Store soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days or freeze for 3 months.
- To add coconut flavor, consider adding a few drops of coconut extract. Or toast a tablespoon of coconut flakes along with the spices.
Nutritional information is an estimation only.