Red Lentil, Tomato & Coconut Soup

Enjoy the last month of winter with this satisfyingly nutritious soup.

Red lentils are the bee’s knees. On countless occasions had I forgotten to soak lentils and other pulses for a stew the night before and the following day kicked myself when I wanted to start cooking. The beauty of red lentils is that they don’t need soaking!

The second reason for loving them is their high nutritional value. They are packed with proteins, cholesterol-lowering dietary fibre, folate, magnesium, vitamin B1 and iron.

Red lentils are cheap!

Lastly, red lentils are quicker to cook than their counterparts. They taste sweeter but become somewhat mushy when cooked and are best suited for soups and stews.

One bowl of this aromatic soup is more than enough thanks to the creamy coconut. If you like soup to be smooth and velvety, blend it. If not, keep it chunky but whatever you do, don’t forget the bread!

Source: Melinda Messenger’s Family Cookbook

Download and/or print the recipe! Click HERE.

Red Lentil, Tomato & Coconut Soup
Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 mins – Cooking Time: 35 mins
  • 25g (1 oz) butter
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) turmeric
  • 5ml (1 tsp) garam masala
  • 1.25ml (¼ tsp) chili powder
  • 5ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
  • 1 x 400g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 175g (6 oz) red lentils
  • 10ml (2 tsp) lemon juice
  • 600ml (1 pint) vegetable stock
  • 300ml (½ pint) coconut milk
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • chopped fresh coriander
  • naan bread, to serve
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the garlic and onion. Cook for 2-3 minutes and then add all the spices. Cook for a further 30 seconds.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, red lentils, lemon juice, vegetable stock, and coconut milk and bring to the boil.
  3. Simmer for 30 minutes until lentils are tender, adding extra hot water if necessary. Season to taste and then serve sprinkled with the chopped fresh coriander.
Serving Suggestion

Serve with toasted naan breads for ducking in your soup.


If you like your soup smooth, you’re welcome to blend it; otherwise keep it chunky!

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  1. says

    Beautiful soup! It looks delicious!!!
    I love red lentils, althoug here in South of Brazil they aren’t so cheap, but it worth each cent!

  2. says

    I tried this recipe tonight. It turned out wonderful. Didn’t have veg stock so used chicken, but it was extremely good. I like the subtlety of the spice.I make lots of Indian dhals, and this is a nice take on a traditional dhal. Helps mix things up at home!

  3. says

    Reminds me of a soup that’s in one of my favourite (old) recipes books – The Little Book of Soups by Penguin – this uses lots of freshly grated ginger instead of coconut milk, which makes it a little lighter.

  4. says

    This was just the sort of recipe I was looking for yesterday.
    Today I have tried it. Although I thought the ingredient list a little long (that usually puts me off) It was really quite easy to make.
    And it tasted as good as it sounded here.

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