Based on the flavors of Masoor dal, this Lentil Soup recipe is infused with Indian spices- nourishing, delicious and ultra-comforting, it’s healthy and vegan. Plus 25+ Best Lentil Recipes

This simple Indian lentil soup with garam masala is delicious and ultra comforting and can be made in 40 minutes. Vegan!

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This lentil soup is simple to make and just feels good to eat! Clean and savory, the spices are the magic here, adding so much flavor without any extra calories, fat, salt or sweeteners. Garam masala is a flavorful blend of Indian spices that you can make or buy.

Many spices commonly used in Indian cuisine contain antioxidant properties and are known to activate digestion and help reduce inflammation in the body. Add the nutrient-rich lentils, and you have a healthy lentil soup that tastes amazing and is good for you! This soup is perfect for doubling and eating throughout the week; it just gets better with time.

For other lentil soup inspiration, try Instant Pot Mulligatawny (Curried Indian Soup) and Harira: Moroccan Lentil and Chickpea Soup or our Instant Pot Lentil Soup.

Ingredients In Indian Lentil Soup

Ingredient Notes

Lentils-here we use brown lentils. Feel free to substitute other lentils like French green lentils, red lentils, and adjust cooking times accordingly to their size.

Vegetables: Carrots, Celery, Onions, Garlic

Garam Masala– a brilliant staple blend of Indian spices that varies from home to home. Try our simple recipe to make your own Garam Masala.

Fenugreek Leaves– adds a lovely flavor that is hard to substitute. The recipe will work just fine without if you cannot find them.

Coconut Cream– we garnish each bowl with a dollop. Substitute coconut milk if desired.

See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and measurements.     

How To Make Indian Lentil Soup

Ingredients for lentil soup with garam masala.

Soak lentils in water for 30 minutes or up to a few hours. This is an optional step that allows the lentils to cook more quickly. While the lentils soak get all your ingredients prepped.

Smash peeled garlic cloves and ginger together into a paste with a mortar and pestle, or alternately, you can mince the garlic and ginger until super fine.

Sauté onions in a large pot or dutch oven in the coconut oil, over medium heat for 4-5 minutes until soft and fragrant. Add cumin seeds, celery and carrot and stir for another few minutes. Add garlic ginger paste.

Add tomato puree, garam masala, turmeric, fenugreek leaves, cayenne, salt, pepper. Add lentils and vegetable broth or chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Lower heat.

Simmer gently over low heat, covered, 20-40 minutes, depending of the size of the lentils and if lentils have been soaked. The cooking time of lentils is an estimate; it greatly depends on their size and freshness. Even a quick soak shortens the cooking time.

Once the lentils are tender, taste and adjust the salt and cayenne to your liking. If you like a little acid, a few drops of fresh lemon juice is nice. If you like a creamier consistency, use an immersion blender to blend right in the pot to the desired consistency.

How to serve Lentil Soup

Divide among bowls and drizzle with coconut milk or cream and top it with fresh cilantro. Serve with toasty naan bread, or basmati rice, or on its own.

This simple Indian lentil soup with garam masala is delicious and ultra comforting and can be made in 40 minutes. Vegan!

Lentil Soup Storage Suggestions

Lentil Soup will keep in the refrigerator for up to 4 days in an airtight container.  It freezes great, for optimum flavor, thaw and eat it within three months.

More Favorite Lentil Soup Recipes

Recipe FAQs

Do you need to soak lentils before cooking?

You do not need to; however, it will shorten the cooking time. Soaking also may make the lentils easier to digest.

What is the difference between dal and lentil soup?

Any split legume is considered dal in Indian culture. Dal is the lentil (or bean). Soup is made from dal (or the lentil).

Do Indian spices have any nutritional value?

Fresh spices are a highly concentrated nutritional resource full of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and high in antioxidants. Spices are known to activate digestion and help reduce inflammation in the body.

Indian lentil soup with garam masala in a bowl with cilantro and coconut milk.

Hope you enjoy!

~Tonia

Love this recipe? Please let us know in the comments and leave a 5-star ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating below the recipe card.

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This Lentil Soup recipe is infused with Indian spices- nourishing, comforting and healthy, it's vegan, and one of our favorites! 

Best Lentil Soup Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 15 reviews
  • Author: Tonia | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 7 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This Lentil Soup recipe is infused with Indian spices- nourishing, comforting and healthy, it’s vegan, and one of our favorites! 


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 cup lentils ( brown lentils, green lentils, red lentils, black lentils, French lentils ) See notes.
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (1 1/22 inches) minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, coconut oil or ghee
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds, or ground cumin
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup pureed tomatoes (or diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala ( use store-bought, make your own, or use curry powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves (optional, but elevates)
  • 1/21/2 teaspoon cayenne, adjust to preference
  • 11 1/2 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cups broth- veggie broth or chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk,or cream (optional but makes it soft and balanced)
  • garnish with fresh cilantro or fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon if you like.

Instructions

  1. Soak lentils in water for 30 minutes or up to a few hours. This is an optional step that allows the lentils to cook more quickly.
  2. Smash peeled garlic cloves and ginger together into a paste with a mortar and pestle (alternatively you can mince until super fine).
  3. Sauté onions in the coconut oil over medium high heat, for 4- 5 minutes until soft and caramelized. Add cumin, celery and carrots and stir in for another few minutes. Add garlic and ginger  and stir for 2-3 minutes. Add tomato puree, garam masala, turmeric, fenugreek leaves, cayenne, salt, pepper. Stir until mixed.
  4. Add lentils and broth. Simmer covered 20-40 minutes  (depending on lentil size) until lentils are tender. If you like a creamier consistency, blend half of the soup or use an immersion blender.  Taste and adjust salt and heat to taste. If you want a little acid, add a few drops lemon juice. 
  5. To serve, divide among bowls, drizzle each bowl with coconut cream (you can just stir it to the entire pot if preferred) and top with fresh cilantro.

Notes

Lentil Soup will keep in the refrigerator fridge for up to 4 days in a sealed container.  It freezes great, for optimum flavor eat it within 3 months.

The cooking time of lentils varies greatly depending on the size of the lentils and their quality and freshness. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 & 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 308
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Sodium: 910.4 mg
  • Fat: 7.7 g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.8 g
  • Carbohydrates: 46 g
  • Fiber: 8.1 g
  • Protein: 13.8 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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Comments

  1. Such a delicious Lentil soup. New to your site, started with the 2024 Plant Based reset and the recipes did not disappoint. Glad I found you, thank you for your wonderful work and inspiration you are a blessing.

  2. Another winner! I only come to your blog for recipes because every single one of them is fantastic. I didn’t have fenugreek or coconut milk and the soup was still absolutely delicious. I added a bunch of kale at the end to up the greens. Thank you thank you!






  3. I really loved the flavor here. Definitely a step up from basic lentil soup (which I also love). I did a slight partial puree with my immersion blender and skipped the coconut cream because it was already so hearty. Perfect for a chilly winter night. Thank you for another great recipe.






  4. My first recipe from the 2024 Plant-based reset, and it’s a success. Easy and so flavourful; I had some oat cream in the pantry which added greatly to the taste and texture as mentioned by Tonia. Lunches for the week!






  5. This soup was hearty and flavorful. I didn’t have to tweak the recipe at all. I can’t wait to have it again tomorrow, after the ingredients have had a chance to meld overnight.






  6. So incredibly delicious! This takes lentil soup over the top! I blended the coconut cream with about 1/2 c. of the soup and stirred back into pot. Love your recipes and am making them weekly…and sharing the site with many friends. I do find that I am reducing the amount of suggested salt in most recipes. Thank you!

  7. Really good, one of my new favorite lentil soups! I cook Indian often so was excited to see all of my favorite spices in a lentil soup, thank you!






  8. Awesome! Made it as written…could not have been better. If you don’t have fenugreek, order some today, it’s delish.






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