Carrot and Lentil Soup- Stovetop & Instant Pot

Carrot and Lentil Soup- Stovetop & Instant Pot

Looking for an easy, nourishing weeknight meal? This simple carrot and lentil soup recipe is packed with other superfoods, too, like ginger, garlic, turmeric, and coconut milk. Plus, it’s made with quick-cooking red lentils, so it’s ready in about 30 minutes! Or in even less time if you follow the Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup recipe version!

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Why I love this Easy Carrot and Lentil Soup recipe

I created this recipe just as the seasons changed here in Northern California. Fall snuck up one day and I was feeling, well, cold! I wanted a cozy dish that would satisfy and nourish…a filling, well balanced meal in one pot.

I love using carrots and red lentils together because they balance each other well: lentils add the protein and complex carbs, while the carrots give natural sweetness and flavor without adding more starch. Plus, these two ingredients combine to make a gorgeous warm color.

and why you will love it too…

This lentil carrot soup recipe is:

EASY

READY IN 30 MINUTES

KID-FRIENDLY

NOURISHING

FILLING

ADAPTABLE

INEXPENSIVE

DAIRY FREE

GLUTEN FREE

VEGAN

ONE POT (with immersion blender)

INSTANT POT FRIENDLY

close up of red lentil carrot ginger soup

Ingredient Notes for Carrot Lentil Soup

  • Red Lentils are the star in this carrot lentil coconut soup because:
    • the color compliments the carrots for a gorgeous orange soup
    • red lentils cook more quickly than other lentils, for an easy weeknight meal
    • red lentils don’t have skins because they has been removed (unlike brown/green lentils), making them a perfect texture to blend into a creamy soup.
    • because red lentils don’t have skin, I find the texture a bit more kid-friendly
  • Carrots blend beautifully with lentils, as they provide natural sweetness without the added starch.
  • Coconut Milk makes this soup rich, creamy, and balanced.
  • Turmeric is an incredible superfood full of health benefits. It also adds a brightness to the color and earthiness to the taste.
  • Ginger is another superfood that I add everywhere I can! Ginger is an excellent taste complement to carrots as well as lentils with its added spice and zing, making it a natural addition to the recipe.
  • Tomato Paste adds a depth of flavor to soups and stews, like this one!

Substitutions

If you’re following a whole food plant-based diet (WFPB) free from added oils, simply use water or broth instead of oil.

Looking to keep the meal low in fat? Coconut milk can be skipped, just add in another 1.5 cups of broth. Once blended, taste and season further with salt and pepper. You may consider a small squeeze of lemon too.

Equipment Needed for Stovetop

This soup is straightforward, simply follow the steps in recipe card below.

coconut lentil soup before blended
Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup before blending

The only optional special equipment for this recipe is an immersion blender. This will allow you to make the recipe in just one pot and blend when the soup is still warm. Immersion blenders are a relatively inexpensive kitchen gadget that make blending warm or bulky foods a cinch! Check out these affordable and highly rated immersion blenders*.

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

using immersion. blender in this easy vegan red lentil soup
Blending lentil carrot soup with an immersion blender

Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup recipe adaptation

For an even quicker cook time, use your Instant Pot! Cooking instructions are similar to stovetop with the main difference being that coconut milk is added in after cooking. See details in recipe card under Instant Pot Instructions.

Thank you to my dear friend and reader, Anita, for inquiring about Instant Pot and testing out the variation!

Instant Pot adaptation

Serving Suggestions for Carrot Red Lentil Soup

This soup is delicious all on its own. But accoutrements make it prettier and more fun! Consider:

  • Bread for dipping, such as a fresh baguette, toast, naan, or our favorite, green onion pancakes
  • Crunchy topping like croutons, crispy jalapeño pieces, roasted pumpkin seeds, or other nuts
  • Other toppings like a dollop of plant-based yogurt, fresh herbs (e.g. parsley, cilantro), red pepper flakes, or cracked black pepper
soup plated with vegan yogurt and green onion pancakes
Carrot Red Lentil Soup with plain plant-based yogurt, red pepper flakes, and parsley on top
How long does carrot and lentil soup last in the fridge?

The soup will last up to 5 days in the fridge, covered.

Can you freeze lentil soup?

Yes, you can freeze this lentil soup in a freezer safe container for up to 4 months.

Is lentil soup healthy?

Lentils are an incredibly healthy superfood! In fact, not only can they reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, but they are heart healthy, gut healthy, and help manage blood sugar levels too. Plus, they are loaded with macro nutrients and minerals! In fact, this soup has 84% of your daily fiber and over 23 grams of protein! And, it is loaded with potassium and iron.

What color lentil is best for soup?

It depends. For a quick cooking lentil that also blends well, choose red or yellow. If you want a chunky soup, green or brown lentils hold up better because of their texture and skin.

How do you add flavor to red lentils?

Make them into a soup! Ingredients like garlic, ginger, carrots, vegetable broth, spices, and coconut milk go well with red lentils especially. Not only do they complement them with flavor, but they work well when pureed into a creamy soup.

If you like this Easy Vegan Red Lentil Soup recipe, you may also like:

Print Recipe
5 from 4 votes

Carrot and Lentil Soup (Stovetop + Instant Pot)

This simple, nourishing recipe is packed with superfoods and is ready in about 30 minutes! The perfect weeknight meal, served with bread for dipping.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Servings: 6
Calories: 466kcal
Author: Jenn Freedman

Equipment

  • immersion blender or standard blender

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil I prefer olive or avocado
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger finely chopped or grated
  • 5 cloves garlic finely chopped or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 5 medium/large carrots chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 5 cups vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 14 ounce can coconut milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt*

Optional Toppings

  • fresh cilantro or parsley, plant-based yogurt, pumpkin seeds, sriracha, bread, or croutons see notes above recipe card

Instructions

Stove Top

  • Heat oil over medium heat. Add onions. Saute for 3 minutes until they turn translucent and soft.
  • Add ginger and garlic. Saute for another minute.
  • Add carrots and dry spices. Saute for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add lentils, broth, tomato paste, and coconut milk. Bring to boil.
  • Turn heat down to low and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until lentils and cooked and carrots are soft but not mushy.
  • Take the pot off the heat and blend directly in the pot using an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, then allow to cool before transferring to standard blender.
  • Taste. Adjust seasonings as needed. If you prefer a thinner soup, thin with additional broth.
  • Serve with optional toppings. See notes above recipe card.

Instant Pot

  • Turn Instant Pot to saute setting.
  • Heat oil and then add onions. Saute for 3 minutes until they turn translucent and soft.
  • Add ginger and garlic. Saute for another minute.
  • Add carrots and dry spices. Saute for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
  • Add lentils, broth, and tomato paste.
  • Set to manual on high for 12 minutes.
  • Once time is out, quick release by moving to steam release handle to venting position.
  • Once steam is out, open Instant Pot. Add coconut milk and stir.
  • Blend soup directly in the Instant Pot using an immersion blender. If you don't have an immersion blender, then allow to cool before transferring to standard blender.
  • Taste. Adjust seasonings as needed. If you prefer a thinner soup, thin with additional broth.
  • Serve with optional toppings. See notes above recipe card.
recipe nutritional facts including calories in lentil soup

I hope you enjoy this simple Carrot and Lentil Soup recipe! If you try it, please let me know what you think by commenting and rating below.

Cheers!

-Jenn

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