Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on April 3, 2016

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First off, thank you all so much for your excitement and congrats about our news! I really enjoyed reading your comments and stories. I’m also happy to hear my impending loss of sanity should only be temporary. Truthfully, I’m not sure that I ever got it back after our first!

Second of all, I’ve missed you dearly. I’ve missed blogging. I’ve missed posting recipes. I love sharing my favourite recipes and stories with you guys. Nothing makes me happier than creating something I adore and thinking about you trying it in your own kitchens! It feels so good to have more energy these days and also to wrap up some other massive projects.

Today’s recipe is most likely the last soup recipe I’ll post until next fall (*sad face*), but boy is it a great one to end on. As my dad likes to say, “It’s a humdinger!” Do you remember my Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup? Well, this soup reminds me a bit of that one, only it’s even better! Turmeric, coconut, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom create an incredibly healing and flavourful broth. I always say the test of a “vault-worthy” soup is whether you want to drink the broth on its own, and this one certainly fits the bill. A generous amount of turmeric makes it feel so healthy and powerful. Knowing that turmeric has so many anti-inflammatory benefits is always an added bonus, too!

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My inspiration comes from a Whole Foods mason jar soup called “Spiced Lentil” that Eric picked up for me on a whim. Well, this soup blew me away. After glancing at the short ingredient list, I knew I could easily recreate it in my own kitchen. Or so I hoped! I scribbled down a recipe attempt and started cooking. The beauty of this soup is that it’s a “pantry” soup. I had every single ingredient on hand (and still do, which explains why I’ve been making it so much). The first batch turned out darn near perfect (actually, we liked my version more), and the second attempt was even better than the first. Poor Eric only got one bowl from the first batch. You gotta be quick around the pregnant lady! I’ll fight you.

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If your weather is still cool, snowy, rainy, and dreary in early spring like it is here in Southern Ontario (we’re getting a snowstorm later today…*cries*), I hope you’ll enjoy this comforting soup. Even if it’s not cold where you are, I’d argue that breaking out into a light sweat while eating this is totally worth it!

glowingspicedlentilsoup

4.9 from 282 reviews
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Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

Vegan, gluten-free, grain-free, nut-free, refined sugar-free, soy-free

By

This soup is so quick and easy because there aren’t many vegetables to chop (just garlic and onion—that’s it!) and it relies mostly on pantry staples. It takes 15 minutes prep time (that includes getting the ingredients out), and then it’s hands off while it cooks. Talk about easy! While this soup contains a lot of spices, it's not what I would call "spicy" or "hot". If you do want a kick of heat feel free to add some cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. Also, feel free to change up the baby spinach for other greens like stemmed kale or chard. This soup is inspired by Whole Foods.

Yield
7 cups (1.65 litres)
Prep time
Cook time

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups (280 grams) diced onion (1 medium/large)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 (15-ounce/398 mL) can full-fat coconut milk*
  • 3/4 cup (140 grams) uncooked red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 3 1/2 cups (875 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste (for a kick of heat!)
  • 1 (5-ounce/140-gram) package baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or more to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, add the oil, onion, and garlic. Add a pinch of salt, stir, and sauté over medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes until the onion softens.
  2. Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes (with juices), entire can of coconut milk, red lentils, broth, salt, and plenty of pepper. Add red pepper flakes or cayenne, if desired, to taste. Stir to combine. Increase heat to high and bring to a low boil.
  4. Once it boils, reduce the heat to medium-high, and simmer, uncovered, for about 18 to 22 minutes, until the lentils are fluffy and tender.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the lime juice to taste. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if desired. Ladle into bowls and serve with toasted bread and lime wedges.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size 1 cup (250 mL) | Calories 260 calories | Total Fat 16 grams
Saturated Fat 11 grams | Sodium Fat 250 milligrams | Total Carbohydrates 24 grams
Fiber 8 grams | Sugar 4 grams | Protein 8 grams

Recipe makes 7 cups (1.65 litres) total.
* Nutrition data is approximate and is for informational purposes only.

Tips:

  • * I tried a version using light canned coconut milk and one using full-fat canned coconut milk, and I greatly prefer the full-fat coconut milk version (shocker, I know). I recommend following suit, but if all you have on hand is light canned coconut milk that’ll work in a pinch—it just won't be as rich and creamy.

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

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Jewelia December 6, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Is there anything you can sub for the cardamom? I am allergic. Thanks

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 6, 2017 at 4:05 pm

Hey Jewelia, I don’t know of one as it’s pretty complex tasting. You could try leaving it out and increasing the other spices to your taste?

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Tami February 15, 2018 at 2:11 pm

I read on the internet that 1/2 cinnamon and 1/2 nutmeg is a replacement for cardamom as I couldn’t find it either so had to sub.

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Heather December 12, 2017 at 10:54 pm
Recipe Rating:

Made this tonight but added 1 1/2 teaspoon of curry. The whole family loved it. It was warming and comforting on this chilly night. Thanks for the recipe! I will definitely make it again

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 13, 2017 at 8:30 am

Hi Heather,
I’m so happy it was a big hit! Thanks for your review :)

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Darby December 20, 2017 at 12:42 pm
Recipe Rating:

Angela, thank you thank you thank you for creating this soup!!! It was so outrageously delicious! I followed your recommendation and used the full fat coconut milk and it made all the difference. My meat and potatoes, lentil hating boyfriend LOVED the soup and couldn’t believe how flavorful it was!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 20, 2017 at 1:41 pm

Hey Darby, Oh that’s fantastic news! Thank you so much for the “glowing” review (haha sorry couldn’t resist).

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Darby December 20, 2017 at 3:26 pm

Haha you are too cute! I can’t wait to make more of your recipes and love your site so much! I just got a new Kindle and I think I know what I need to purchase right away ;)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 20, 2017 at 7:58 pm

Ohh enjoy that new Kindle :)

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nasir December 25, 2017 at 1:18 am

I have always wanted to make one of these, as the ones I’ve found in California’s raw food restaurants are, as you said, divine. the pictures are all the motivation I need.

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Christopher December 29, 2017 at 7:05 pm
Recipe Rating:

I literally wait until the weather cools off here in Las Vegas just so I can make this soup. Probably one of the few recipes I’ve memorized because I make it so much! The BEST!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) December 31, 2017 at 9:54 am

Wow thanks Christopher!

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Fiona January 2, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Made this for supper tonight! Just what was needed on a cold night. Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 3, 2018 at 10:20 am

So happy you tried it out Fiona! Thanks for letting me know.

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Shea Drury January 3, 2018 at 5:27 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made this last night and it was amazing! I had to swap out some ingredients due to a lack of planning, but still incredible. I did not have cardamon, so I threw in a bit of mystery curry powder (smells like curry, doesn’t have a label, haha.) Also didn’t have diced tomatoes so used a can of El Pato Tomato sauce with jalapeno. For broth I used chicken. So good, I will make again! Next time I plan on adding some shrimp for additional protein. Loved it.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 4, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Hey Shea, Don’t you love when you can tweak a recipe and it still turns out great?
Oh and I had to laugh at this comment “smells like curry, doesn’t have a label, haha.” you just never know what’s lurking in the spice rack, am I right?!

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Lanette January 3, 2018 at 10:41 pm

Just made this and it is SO delicious!!!
Thank you for this recipe!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 4, 2018 at 12:20 pm

That’s great, thanks for trying it out!

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Eileen L January 5, 2018 at 12:22 am
Recipe Rating:

I just discovered your recipes and made this recipe 2 days ago. It was so delicious that I immediately texted it to friends and family members, Today two friends and my sister made it and loved it also! I have picked up your second cookbook Oh She Glows Everyday but I am definitely thinking your first cookbook is in my future, Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 5, 2018 at 8:39 am

Wow you are making this soup go viral, it sounds like! haha. Thanks for the recipe love…I’m so happy you all tried it out and loved it.

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Kate January 9, 2018 at 9:59 am

I added diced butternut squash while sauteeing the onions–the addition did not disappoint! I think celery would also be a good add-in!
Delicious soup! This will become a winter staple in our house!

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Tami Stingley January 9, 2018 at 2:22 pm
Recipe Rating:

This was fantastic! I used Garam Masala in place of the cinnamon, cardamom and cloves (a little over half a tsp) and used Swiss Chard in place of spinach! Delicious! I just ordered your book can’t wait to try more recipes!

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Erika January 11, 2018 at 2:11 pm
Recipe Rating:

I’ve made this soup several times and I absolutely love it. I used to do another version of this soup but I love the spices you add to it. This is a staple in my house all year around!

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Julie Page January 12, 2018 at 9:47 pm
Recipe Rating:

I loved this soup !!
The best soup I have ever had !
Love the spices with the coconut and lime.
I will make his again and again !!
Have tried a few of your recipes and they are all good !
The protein goddess bowl I have made a few times.
Thanks Julie

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 13, 2018 at 12:36 pm

Hey Julie, Aww thank you!!! What a “glowing” review…haha. SO happy you love it so much. And the goddess bowl as well.

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B @ BKCsquared January 24, 2018 at 3:55 pm
Recipe Rating:

This is SO good!! I meal-prepped this on Sunday for 4 of my take-to-work lunches this week & even on day 3, it hasn’t gotten old!!

Highly recommend!!

xo, B

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 24, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Yay, thanks so much for the kind words :) Enjoy!

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Kathy January 30, 2018 at 2:06 pm
Recipe Rating:

I have been meaning to make this recipe for a while now, and I’m not sure why it took me so long… I just made it and am sitting down to a bowl of it now. It was SO easy to prepare, and it is so flavorful and warming on a cold day. I didn’t have cardamom, so I left it out. And I used lite coconut milk, and (though I’m sure it would be much more creamy with regular) it is perfectly delicious and satisfying. Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 30, 2018 at 2:39 pm

Hey Kathy, Thank you so much for the review! That’s so nice to hear you love it so much. It’s a big hit in this house too.

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Tanya February 4, 2018 at 4:38 am
Recipe Rating:

Saw it, liked it, made it and devoured 3 bowls in one sitting – delicious !😋

N.B Considering how much I consumed I had wisely omitted the coconut cream – reducing the calorie intake and liquidised half of it to create a creamier texture.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 5, 2018 at 9:08 am

Hey Tanya, haha…you sound like me with soup! Can’t get enough. And I love blending some of the soup to thicken…it’s such a good trick.

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Susan February 6, 2018 at 2:44 pm
Recipe Rating:

We made Golden French Lentil Stew (I did the prep, my husband put it together) from Oh She Glows Every Day, It’s almost the same as this soup, but with a few differences. The book calls for different flavorings–thyme and no cinnamon or cardamom, cashew cream instead of coconut milk, and French lentils instead of red. Really fabulous results and substantial enough for a meal. The occasion was a small gathering to watch “Wonder Woman,” and the stew helped us focus on Gal Gadot’s amazing kicks and swirls. We increased the recipe by 50% and look forward to another stew night but probably not a movie reprise for a while.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 7, 2018 at 8:15 am

Hi Susan, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for your feedback :)

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Tami February 15, 2018 at 2:08 pm
Recipe Rating:

This soup was delicious!! I did make a couple of adjustments but not much – used half cinnamon and nutmeg in place of the cardamom as I couldn’t find any in my small town. I also added 1 cube of not-chicken bouillon for a little more flavor. I used both cayenne and red pepper flakes and the hint of spice was just right. The lime juice at the end cut into the sweetness of the soup so I do think that’s a must. Making another batch today and doubling it! Thanks for a wonderful recipe!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) February 15, 2018 at 5:04 pm

Hey Tami, I’m so happy you enjoyed it so much! I love your tweaks :)

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Jackie M February 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm

This Is AN AWESOME SOUP….Fights CANCER ! Thanks Love it

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KimS February 25, 2018 at 12:02 pm

Just amazing! And I accidentally opened the can of light coconut milk—-still amazing!

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Carissa March 3, 2018 at 2:00 pm
Recipe Rating:

DELICIOUS! I don’t normally like lentils, but this recipe is fantastic. It’s become a weekly staple, and it’s so easy to make :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 5, 2018 at 7:52 am

Thanks Carissa!

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Reagan March 6, 2018 at 10:01 am

Hi! My husband and I LOVE this soup. Amazing. We were thinking of switching it up a tad and using a white bean instead of lentils. Any thoughts?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 7, 2018 at 6:56 am

Hey Reagan, So happy you both love it so much! It’s on regular rotation over here. :) You can probably swap in white beans, but I would probably suggest reducing the broth a bit since the beans (I’m assuming they’ll be pre-cooked) won’t absorb any liquids like the lentils do. Maybe just add a bit of broth at a time. If you try anything out I’d love to hear how it goes!

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Jill March 12, 2018 at 8:26 pm

I’ve made this so many times and my family loves it! Today, my 9-year old son asked specifically for this dish and I felt like I should comment how much we enjoy it! I have made it with the tiny black lentils when I don’t have the red ones. The black lentils seemed to take longer to cook, but had a great earthy flavor too. Thank you for the recipe!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 13, 2018 at 8:17 am

Hey Jill, Thank you, I’m so happy you all love it so much!

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margot March 21, 2018 at 2:38 pm
Recipe Rating:

Absolutely unbelievably delicious. I am not vegan or vegetarian but I know a killer recipe when I see one and just polished off the last bowl from my first pot of this lentil soup – I will be making this again and again. SO good!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 22, 2018 at 7:43 am

That’s amazing to hear Margot!! Thanks so much :)

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Lindsey March 27, 2018 at 5:04 pm

This is by far one of my family’s favorite soups! The recipe is right on, it’s super easy and my kids just love it! Thanks for sharing!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 27, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Thank you Lindsey! I’m so glad you love it 😍

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Lisa March 31, 2018 at 8:37 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made this in an Instant Pot (15 minutes at high pressure, followed by natural release x 15 minutes). It will make you crave lentils.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) March 31, 2018 at 11:29 pm

Hey Lisa, That’s so great it worked in the instant pot! Thanks for sharing :)

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Christine April 9, 2018 at 2:52 pm
Recipe Rating:

I was starting an anti inflammatory diet and was searching for recipes. I came across your site and found your spiced lentil soup recipe. I just made it and it was delicious. I couldn’t wait for my family to come home to try it. I can’t wait to feed it to my family later. Thank you for this recipe and I look forward to trying more of your recipes.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 13, 2018 at 8:06 am

Aww I’m so happy to hear this Christine! Thank you so much :) I’d love to hear what you make next!

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B April 14, 2018 at 9:50 pm
Recipe Rating:

I just made this. It was alright. I probs won’t make it again though. I love Indian food and I love lentil soup, but I guess I don’t love Indian spice flavored lentils. The coconut milk just made the soup too sweet. I like my lentil soup to be really savory, so this recipe didn’t quite hit the spot for me.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 16, 2018 at 7:25 am

Hey B, Oh I’m sorry to hear that…I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it with broth or a less sweet milk. :)

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Julie April 17, 2018 at 2:24 pm
Recipe Rating:

this is one of the most delicious soups I’ve ever made! Made a batch for a new mama, and had to make another right away to keep at home :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) April 18, 2018 at 8:56 am

That’s so great to hear Julie! Thanks for your review :)

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Shannon April 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

I made this soup last night, as directed, and it was the most delicious soup ever. I can’t get enough of OSG recipes. Keep em coming! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 1, 2018 at 9:34 am

Aww thank you so much Shannon! You are too kind :)

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Linda May 25, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Hi,
I may have emailed you the first time I made the soup also. That time I only made a single batch because I wasn’t sure if it would turn out OK. This time I made a double batch! It is 90° today in Boston, and we are having a delicious soup for dinner. The weather does not matter. I also love the smell of the cardamom. I’m serving it with my salmon loaf that I make in the food processor with Whole Foods red sockeye salmon and lots of vegetables. Fresh green beans and watermelon too. This is my kind of Memorial Day food.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm

Well I feel a lot more normal because I made my Cozy Butternut Stew last night and it was super hot here too! When you have a soup craving, you have a soup craving. :) Glad I’m not the only one.

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Sarah May 25, 2018 at 7:22 pm
Recipe Rating:

New goto soup! You really are the best vegan blogger out there! Thank you- everything I’ve made from your site is great. This included.
Thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) May 27, 2018 at 1:36 pm

Aww thank you so much Sarah! I’m so thrilled you’ve had success with so many recipes.

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Raniia June 8, 2018 at 4:50 am
Recipe Rating:

Was looking for a winter warmer (Hello from Australia!) and this soup hit the spot big time. This is instantly going in the “keeper” list! I loved it so much!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

I’m happy to hear that Raniia! :) Enjoy

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Jen June 11, 2018 at 5:13 pm

I know you’ve already gotten her ndreds of comments about this recipe, but I simply can’t keep from telling you how much I love it. It is everything that I like in a recipe and the balance of spices is perfect. Thank you for sharing it with the world!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 13, 2018 at 8:09 am

Hey Jen, Aww thank you!! I love all the enthusiasm for this recipe. :) So glad to hear other readers enjoy it as much as we do.

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Jill June 20, 2018 at 9:43 pm
Recipe Rating:

This soup was easy to make. I am lazy so I used pre-cut onions and garlic. I like my food on the spicy side so I added a hefty teaspoon of curry powder and topped the soup before serving with cilantro. OMG AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 21, 2018 at 1:31 pm

Thanks Jill…I’m so thrilled you love the soup!

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Michelle July 7, 2018 at 5:10 pm
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This is the first recipe comment I’ve ever left in my life. I’m doing it because I can’t say enough how delicious this soup is–extraordinary! I made a number of substitutions because I didn’t have a few ingredients so just used what I had on the shelf or in the fridge: leek instead of onion; yellow lentils and a few green ones instead of red; beef broth instead of veggie; kale instead of spinach; fresh tomatoes instead of canned. It all worked! The spice components are perfect and the coconut milk gives a great flavor and texture. Included the cayenne, and the lime is the perfect finish!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 9, 2018 at 8:26 am

Hi Michelle, Thank you so much for leaving a comment & helpful review! So glad you enjoyed it so much.

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Heather July 21, 2018 at 3:34 pm

I loved this soup! I am not vegan/veg, mostly because I haven’t found any I like, mostly kids like, I loved this!
Since I didn’t have all the ingredients, like veg broth, I used my canned carrot/green bean water and added carrots ommited spinach cause I didn’t have it. It still turned out delish! I can’t wait to try it all ingredients included!
I’m about to make my daughter your hubby’s get well soup
Thanks for helping me make vegan(ish) delicious!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 2, 2018 at 10:30 am

Hey Heather, I’m so glad you loved the soup! Nice call using the liquid from your canned veggies, too. I hope your daughter enjoys the Healing Stew! That’s a total throwback recipe, and I’d love to hear what you and your family think.

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D August 7, 2018 at 11:41 am

Love this soup. Doubled and made with 1 full fat coconut milk and 1 light. So quick to throw together. Be prepared to share the recipe with everyone that try’s it. I’m 5 for 5 right now! It’s 95 degrees here today and 3 people are craving this for lunch! Thanks for a delicious recipe!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 9, 2018 at 7:09 am

haha so glad to hear that so many people want the recipe!! whohoo. Thank you so much for your feedback.

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