Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

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


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!


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.


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!


4.9 from 292 reviews

Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup

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


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.

7 cups (1.65 litres)
Prep time
Cook time


  • 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


  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 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.


  • * 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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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

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Megan L August 30, 2018 at 3:32 pm

Can you make this using something other than coconut milk? Would hemp milk work? Thank you and I love your recipes!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 4, 2018 at 3:59 pm

Hey Megan, You know what I haven’t tried anything besides coconut milk I don’t think. The coconut milk lends such a nice richness and I love it in this soup. I wonder if a thinned our cashew cream would be nice too. I think a traditional non-dairy plant milk might be a bit on the thin side for this rich soup, but if you try anything out I’d love to hear what you think!


Nancy September 3, 2018 at 7:58 pm
Recipe Rating:

I accidentally used tablespoons instead of teaspoons for the spice measurements, and I used light coconut milk because that’s what I had and because I watch my fat intake. So good! My husband even ate it, and he rarely eats things he’s never had. Thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 4, 2018 at 9:27 am

Hey Nancy, I’m so happy to hear the lentil soup was a hit with your family! (Even with some accidental spice tweaking ;)) It’s such a perfect comfort food for those colder months ahead.


Nedra Sperry September 4, 2018 at 2:55 pm
Recipe Rating:

Hi I had a question, just wanted to check with you. The soup was delicious, thanks for the recipe. I used the unsweetened full fat coconut milk. Was that right? Thank you!


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 5, 2018 at 6:54 am

Yes that’s it! :) So glad you loved it.


Sylvie Trottier September 18, 2018 at 7:52 pm

Oh my god, this is a keeper, used low fat coconut lilk because that’ all I had. Tks so much for the recepie.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 19, 2018 at 10:30 am

Hey Sylvie, I’m so glad you love the lentil soup! And that’s great to know that the coconut milk swap works in a pinch too. Thanks for sharing!


Billie September 23, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Recipe Rating:

This recipe has become my go-to for the colder months. Now that it’s September, I’m so excited to make it again and again! Angela, THANK YOU! With my vegetarian/dairy free diet, it’s so hard to come across recipes that are both comfort-food AND healthy.


Angela (Oh She Glows) September 24, 2018 at 7:40 am

Hey Billie, I’m so happy you love the lentil soup! It’s a big hit around here too…so warm and filling on chilly days. Thank you for your support!


Kaley October 6, 2018 at 3:41 pm
Recipe Rating:

Oh my! This is a fabulous soup! I am so glad I discovered it. Thank You so much, Angela! It is perfect on these chilly Fall days. :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 7, 2018 at 7:47 am

Aww thanks Kaley! I’m so glad you love it! Thanks for your review :)


Jewel October 7, 2018 at 5:14 pm
Recipe Rating:

Scrumptious! Used rainbow chard in lieu of spinach because that’s what we are presently harvesting from our garden. Will print out and add to my recipe binder that I keep placed next to your fabulous “Oh She Glows” cookbook:)


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 9, 2018 at 6:53 am

Aww thank you Jewel! I love that you swapped chard…I do that too sometimes. Enjoy that garden harvest!


Lupe October 16, 2018 at 8:57 pm

I absolutely loved this recipe. I made it twice in one week for my husband and I.


Emily Esposito November 25, 2018 at 10:11 pm
Recipe Rating:

This soup is delicious! I love the flavors and the addition of lime really brings it out. However, I was hoping this soup would be thicker in consistency. I ended up blending half of the soup with a Vitamix and combining it with the other half that wasn’t blended, and it was perfect! Creamy and thick, while still maintaining the chunkiness of the whole lentils, onions, and tomatoes. Thanks again for another wonderful recipe!


Angela (Oh She Glows) November 27, 2018 at 7:19 am

Oh I love that blender trick for thickening soups and curries…such a great way to change the consistency rather easily! I’m so happy you enjoy this one Emily. Thanks for your review!


Amanda December 4, 2018 at 7:32 am
Recipe Rating:

I made this for dinner last night and my husband and I both loved it! I’ve saved it to my “favorites” board on Pinterest!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 6, 2018 at 8:14 am

Thanks Amanda! So glad you both love it so much :)


elizabeth martin December 8, 2018 at 7:31 pm

This soup is so good!! Thank you for the recipe 😀


Maya December 9, 2018 at 11:47 am

Absolutely delicious recipe! I want to make it again, and I’m wondering if you know if it freezes well? Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 9, 2018 at 8:00 pm

Hi Maya, it’s been a while, but I do think it should freeze well! :)


Becky December 11, 2018 at 6:48 pm

What a lovely recipe! I have an odd question, I am allergic to tomatoes, garlic, and onions. Do you think I can make this recipe omitting those flavors/ingredients? Any substitutes you would recommend? Thank you so much!


Angela (Oh She Glows) December 13, 2018 at 7:51 am

Hey Becky, Oh that’s a tricky one…it would lose quite a bit of flavour for sure. The tomatoes add some tanginess which balances the other flavours nicely. But you might be able to try adding more lime juice (to taste) until everything pops at the end? Also I assume you can’t have anything like leeks? That would be a swap suggestion for onion, but I assume that’s also out for you? I’d love to hear how it goes if you try anything!


Bozena December 22, 2018 at 2:03 pm
Recipe Rating:

Just made it! Delicious! Thank you!


Lisa January 13, 2019 at 2:48 pm

Needing this for a staff lunch this week. Wondering if instead of making it the night before and keeping warm all morning at work I just get there and put all prepped ingredients in the slow cooker for the morning!?! Worried that that lentils will get too mushy if it’s done before? Thoughts? 3 hours on low? Thanks!


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 15, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Hey Lisa, Oh interesting thought! :) I’ve found when making soups in the slow cooking I typically need 8 hours (or more) on low or 5 hours on high, though it can depend on the recipe of course. So I worry your soup wouldn’t have enough time is slow-cooking for just a few hours in the morning. If it was me I would probably cook it as usual, store the pot in the fridge, and then reheat at work (assuming your work has a stovetop, otherwise I’d pop the soup into glass containers). But if you try anything I would love to hear how it goes! :)


Lisalen January 15, 2019 at 1:29 pm
Recipe Rating:

I made this soup for lunch today and it was easy and delicious! This was the first recipe I tried from your website and I look forward to trying more! Thanks so much.


Angela (Oh She Glows) January 15, 2019 at 1:35 pm

Hey Lisalen, I’m so glad the first recipe was a hit! It’s one of my faves :) Hope you enjoy many more to come


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