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!
Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup
7 cups (1.65 litres)
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.
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (22.5 mL) 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 (14-ounce/398 mL) can diced tomatoes, with juices
- 1 (14-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 (10 mL) fresh lime juice, or more to taste
- 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.
- Stir in the turmeric, cumin, cinnamon, and cardamom until combined. Continue cooking for about 1 minute, until fragrant.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- * 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.
This soup is so good!! Thank you for the recipe ?
Absolutely delicious recipe! I want to make it again, and I’m wondering if you know if it freezes well? Thanks!
Hi Maya, it’s been a while, but I do think it should freeze well! :)
I freeze mine and it is better after freezing. It seems to have more depth of flavour one reheated. This is a family favourite we all love it i
I second this, the flavors were excellent after freezing.
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!
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!
Just made it! Delicious! Thank you!
If I was to freeze this would I wait til reheating to add the spinach and lime juice?
Hi Anne-Marie, You could if you wanted to, but I don’t think it’s absolutely necessary :)
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!
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! :)
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.
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
YUM!! Just made this and it is so delicious!
Thanks Alex! So glad to hear it :)
Hi I tried this with low fat coconut and this was delicious. Would anyone know how many calories this works out to be please?
Hi there, thank you! The nutritional info can be found near the bottom of the recipe (hit the plus sign)
I’ve never left a comment …anywhere. This soup made me do it. So. Good. Thank you for all you do!
Wow, I’m honoured!! heh. Thanks so much Sarah…so thrilled you love the soup.
Any tips for turning this into an Instant Pot recipe?
Hey Amy! I find most soups/stews convert to the IP well – the toughest thing is getting the timing right! :) That can take some experimentation. I can’t recall if another reader said they made this in the IP successfully – you may want to scan over these comments if you haven’t already. I always recommend sautéing the garlic and onion in the oil first (5-6 mins, stirring frequently and adding a splash of water if it starts to stick), then after the saute adding the rest of the ingredients. I find 5-7 minutes at high pressure is generally good for soups. I’d love to hear how it goes!
I know this is a little late to the game but I did this one in the IP and cooked for 10 minutes at high pressure because I don’t mind my lentils veeerryyyy soft — I would stick to 8 or fewer minutes if you want to the lentils in their original form! My soup was still great though :)
Thank you for the recipe, my family love it!
This soup was good. I added a bit of fresh ginger and a couple of shakes of cayenne pepper. I reduced the cardamom to 1/8 tsp and only used half a lime. I also finely chopped the onions. Other than that, I followed the recipe. But the red lentils took at least 40 minutes, not 20 like the recipe states. I gave some to a couple of friends today and they both liked it.
Great Recipe! Delicious.
I’ve just made this and I had a bit of ginger that was about to go bad so decided to bung that in as well, and I’m using kale instead of spinach. Yummo!
Can this be jarred? I’m not sure because of the coconut milk
Hey Caroline, Do you mean canned? If so, I’m sorry but I’m not sure! It will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for about a week, you can freeze it too (sometimes there is slight separation from the coconut milk, but nothing that has stopped me before)
I love this soup and so does everyone I’ve made it for, it’s my go to. I’ve also made it in endless combos with whatever I have on hand using collard greens, Swiss chard, or kale in place of spinach and different lentils or even once split peas. I once was jonesing for it bad enough that I used a jar of pasta sauce when I didn’t have diced tomatoes and it STILL came out. It’s so good, so simple, and only dirties one pot. Cannot praise it enough.
I make this recipe week in, week out. It reheats amazingly (just don’t add the spinach in until you’ve reheated it). I dish spinach into bowls, pour hot soup over and that way I can add fresh spinach to the leftovers next time. Serves us 4.
What are the thick lumps in the picture? It looks like corn. The recipe only says red lentils and chopped tomatoes but it looks like other things are in the mix.
I made this and it was a big hit. I did use brown lentils, and because of the comments about the red lentils adding thickness to the soup, I opted to add a potato, and 10 min to the cook time. It turned out great! So anyone asking about brown lentils, yes you can swap them.
I just made this! My husband has a cold and wanted something spicy. This was fantastic. I added some ginger and hot peppers and it was so delicious!
This soup is amazing and my go to feel on track, comfy, and warm!
This soup is so good. It tastes like it takes a long time to make but it’s done in a jif. Double recipe so you have leftovers.
This is my go to soup recipe when i need to clean my fridge out… i often add
– green beans
– chick peas
you name it!! I have a stock pile of it in my freezer for last minute meals
My husband and I have always loved this recipe, but we learned tonight that our eight month old is also bananas about this. She lost her mind while eating this (without the salt and chilli peppers for her portion). Who knew!
I just ate this for lunch AND dinner . So simple, and the flavor is awesome. I used both peppers, and added a bit of fresh cilantro for an extra pop. Yummm!
I love this soup and have made it multiple times!
A bonus is that unlike many soups, this one requires minimal chopping – just the onion, garlic, and spinach (the “baby” spinach sold here seems quite…teenagerish so I give it a rough chop before tossing it in).
Our favourite winter soup, I make it weekly for work lunches. So quick to make but super flavourful! A keeper for sure, as well as On the Mend spicy lentil. thank you.
Thank you so much for bringing this delectable lentil soup into my life, it felt so soothing and nourishing in such a turbulent time. Ive made this soup a few times now (doubled for my family of six), and my entire family loves it, from my husband all the way down to my two year old (my seven year old even said it was the best soup ever!)! This time I used a few carrots and a half head of cauliflower on its last leg, and it was just as lovely as when I followed it to a T. What a wonderful, versatile meal!
WOW! This is so yummy!
I used green lentils and skipped the lime and spinach.
This will be one of my new go-to soups!!
Amazing recipe! Full of flavor and super easy! HIGHLY recommend
I’ve made similar soups before but the lime juice puts it over the top. Thank you for a great recipe!
I love, love, love this soup. The flavor combination is a delight.
I ran out of tumeric, and didn’t have quite enough for this recipie. is there another spice that might pair well with the cumin, cinamon and cardamon?
Absolutely love this recipe. It is one of my go-to’s! I add ginger and a little garam masala just to bring a little extra spice, but completely incredible without it too!
This is excellent and easy to do. Instead of stovetop, I made it in my instant pot and it came out beautifully! I plan to freeze this batch for later delicious eating. I’ll be making this soup again. Five stars!
Made this today, just like recipe, but use frozen spinach nuggets which I add to the soup when I eat it. The rest is stored in mason jars in the fridge.
Didn’t need the cayenne as it was fine the way it was. Pepper is a must for this and the lime juice is a perfect addition at the end as it enhances the flavours.
Ingredients cost is very reasonable and I use Better than Bouillon for the vegetable stock.
Thanks for this. It will become a staple.
Made just like recipe, but I add frozen spinach nuggets to the heated soup when I am ready to eat it. Fresh spinach doesn’t reheat well.
It is very affordable to make and uses ingredients from the cupboard. I use Better than Bouillon for the vegetable stock as it is cheaper, better than many boxed stocks, and cheaper to use.
Will definitely make again and recommend to friends.
This soup is so delicious! I have a Greek lentil soup recipe that I have been using for almost 25 years that I love. So, I was hesitant to mess with success. However, I have a new lentil soup recipe. This is amazing. I think I’ll add carrots next time to get some more veggies in.
this recipe is absolutely divine! made it twice in a week! the first time blended all of out, second time just half. delicious, comforting and warming every time. thank you! <3
we make this often – it is perfectly flavored (we eat a lot of spices/flavors and often find we have to adjust recipes we make to add more, this never happens with Angela’s recipes!) it makes a ton so can last a few days .. great for dinner with fresh bread. I love how easy it is too, the hardest part is cutting the onions. It comes together quickly so definitely a good one to make if you’re short on time.
My husband makes this soup all the time. We usually have a delicious bowl of it with a slice of sourdough toast as our Sunday night meal. We absolutely love it!
We love this amazing soup. Thank you!! It is so healthy and tasty and really warms up the winter days. I had been searching for a soup with creaminess and depth and boy I got it!
What a delicious soup!! Will now be a new staple for me!!
Such a great recipe, I make this soup almost every week and it does not disappoint. Absolutely love it!
This soup is amazing!! Even my picky parents who won’t eat anything Vegan, love it!! My one piece of advice is follow the directions and ingredients exactly. yummy
The BEST soup of all, and I have made it many, many times. Love it! I could eat the whole pot…
I first tried this recipe 2 years ago and still my favourite soup. It inspired me to try other vegetarian dishes which has now features a few times a week on our table. Oh She Glows is my favourite recipe site. Thank you.
Glad this recipe has brought such joy to people, and there’s an easy explanation for it. Coconut milk has an extremely high (saturated) fat content, and as a result this soup is about as rich as any cream soup you can find. Delicious, sure, but not a health food.
Hi Brook, Your not quite right there… Coconut Milk is Saturated but not like the Western interpretation. Coconut Milk contains Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) not the lessor Long Chain that we tend to consume plenty of in the West that are not healthy for us. MCT’s are much better for us and for weight loss as they increase the metabolism even when we sleep :-)
Delicious!! I am craving this soup right now, even though it’s 95 degrees outside!! SO comforting & nourishing!!