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.
Is there anything you can sub for the cardamom? I am allergic. Thanks
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?
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.
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
I’m so happy it was a big hit! Thanks for your review :)
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!
Hey Darby, Oh that’s fantastic news! Thank you so much for the “glowing” review (haha sorry couldn’t resist).
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 ;)
Ohh enjoy that new Kindle :)
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.
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!
Wow thanks Christopher!
Made this for supper tonight! Just what was needed on a cold night. Thanks!
So happy you tried it out Fiona! Thanks for letting me know.
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.
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?!
Just made this and it is SO delicious!!!
Thank you for this recipe!!
That’s great, thanks for trying it out!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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.
Hey Julie, Aww thank you!!! What a “glowing” review…haha. SO happy you love it so much. And the goddess bowl as well.
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!!
Yay, thanks so much for the kind words :) Enjoy!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hi Susan, I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Thanks so much for your feedback :)
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!!
Hey Tami, I’m so happy you enjoyed it so much! I love your tweaks :)
This Is AN AWESOME SOUP….Fights CANCER ! Thanks Love it
Just amazing! And I accidentally opened the can of light coconut milk—-still amazing!
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 :)
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?
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!
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!
Hey Jill, Thank you, I’m so happy you all love it so much!
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!!
That’s amazing to hear Margot!! Thanks so much :)
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!
Thank you Lindsey! I’m so glad you love it ?
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.
Hey Lisa, That’s so great it worked in the instant pot! Thanks for sharing :)
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.
Aww I’m so happy to hear this Christine! Thank you so much :) I’d love to hear what you make next!
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.
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. :)
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 :)
That’s so great to hear Julie! Thanks for your review :)
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! :)
Aww thank you so much Shannon! You are too kind :)
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.
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.
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.
Aww thank you so much Sarah! I’m so thrilled you’ve had success with so many recipes.
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!
I’m happy to hear that Raniia! :) Enjoy
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!
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.
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!
Thanks Jill…I’m so thrilled you love the soup!
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!
Hi Michelle, Thank you so much for leaving a comment & helpful review! So glad you enjoyed it so much.
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!
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.
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!!
haha so glad to hear that so many people want the recipe!! whohoo. Thank you so much for your feedback.
I made this two weeks ago and then again last week and it was amazing! I added chicken breast and it was devoured :D I’ve heard great things about your cookbook and I’ll definitely be picking it up!
Hey Laura, So glad you loved it so much…and thanks for thinking about picking up my cookbook. I’m always so touched when I hear that!
Can you make this in crockpot??
Hey Logan, I can’t see why not. I would sauté the onion/garlic first on the stovetop, and then add everything to the crock pot and cover and cook over low heat. I’d love to hear how it goes if you try it.
Can you make this using something other than coconut milk? Would hemp milk work? Thank you and I love your recipes!
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!
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!
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.
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!
Yes that’s it! :) So glad you loved it.
Oh my god, this is a keeper, used low fat coconut lilk because that’ all I had. Tks so much for the recepie.
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!
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.
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!
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. :)
Aww thanks Kaley! I’m so glad you love it! Thanks for your review :)
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:)
Aww thank you Jewel! I love that you swapped chard…I do that too sometimes. Enjoy that garden harvest!
I absolutely loved this recipe. I made it twice in one week for my husband and I.
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!
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!
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!
Thanks Amanda! So glad you both love it so much :)