Lentil Coconut Soup

Lentil Coconut Soup


Red lentils flavored with onions, cumin, coriander, serrano pepper, coconut milk and finished with lemon and fresh cilantro. This will most definitely be a soup you make over and over again.
  • Serves: 4 to 6
  • Active Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr
  • Views: 18,183
  • Success Rating: 86% (?)
    0% - I fed it to the dog


Step 1: Preparing Your Mise en Place

• 1 white onion, diced
• 1 - 2 inch" piece ginger (2 tbsp minced)
• 1/2 red serrano pepper, or to taste, minced
• 4 tsp whole cumin seeds*
• 1 1/2 cups red lentils
• 4 cups vegetable stock (or water)
• 1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
• 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
• 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
• 1 tbsp coriander seeds*


Gather and prepare your mise en place.

*Note: If you do not like whole spices, you can use ground cumin and/or coriander, but keep in mind that you will end up with slightly different results.

Step 2: Cooking & Finishing the Soup

• 2 fresh lemons (2 tbsp zest + 5 tbsp lemon juice)
• 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
• 1 ripe avocado
• dried chile flakes, garnish
• 2 tbsp olive oil


To cook the soup, heat a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Toast the coriander and cumin for approximately 1-2 minutes, or until they just start to smoke and release their aroma.

Next, add the oil and, followed by the onions and serrano pepper. Cook for approximately 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft, translucent and just starting to brown.

Next, add the ginger, lentils, stock, coconut milk, salt, and pepper. Bring to a simmer, turn the heat to low, cover and let cook for 40 minutes, or until the lentils are totally soft and broken down. Stir occasionally to ensure the lentils are not sticking to the bottom of the pot. If needed, add more water or stock until you reach your desired consistency.

Meanwhile, zest and juice the lemons. Chop the cilantro and set aside.

To finish the soup, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and cilantro. Serve into warmed bowls and top with diced avocado and more cilantro and/or chili flakes, if desired.


  • Sharbani R
    Sharbani R
    This is one of the most refreshing lentil soups I've had. It's both warm and comforting for winter months yet bright and not-too-heavy for summer. I feel happy when eating this and energetic & clear-minded after. FYI: I usually eat this kind of dish with brown rice or quinoa--and I put in a lot more chillies than the recipe calls for, but I'm a bit crazy for spice.
  • Janet V
    Janet V
    I don't know if you were supposed to crush the cumin and corriander after toasting but I did, I did not want hard chunks of spice in my soup. I also pureed it. I also served it with some brown rice and greek yogurt. I will definetly make it again.
  • Ann K
    Ann K
    I will crush the cumin and coriander next time, I did not mind the texture of the cumin seeds but the coriander was a problem. That said, I really enjoyed the flavors of the soup, I made it earlier in the day and it tasted good, when I served it in the evening it tasted even better for standing.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    While the cumin and coriander seeds are meant to be left whole for this recipe particular recipe, there is certainly nothing stopping your from crushing them. In the end, if you like it better without the whole seeds then that's what matters. I have to admit, at first I was not sure about using the whole seeds, but now I am quite used to it. I also like that it's one less step I have to do :) So glad that you both enjoyed the soup. Cheers!
  • Eric H
    Eric H
    Wow, what bold flavors, this definitely deserves a place in the 'regular rotation'! After reading your comments, I went by the recipe and left the seeds whole--I must say, I enjoyed the additional texture. I really liked the combination of coriander, coconut, and lemon. But, has anyone else found the lemon somewhat overpowering? I was thinking of just using one when next I try this dish...?
  • Meredith
    What happened to the coriander in this recipe? I've made it a few times before but I don't remember what it used to be like...this time it was a little plain without the coriander.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Sorry, about that, not sure what happened — indeed, the recipe should have 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds in it. Cheers!
  • Kathleen S
    Kathleen S
    I enjoyed everything about this soup. The whole spices really added a nice texture. The heat and the lemon were just right. They did not overwhelm the dish. It is so healthy. It is nice to make such a flavorful soup without salt. It is very important to make the soup with the Rouxbe vegetable stock. The soup is a keeper. Enjoy!
  • Mika L
    Mika L
    I have dried serrano chili on hand (or it appears to be). Is this ok to use instead of the fresh? I'm assuming if so I'd split it (or smash it slightly) and just let it sit for a period of time while cooking then remove?
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Sure thing Mika, that should be just fine. Enjoy the soup — I know it's one of our favourites!
  • Ishaque K
    Ishaque K
    I made this for my mom and I, we both thought it was perfect. I had 3rd's.
  • Dawn T Rouxbe Staff
    Dawn T
    Yeah, so glad to hear Ishaque — and how nice for you to cook for your mom :-) Cheers, Dawn
  • Jennifer C
    Jennifer C
    I've made this more than once and love it. Today made it but had to omit the cilantro and use light coconut milk and a green rather than red serrano- I didn't have everything on hand. It was still amazing. And super easy.
  • Miranda S
    Miranda S
    I just made it and about 90% of my lentils had cooked in the 1st 10 minutes. I have a pretty old gas stove and the heat is hard to adjust precisely so it might have been a little to high, but is there an issue with cooking this for less time at a higher heat instead of on low for 40 min? It is still very delicious!!
  • Kirk B Rouxbe Staff
    Kirk B
    Hi Miranda and thanks for your comments! Bravo on your great results. Absolutely no issues with a briefer cooking time. FYI that I often cook the lentils for this dish (and others) ahead or time/separately. That way I can control the exact doneness and mouth feel that I am looking for with the lentils. I simply add them to the other ingredients when I am ready to serve - heat through and enjoy! I hope this helps and thank you for cooking with Rouxbe! Chef Kirk

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