Sweet, savory, and ultra nourishing, this spiced carrot and lentil soup incorporates fresh carrots, red lentils, ginger, and spices for a satisfying, flavorful one-pot meal. Easily made in either the slow cooker or stovetop!

Top down view of a white bowl filled with spiced carrot and lentil soup with fresh herbs on top.

About this Recipe

I don’t know about you but I love coming home to a cozy, delicious, homemade meal.

And after a long day, this satisfying, spiced carrot and lentil soup recipe ALWAYS hits the spot!

It leans on easy-to-find fresh ingredients like carrots, ginger and garlic, and simple pantry staples like hearty red lentils, canned diced tomatoes, broth, creamy coconut milk and spices.

Together these seemingly simple ingredients combine for a plant-based meal that tastes like total comfort food.

And to top it all off, the turmeric adds a boost of anti-inflammatory goodness to this already nourishing soup!

Tip: You can easily make this vegetarian lentil soup in the slow cooker or stovetop to keep your options open on busy weeks. Directions for both are included for you below!

Top down view of a black crockpot filled with carrots, lentils, tomatoes, garlic and spices.

Process & Tips

Since it leans heavily on easy-to-find pantry staples and just a few fresh ingredients, this easy healthy soup recipe couldn’t be simpler to make.

You start with a quick sauté of your ginger, garlic and spices (this small step isn’t totally necessary but it only takes 2 minutes & makes SUCH a difference in the overall flavor).

Then add in your carrots, tomatoes, red lentils, salt, and broth and let them all simmer until the lentils are tender & the carrots are soft. 

Finally, stir in your coconut milk, apple cider vinegar & maple syrup and blend until you get a smooth, thick and velvety consistency.

And before you know it, dinner will be done (with plenty of leftovers to last you all week long!).

Tip: If you prefer to make this a dump-and-go slow cooker recipe (or a freezer meal), you can skip the sautéing step and add the spices directly to the slow cooker (or freezer bag) along with your other ingredients.

Ladle full of soup being lifted out of a blue and white pot with fresh herbs on top.

Can I Use Baby Carrots in this Soup?

While convenient, I don’t recommend baby carrots for this spiced carrot and lentil soup recipe, as they create a more watery, less flavorful soup, sorry!

For the best flavor, look for carrots with tops on at your local grocery store or farmers market, or bagged whole carrots. 

Serving Suggestions

My family enjoys this soup as its own stand alone vegetarian meal, but you could dress it up with any toppings you like!

Chopped fresh cilantro, a dollop of Greek yogurt, shredded rotisserie chicken, or an extra drizzle of olive oil would all be welcome additions to this recipe.

You could also serve it with some warm naan or pita bread on the side for dipping too.

Top down view of a white bowl filled with spiced carrot and lentil soup with fresh herbs on top.

Ingredients & Modifications

Carrots: Fresh, whole carrots (ideally with the tops still on!) work best for this recipe. Be sure to see my notes above on why I don’t recommend using baby carrots.

Red lentils: I’m a big fan of red lentils. They’re a great shelf stable pantry item and I love how hearty and protein-packed they are. When cooked and blended, they melt into a rich, creamy, satisfying base for this soup. Note, red lentils are not interchangeable with brown or green lentils. If you are looking for a brown or green lentil recipe, I recommend this lovely and easy lentil soup. And if you have leftover red lentils, try this golden glow red lentil soup.

Diced tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes are a favorite pantry staple for me, they’re so convenient and add so much flavor without any extra prep steps besides opening the can.

Broth: I used low-sodium vegetable broth for this recipe but you could also use chicken stock in its place. For a vegetarian and vegan option, be sure to use vegetable broth.

Coconut milk: Canned coconut milk is another convenient pantry ingredient in this recipe. Wait to add at the end to give this soup lots of creaminess (without a drop of cream). For the creamiest soup, be sure to use full-fat coconut milk from a can and not coconut milk beverage. You can also use traditional heavy cream or even half-and-half in its place if you prefer.

Turmeric: The turmeric powder adds a natural golden color to this soup, plus a boost of anti-inflammatory power and earthy flavor that pairs well with the other spices, but you can skip it if you prefer to not use it. 

Red chili flakes: Red pepper flakes are spicy, so if you’re very sensitive to heat, feel free to leave them out. However, if you love heat, you can double the amount called for in the recipe. 

Ground cumin: I love the earthy flavor that cumin adds to soups and it pairs particularly well with red lentils.

Garlic cloves: Since we’re using so few fresh ingredients, I like using fresh garlic cloves in this recipe. But you could also use granulated garlic powder in its place.

Grated ginger: The fresh grated ginger is such a delicious addition to this recipe, without a lot of extra effort, but you could also use ginger powder in its place. 

Apple cider vinegar: Adding apple cider vinegar at the end of the cook time is one of my favorite tricks for crockpot soups. It lifts up all the flavors and brightens everything up. You can also use fresh lemon juice or red wine vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar if you prefer.

Maple syrup: If your carrots are super sweet you can skip the maple syrup, but I found the touch of sweetness balanced out all the other flavors really well. Using maple syrup keeps it vegan friendly, but you could also use a touch of honey in its place.

Olive oil: I like the flavor of olive oil in this recipe but you could also use another cooking oil in its place – like avocado, coconut, canola or vegetable oil.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Top down view of a white bowl filled with easy spiced carrot and lentil soup with fresh herbs on top.

Tips for Storing & Freezing Leftovers

Crockpot lentil soup tastes even better the next day, and leftovers make a great lunch!

It keeps well in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, in a sealed container.

This soup also freezes beautifully, either in a gallon ziploc bag, or individually in mason jars.

You can store it in a sealed freezer friendly container for up to 2-3 months.

Top down view of a white bowl filled with easy spiced carrot and lentil soup with fresh herbs on top.
5 stars (2 ratings)

Easy Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 15- ounce cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups broth, chicken or vegetable for vegetarian and vegan

To Add at the End

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, or fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Optional Serving Suggestions

  • fresh cilantro, Greek yogurt, warm naan or pita bread

Instructions 

Stovetop Instructions

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, chili flakes, and turmeric, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Add the carrots, tomatoes, lentils, salt, and broth, stirring until well combined.
  • Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer, covered, for 30-35 minutes, or until the carrots are soft and the lentils begin to soften and break apart, stirring occasionally.
  • Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, vinegar, and maple syrup, stirring to combine. Using an immersion blender, blend until just barely smooth. Alternatively, working in batches, carefully ladle the soup into a blender. Blend until just barely smooth, then return to the pot.
  • Taste and add additional salt or vinegar if desired. Serve with whatever toppings you enjoy.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, chili flakes, and turmeric, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat and add a splash of water to loosen the browned bits. Note: If you prefer to make this a dump-and-go slow cooker recipe or a freezer meal, you can skip this step and add the spices directly to the slow cooker along with the other ingredients in step two.
  • Add the cooked spices along with the carrots, tomatoes, lentils, salt, and broth to a 6-quart slow cooker, stirring until well combined.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-7 hours, or until the or until the carrots are soft and the lentils begin to soften and break apart, stirring occasionally.
  • Uncover and stir in the coconut milk, vinegar, and maple syrup, stirring to combine. Using an immersion blender, blend until just barely smooth. Alternatively, working in batches, carefully ladle the soup into a blender. Blend until just barely smooth, then return to the pot.
  • Taste and add additional salt or vinegar if desired. Serve with whatever toppings you enjoy.

Notes

Nutrition information calculated using vegetable broth, full fat coconut milk, and apple cider vinegar, and without the optional serving suggestions listed above.
To keep this recipe vegan and vegetarian, be sure to use vegetable broth.
For more information, see the full blog post above.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 276kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 2g, Sodium: 271mg, Potassium: 844mg, Fiber: 13g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 14395IU, Vitamin C: 15mg, Calcium: 92mg, Iron: 5mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

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