Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes

4.58 from 102 votes
50 minutes
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Creamy vegan Thai-inspired Red Curry Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes delivers crave-worthy comfort and warmth in a hurry! It’s light yet satisfying and so easy!

Photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup in three gray bowls on wood surface.

Why This Recipe is a Keeper!

You know it as well as I do–after a full day, dinner needs to have minimal steps.  My Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes is perfect when you’ve had a long day and need some comfort and warmth in a hurry.

This creamy, spicy soup has a complex Thai-inspired flavor but comes together quickly with purchased red curry paste.

It’s:

  • Easy
  • Freezer-friendly
  • Can be made in a slow cooker or the Instant Pot
  • Sooooo tasty!!!
Photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup on wood cutting board in white Dutch oven.

How to make Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup:

Recipe Ingredients:

Here’s everything you’ll need to make this red curry lentil soup recipe along with how to prep the ingredients. See the recipe card below for the exact quantities.

Photo of ingredients for Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup in glass bowls.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions:

  • Red Curry Paste: I no longer bother making my own red curry paste after discovering the Maesri line of curry pastes at a local international market.  These pastes have plenty of punch, are made from real ingredients, and flavorwise, beat grocery store brands hands down.  Their Thai green curry paste is also fabulous!
  • Red Lentils: Red lentils cook much faster than brown or green lentils and at approximately the same rate as sweet potatoes. You can use the other types of lentils but you’ll need to cook them longer than red lentils or cook them separately then add them to the soup.
  • Vegetable Broth: If you’re not concerned about the soup remaining vegan, you can also use chicken broth.

Step-By-Step Instructions:

  • Gather and prep the ingredients.
  • Melt the coconut oil or heat the canola oil over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions, reduce the heat and cook until they’ve softened up.
Process photo of onions cooking in white Dutch oven.
  • Add the garlic and the red curry paste and give it a quick stir.
Process photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup with red curry paste added.
  • Then add the broth, sweet potatoes, lentils and tomatoes.
Process photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup with sweet potatoes added.
  • Bring that up to a boil, then simmer until the red lentils and sweet potatoes are tender. Red lentils get super-soft but that’s what you want!
Process photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup before coconut milk gets added.
  • Stir in the coconut milk and heat it through.
Process photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup after coconut milk gets added.
  • Add cilantro and lime juice if using…
  • Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
Photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup in white Dutch oven with soup ladle.

That’s it! Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes! Serve garnished with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.

Photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup garnished with lime and cilantro on blue distressed background.

Chef Tips and Tricks:

  • It’s always a good idea to look lentils over for stones, sticks and odd-looking bits. I do this on an inexpensive white paper plate so I can easily add them to whatever I’m cooking. Place a small amount on the paper plate, look them over then bend the paper plate to easily add them to the soup or whatever you’re making.
  • Vary the veggies! Not a sweet potato fan? Try regular potatoes, carrots, butternut squash, rutabaga or turnips.
Photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup in gray bowl on wood surface garnished with lime and cilantro.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you freeze lentil soup?

Absolutely! This red curry lentil soup freezes great so make a double batch and freeze in small portions for delicious Thai comfort all winter long! Cool completely then place in containers in the amount desired.

Can I make lentil soup in a slow cooker?

Cook the onions and garlic on the stovetop as directed. Add the red curry paste and give it a quick stir. Transfer to your slow cooker and add the broth, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and lentils. Cover and cook on High for 3-4 hours or on Low for 6-7 hours. Add the coconut milk and heat through for 20-30 minutes keeping the slow cooker uncovered. Add the cilantro, lime juice and salt and black pepper to taste.

Can I make lentil soup ahead of time?

Yes! As with most soups and stews, lentil soup only gets better when it sits a day or two. Cool completely then refrigerate. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Can I make lentil soup in an Instant Pot?

Yes, but it will probably be just as fast on the stovetop. Cook the onions and garlic. Add the red curry paste then add the broth, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and lentils. Cover and cook on High for 15 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally. Add the coconut milk, cilantro and lime juice and heat through uncovered.

Close-up photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup in gray bowl garnished with lime and cilantro.

More great vegetarian and vegan soups you’ll love!

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Photo of Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup in white Dutch oven with soup ladle.

Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes

4.58 from 102 votes

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By: Carol | From A Chef’s Kitchen
Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup with Sweet Potatoes delivers delicious Thai-inspired comfort and warmth in a hurry in a light yet satisfying soup!
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Soups and Stews
Cuisine Thai
Servings 6
Calories 332 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil - or coconut oil
  • 1 large onion - finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 3 tablespoons red curry paste - or to taste
  • 6 cups vegetable broth - or chickren
  • 2 large sweet potatoes - peeled and cubed (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1 can (15-ounce) petite diced tomatoes - undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils - picked over
  • 1 can (14.5-ounce) unsweetened coconut milk - light or regular
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper - to taste
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro - plus more for garnish if desired
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice - optional

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large heavy pot such as a Dutch oven.
  • Add the onion, reduce heat to medium and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until onion begins to soften.
  • Add the garlic and red curry paste, give it a quick stir, then add the broth, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and lentils.
  • Bring to a boil, cover slightly and simmer until potatoes and lentils are tender about 20 minutes. (Will be thick.)
  • Add the coconut milk and heat through.
  • Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Stir in cilantro and lime juice if using.

VIDEO

Notes

MAKE AHEAD: Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cool thoroughly. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave for individual servings.
FREEZER-FRIENDLY: Cool thoroughly and package as desired. Freeze up to 2 months.

Nutrition

Serving: 6 | Calories: 332kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1007mg | Potassium: 864mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 17825IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 80mg | Iron: 4mg

These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you’re using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.

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Recipe Rating




114 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    OK, I’m not the greatest cook (so I have been told), but this recipe is really simple and really delicious. Seriously.

    1. Hi, Craig, Thanks so very much and so happy you love this soup. Hope you’ll check out some of my other recipes because I really try to lay things out in a way that everyone can have success in the kitchen. Thanks again!

  2. 5 stars
    This is such a wonderful recipe without a single adjustment, easy to scale, and always goes over great with anyone who tries it. Even people who profess to dislike sweet potatoes can’t get enough of it! And it’s great to have another option for when friends who are vegan, gluten-free etc are visiting.

  3. 5 stars
    We LOVE this soup! It’s so simple yet delicious, and as you say, easy to make!

    About how much is a serving size though?

    Thanks!!

    1. Hi, Rose, Thanks much for your question and so happy you enjoy this soup. Because it’s vegan and fairly light, I would put a serving size at 1 1/2 to 2 cups. Thanks again!

  4. 5 stars
    Made this exactly as written with an extra 1T of Thai curry paste because I like heat. Delicious! And vegan! Who knew? 🙂 Thanks for opening up a whole new world to this carnivore.

  5. 5 stars
    I made this today, and subbed 3/4 cup 2% milk and 1/4 cup 10% cream. (I did not have coconut milk.) And it is absolutely divine! I printed it off and wrote “10/10!!!”

  6. 5 stars
    Really easy (cutting up the sweet potatoes was the most challenging part). The flavors were unique for lentil soup. I’ll definitely be making it again.

  7. 5 stars
    I made it in the Instant Pot. Sautéed onion and garlic and chili paste, then added remaining ingredients – minus coconut milk, and cooked on high pressure for 6 minutes. Soooo good!

  8. 5 stars
    This recipe is absolutely awesome. As with most recipes, I doubled the onion and garlic (to taste, and because I’m never sure what a “large” is). I use Better than Bouillon vegetable for broth (seriously makes all things great). Used the whole container of Maesri red curry because it was only one more T left. Used 3 sweet potatoes because again, what is “large”? Thank you for a GREAT recipe that feeds 4 “large” adults for fairly cheap. I will make this again, and probably often.

  9. Absolutely delicious as is. I usually adjust recipes but made the one as per the recipe. I did pour in the whole large can of tomatoes though. Zesty, spicy and truly delicious!

    1. Hi, Judy, Thanks so very much and so glad you enjoyed!! This recipe is definitely forgiving and a large can of tomatoes should definitely work–as it appears it did! Thanks again!

  10. Great recipe
    We enjoyed it very much. A welcome change from my usual hot and sour Thai dishes.
    For me, no salt (paste has a lot of Sodium) and less coconut milk to make it a bit lighter.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi, Tal, Thanks so very much and glad you enjoyed! The paste does have a fair amount of sodium already which is why I put “salt to taste” in the recipe. Thanks again!

  11. 5 stars
    This soup Wow’s everyone who tries it. I’m an omnivore but I can make this with veggie broth and serve it to my vegan friends. Everyone loves this soup!