This hearty and protein-packed vegan turmeric lentil soup is totally delicious and very easy to make. Smooth or chunky, its your choice. Perfect comfort food!
It has been 'one of those' weeks: soggy school runs, long-distance hospital trips, missing football boots, arguments over Lego constructions, disappearing library books.... you know the sort. But there's nothing more healing and comforting than a steaming bowl of lemony vegan turmeric lentil soup, with a base of two 'superfoods' - ginger and turmeric. Good for the body as well as the soul.
This is surprisingly easy to make, it would be very difficult to 'get wrong', as people always seem to be so worried about. And the texture of the finished soup is up to you - I used a potato masher just to rough mine up a bit, but you could purée yours with a hand-blender if you prefer a smooth soup, or leave it alone if you prefer it really chunky.
📝 What you need
Red lentils Dried red lentils make wonderful soup (and dahl!) as they break down fairly quickly to give a thick and luscious texture. Don't be tempted to substitute any other sort of lentil (unless you put the cooked soup into the blender) - they just won't give the same texture. The only substitute I will allow (ha!) is half-and-half red lentils with yellow split peas. Totally delicious, but they do take a bit longer to cook so prepare to add another 20 minutes or so to your cooking time.
Fresh root ginger Regular readers will know that I often use ready-chopped ginger from a jar, or a tube of ginger purée to save time, but here I think it really makes a difference if you use fresh root ginger - it is one of the stars of the show in this healing soup, and needs to be zingy and at its best rather than just a background flavour.
Ground turmeric I've specified ground turmeric here as the fresh stuff is harder to get hold of. Ground turmeric will give you all the deep flavour and beautiful yellow colour you need for this soup, but if you can find fresh turmeric go for it! It will really take this soup to the next level.
Vegetable stock powder Always check labels as there are some vegetable stock cubes and powders that contain milk powder. Even those that don't are not often clearly marked as vegan so you will need to read the ingredients list. I usually use Marigold Stock Powder, but some of their range is vegan and some isn't so do check.
Once you've tried making the soup as per the recipe you could try all sorts of other flavour combinations:
- Roast the carrot and potato with some whole garlic cloves before adding to the soup for a really intense, sweet flavour. Squeeze the flesh of the garlic out into the soup and discard the skins.
- Use other root vegetables in place of the carrot and potato - how about swede (totally underrated in my opinion), parsnip, celeriac or jerusalem artichokes when they are in season?
- Add some fresh herbs to the finished soup for a flavour boost - coriander would be lovely and/or parsley, and even basil would be lovely here.
- Roast some cherry tomatoes and stir through the soup at the last minute for a flavour pop
- Replace the ginger with 2 teaspoon garam masala and the dairy-free milk with half a tin of coconut milk for an Indian-inspired flavour combination
- Add some broccoli and green peas for a super-green soup.
Your soup will freeze brilliantly, so why not make up a double or even triple batch whilst you're at it, if there's room in your freezer?
I love leaving the spinach or kale leaves whole if I'm serving this soup fresh, but if freezing I tend to either chop them up small or blitz the soup to a smooth purée as the leaves can go a bit slimy after freezing and defrosting. Or you could leave them out entirely and add some to your defrosted soup just before serving.
I often save old margarine tubs for freezing soup - they hold a really good single portion, and stack neatly in the freezer to make the most of limited space. Don't forget to write on the lid with the contents and date, or you will really regret it when you have a clearout and wonder what on earth is inside!
What else can I make with dried lentils?
As I mentioned above, the 'falling apart' texture of dried red lentils is wonderful in thick, creamy stews and this Slow-Cooker Butternut Dahl is a favourite - the butternut squash also breaks down into a velvety soft sauce so this really is a hug in a bowl for not much work.
Or my kids love this easy Red Lentil Cottage Pie from Jamie Oliver's site - just use vegan cheese instead of parmesan.
If you liked that...
.... you might also enjoy these vegan recipes from The Veg Space:
Vegan Lentil Soup with Ginger & Turmeric
- 2 tablespoon rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 onion
- 2-3 cm piece fresh root ginger
- 2 carrots
- 2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 potato
- 150 g dried red lentils
- 1 litre vegetable stock (check it is vegan)
- handful spinach or curly kale
- 125 ml dairy-free milk
- 1 lemon
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole dish. Peel and finely chop the onion and fry gently for 2-3 until starting to soften.
- Peel the ginger (a teaspoon is surprisingly handy for this job, give it a try!), then finely chop and add to the pan. Peel and finely chop the carrots and add to the pan. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
- Add the turmeric to the pan and stir. Peel and finely chop the potato and add to the pan. Rinse the red lentils in a sieve, then add to the pan followed by the stock. Bring the soup to the boil and cook for 20-25 minutes until the lentils are soft. Add the spinach/kale (removing any large stalks), cook for a further minute, then taste and season well with salt and black pepper as required.
- At this point you can use a blender or hand blender to blitz the soup to a smooth purée, or use a potato masher to break up any large chunks of vegetable, or just leave it as a chunky soup.
- Stir through the dairy-free milk and the juice of the lemon, then serve. The soup freezes well so you can make a large batch whilst your at it and portion it up for the freezer.
Free 4-Week Vegan Meal Plan
Have you got your hands on a copy of my meal plan yet? If not CLICK here to download a copy of my FREE 4 Week Vegan Meal Plan today!
For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
"Brilliant! Chock full of easy recipes and great tips and advice" Hello! Magazine
Please note that all recipes and images on The Veg Space are copyright protected. If you would like to share the recipe, please use the share buttons provided. Do not screenshot or copy and paste the recipe, (even if credited to The Veg Space). Many thanks for your understanding