Coconut Red Lentil Soup (Esalen Ayurvedic Dal)

A vibrant red lentil soup (or stew) that is always hugely popular. A friend turned me onto this Ayurvedic dal recipe from the Esalen Cookbook years ago. Red lentil based, curry-spiced coconut broth with back notes of ginger and tomato, with slivered green onions, and a finish of cilantro or kale.

Coconut Red Lentil Soup (Esalen Ayurvedic Dal)

Let's talk through the story of my favorite red lentil soup. Years ago, two of my neighbors hosted a soup party. It was an inspiring affair - big pots of simmering soups and stews, house full of chatty, friendly people. Part of what I liked was the simple premise. The hosts (David & Holly) made a number of soups, guests were asked to arrive with their drink of choice and one thing to share - salad, appetizer, or something sweet.
Coconut Red Lentil Soup in a Bowl

The Inspiration:

One of the vegetarian soups that night was a beautiful shade of yellow-orange. It was a light-bodied, curry-spiced coconut broth thickened with cooked red lentils and structured with yellow split peas. It appeared to be a beautiful take on lentil soup. When I asked Holly to tell me about it, she mentioned it was based on an Ayurvedic dal recipe in the Esalen Cookbook, a favorite of hers. I suspect that recipe might have been inspired by the Bengali-style cholar dal where you see chana dal punctuated with raisins in many preparations.
Ingredients for Soup on a Marble Counter

Holly happened to have an extra copy of the Esalen book, and sent me home with my belly full, a new cookbook tucked under my arm, and a few suggestions related to the soup. I still make this soup regularly, love it (so much!), and thought it might be fun to revisit it today in video form - enjoy! I've also included some notes related to adapting this soup to the Instant Pot.


What Makes this so Special?

The method used to bring this soup together caught my attention. While your lentils are boiling, you saute lots of scallions in butter (or ghee, coconut oil, or olive oil) in another pan. Add to those scallions a fat dollop of thick tomato paste along with plenty of toasted spices and you're on your way. This flavor bomb is what you stir into the lentil base. Golden raisins plump up with curry broth. There are beautiful back notes of ginger, and depth from that tomato paste. It all comes together in one amazing bowl of restorative, lentil soup goodness. To be honest, I consider the raisins optional and make this often without - or sometimes I swap in some chopped dates.
Red Lentil Soup

Topping Ideas:

I've cooked this soup countless times over the years and tend to finish it with what I have on hand. The original recipe has you go big on cilantro. But you can see in these photos I sometimes pile it high with extra scallions and freshly-baked kale chips. Other ideas:

  • finish with a few big handfuls of finely shredded green cabbage
  • stir in a few big handfuls of chopped kale
  • fry 30-40 fresh curry leaves in a few tablespoons of oil adding some chile flakes (or torn chiles), mustard seeds and cumin seeds in the last 15 seconds or so. Pour generously over each bowl
  • finish with deeply roasted tomatoes and omit the raisins

Coconut Red Lentil Soup in a Bowl

A Variation

There was one variation that I noted after cooking this because it stuck out to me as particularly delicious. I was out of scallions and ginger but still wanted to make something along these lines. Instead I used a strong paste made of chopped garlic and serrano peppers - probably a 50/50 blend. I added a few tablespoons of the mixture in place of the scallions in the recipe. The end result was feisty, strong and really wonderful.

More Lentil Soup Recipes

I hope you enjoy this as much as we have over the last decade or so! Here's where you can find all the soup recipes, if you want to explore more. And there are lots of lentil recipes in the archives as well.


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Coconut Red Lentil Soup (Esalen Ayurvedic Dal)

4.33 from 133 votes

See the photo in the main entry if you aren't sure what type of lentils and split peas to buy. For those of you who are curious, I used the Terre Exotique Madras Curry Powder I picked up in Paris - it looks like it is available here now too (I think I've come across it on Amazon's grocery section). Vegans - you can easily make this vegan by using coconut or olive oil in place of the butter called for.

  • 1 cup / 7 oz / 200g yellow split peas
  • 1 cup / 7 oz / 200g red split lentils (masoor dal)
  • 7 cups / 1.6 liters water
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter, ghee, olive oil or coconut oil
  • 8 green onions or scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons golden raisins (optional)
  • 1/3 cup / 80 ml tomato paste
  • 1 14- ounce can coconut milk (or less)
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt, plus more to taste
  • one small handful chopped cilantro (and/or lots of kale chips)
  1. Give the split peas and lentils a good rinse - until they no longer put off murky water. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/4 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.
  2. In the meantime, in a small dry skillet or saucepan over low heat, toast the curry powder until it is quite fragrant. Be careful though, you don't want to burn the curry powder, just toast it a bit. Set aside. Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add half of the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins (if using). Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two more.

  3. Add the toasted curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with a splash of coconut milk and salt. Add more coconut milk if you want it creamier.

  4. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so. The texture should thicken up, but you can play around with the consistency by adding more water (or coconut milk), a bit at a time, if you like. You can keep it more brothy and soup or stew-like, or simmer longer for a thicker consistency - more like many of the dals I've had. The thicker this gets, the more I like it, and it's extra great the day or two after cooking.

  5. Sprinkle each bowl generously with cilantro (or lots of kale chips) and the remaining green onions.


Instant Pot variation: For Instant Pot users, one of you (thanks Andrea!) just wrote to me and said this soup works great in the IP: saute the spice, onions, tomato paste, ginger, and raisins. Add the lentils, split, peas, ginger, carrot and water and cook on high pressure for 15 minutes with a natural release. Then, I add the coconut milk.

This recipe has been adapted over the years from the 2006 edition of the Esalen Cookbook. The version you see here (along with relevent notes) is how I tend to make it circa 2023.

Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins
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This looks fabulous. Does anyone know if tour Dal, Chana Dal, or Moong Dal are considered yellow split peas or can be substituted for them. Have these all in my pantry. I have the red split lentils as well so that isn’t an issue . Thanks

    I make this often with yellow split peas. Enjoy!

    Heidi Swanson

I made this in the Instant Pot and it turned out great, although the lentils all broke down, so don't use the IP if you want more texture to your soup. There was very little prep time. I didn't have yellow split peas so I doubled the lentils. And as I'm not a vegetarian I used chicken stock instead of water and used only 6 cups, not 7. It was delicious although not as good as the phenomenal Red Lentil Soup with Lemon, also on this site.

    Thanks for the details Laurie!

    Heidi Swanson

Made as is except added a hefty dose of chopped garlic and a few spicy peppers from the garden… topped with a salty creamy crumble of feta alongside the cilantro. What a warming, lovely combination of flavors. I can’t wait to eat more tomorrow


    Thanks Anna - love the additions!

    Heidi Swanson

This is an amazing recipe with the use various protein based and healthy pulses. This can be also be a nutritious and fulfilling option. This can be consumed by health conscious people too with little adjustments according to one's choice. You must try this recipe. Organic and unpolished pulses can be more entrusting and beneficial. To get the same visit this website.


I love the idea of plump raisins in soup!!! This soup sounds incredible!!! That party had to be a blast!


This is the second time I've made this soup since the new year. It's perfect for January (or anytime). I especially love the toasted curry added to the tomato paste. Thank you so much!


    So happy you're enjoying it Amanda!

    Heidi Swanson

I just wanted to comment on this because I've been making it for years and years. It is a go-to winter comfort meal that got me through grad school (make it at the beginning of the week and it lasted until Friday), and I have made it for countless friends when they've had babies or gone through rough patches, and it is always a runaway hit. The only people who don't like it are my parents, who grew up with traditional daal and can't stand any variation. I don't blame them, but they're missing out! Thank you for countless wonderful recipes that have seen so many folks through years of cooking! Such a gift. <3


    Thanks for the comment Satpreet. I'm so happy it made the jump into your kitchen! It's a special one. I'm so happy it was shared with me as well!

    Heidi Swanson

Hands down, the very best red lentil dish I’ve ever made. My non vegetarian husband was over the moon with this, begged me to make it every week. So healthy, we both felt light as air upon devouring this fantastic dish. Thanks so much Heidi! You are my go to for everything!

Connie Tompkins

I loved this soup, I used all red lentils so I didn’t have to cook it as long, and I actually preferred The flavor before adding the coconut milk in!

Melanie Williamson

I made the coconut red lentil soup in the instant pot. The flavor was good, but it had almost zero texture after 15 minutes on high. I would have liked it better with some body left of the veg and lentils. I added lemon juice and pepper and that brought up a sparkle. I so love your site and recipes, you have brought me into a culinary life that i am loving. Thank you truly.

Holly James

I've made this like 5 times. I always just do 2 cups of red lentils and sometimes I leave out the coconut milk. I like to add red curry paste, and I only do 1-2 Tbs of the tomato paste. It's a fail proof recipe. I also use vegetable broth instead of water for extra flavoring. I first found your blog Heidi in 2008/2009. I love your recipes!

Meg Radler

    Thanks for the sweet note Meg! :)

    Heidi Swanson

This is a perennial favorite in our house. When I went to make it for the first time this year, I noticed your instant pot note. The fist time I made it in the instant pot but still made it in two steps. This weekend, I tried making it with the tomato paste in the pot, as instructed and it did not workout. Most of the lentils disintegrated and then a few just would not get soft no matter how long I cooked it. Sadly, tossed the whole pot. So, if making in an IP, I would suggest cooking the lentils, ginger & garlic under pressure for 15 minutes & make the spice paste on the stove to mix in with the coconut. Ideally it would still simmer for a little while like in the original.


Ok I'm not gonna lie, as I was mixing the tomato paste into the coconut oil and raisins, I thought there was no way in hell this soup was going to turn out, much less that I would be able to get my husband to eat it but HOOLLYYY cannoli this was incredible! We ate it with toasted baguette rounds. And my husband loved it so much he ate two full bowls! Thank you, this was the perfect comfort food for a winter day.


    Glad you liked it Kayla!

    Heidi Swanson

This soup was simply amazing. It was beyond a delicious lentil soup. And hubby couldn't get enough of it! Wow. I did the IP version - didn't have yellow split peas (doubled red lentils), or golden raisins (used black - tho gold would have looked better lol), or tomato paste (added chopped canned tomatoes), and used bone broth instead of water. Served over faro. Was even more amazing - if even possible! - next few days as thickened. Thank you!


Made this last night and it is sooooo good. I used dates instead of raisins because that is what I had. Thank you Heidi...


What a fabulous variation on dhal! Also, I love the idea of a soup party....great way to entertain in winter :-)


I also make this soup all the time after finding it here <3 It's so good. Thanks for sharing it!! Chloe from Canberra, Australia xxx


This has been one of my favourite soups for years. I often make a big pot before going camping and eat it as we are setting up. Also the green lentil soup with curried brown butter has been on regular rotation forever! I am just visiting here again today to find your lime peanut coleslaw for dinner with pulled pork tonight. Always can count on you to have some longstanding recipes! Thank you!


I am completely in love with this recipe! It's comforting, nourishing and find that the flavours develop as time goes on - by the 2nd or 3rd day after first making it, it's even more incredible - though there are rarely any leftovers as it gets gobbled! Have found it works with pretty much any root vegetable you have to hand - carrot, parsnip, sweet potato, butternut squash or any combination of these. I'm making it today with butternut squash & using coconut oil instead of butter/ghee - this is the first vegan recipe I have attempted and am so pleased with the results!! Have made on several occasions just for me & my partner; but also as a vegetarian option at a bonfire night party for 15 people. Dare I say it, it was such a hit even our non-veggie guests, that it overtook the meaty option! Part of me wants to share this with everyone I know but the other part of me wants to keep this one up my sleeve to impress my veggie & vegan friends! Thank you so much for this wonderful recipe!


    Love hearing it Nat! It is definitely a favorite crowd-pleaser on this end as well :)!

    Heidi Swanson

I love this recipe so very much. I've made it countless times. I most recently subbed dried apricot, slivered, for the golden raisins. Next I want to try subbing turmeric for the curry powder, or adding the goat cheese as pat recommended.


This soup is delicious! My husband and I have been fans of yours for a long time. He made this for me last weekend and I loved it so much that we're making it again this weekend. I've been looking for more tasty vegetarian meals because I want to cut back on our meat intake. This soup really hits the spot. I'm going to add this to our regular meal rotation. Yum! - Arlene


    Thanks Arlene! Glad you enjoyed it. -h

    Heidi Swanson

I think this is my favorite recipe of all time, ever! I have probably made it 100 times since it was first published (must have been around 2010?). You can sub minced shallots for the green onions and just leave out the cilantro if it's one of those days when there's nothing in the fridge. As long as you have the dry ingredients on hand, go for it, it's still incredible. For the spices, I use half masala biryani and half curry powder (the one most westerners know with lots of turmeric, mustard, etc.)


This is my all-time favorite soup. I make it constantly and have done so for several years now. Thought I'd share a trick from my latest batch: make it in your crock pot! Turns out it's super crock pot friendly :)


Hi Heidi! Love your stuff. Thank you for all the inspirations. Question, for this curried lentil soup, what type of curry powder? Garam masala? Or another? Great day, Heidi

Hi Heidi! You can use whatever one you enjoy or tend to keep on hand.


    Really - just use your favorite. Whatever you keep on hand!

    Heidi Swanson

I made this Red Lentil soup and it is a real KEEPER. I chose to use low fat coconut milk, and it turned out wonderful. I sent the recipe to all my family... Best to you.


wow. this soup is the bomb. i am always trying out new variations of red lentil soup, this one goes to the top of the list! i'd made it with just red lentils and no raisins, then again with the split peas and raisins. both great. will probably mostly make it with all red lentils though. thanks for the recipe!!


I've been making this recipe for years. Absolutely love it. I use kamut for the grains, I substituted it once when I was out of farro and have used it ever since. They look beautiful when dropped down on top of the soup and dressed with the greens. My trick to cooking kamut however is to simmer it for over an hour, at least the entire time the soup is reducing down. The kamut will plump up, absorb a lot of water, and they are ready when they start to burst. Something about the long cook time makes them develop an amazing natural sweetness while still retaining the chewiness of a whole grain.

Mj Lai

something I am never quite clear on with recipes that call for green onions - do you use just the white parts, the green parts, or both?

HS: Hi Cecil, I use both white and green parts.


This is such a delightful and versatile recipe! I've made it so many times... some alternatives I've tried out: almond/cashew milk instead of coconut milk (sort of the diet version), turmeric instead of curry (especially nice compliment to the ginger), parsley instead of cilantro... no matter what, it's a hit! It seems a warmed goat cheese/date dollop could send it over the top (I've tried it, it does). What would be the ultimate coup de grace for this in your opinion, Heidi?


Does this soup freeze well?

HS: yes, indeed.


This soup is incredibly flavorful and well balanced. I make it multiple times a year and have shared the recipe with friends and family who now make it regularly too. It is deceptively simple to make and so warming and filling.

HS: Thanks Alexia!


I just made the entire soup in the Instant Pot and it's delicious! I sautéed the spice, onions, tomato paste, ginger, and raisins. I added the lentils, split, peas, ginger, carrot and water and cooked on high pressure for 15 minutes with a natural release. Then, I added the coconut milk. So good on this cold, rainy day.

HS: You're the best for reporting back! I'll make a note in the actual recipe for anyone else who wants to try. Thank you!


This is a very tasty soup. I am making it for the second time for dinner tonight. I followed the recipe exactly as written the first time and won’t change a thing. Thank you for all the great recipes.


I love making this soup at varying consistencies. Sometimes I even add in a bit of leek or potato with the carrot.. Anyway, no matter how low I simmer the peas and lentils, they break and lose their shape - they dont look beautifully whole like in your image. Any recommendations??

Melissa Marrocco

This looks absolutely delicious! Do you think the recipe would work without raisins or do you know of any good substitute for them?

HS: Hi Sky - you can just skip them, or use chopped dates if you think you'll like those better.


This was fantastic: I used lower fat coconut milk, added more carrots, and bumped up the raisins, too--and it was amazing! I had it for lunch 3x, dinner twice, and never got sick of it! Thanks!


This soup! Incredibly flavorful - even when I forget to add the cilantro. Freezes and reheats beautifully. Thanks for another stunner that also tastes amazing.


Hi, made this last night in Australia and loved it but it was very hot, the only madras curry powder I could find was called Hot Madras Curry Powder. I am assuming the one you used isn't so hot, as no one has mentioned it. Delicious but will halve the powder for next time. Had to look up golden raisins to discover that it is a much nicer name for what we call sultanas!


I made this soup yesterday and it was excellent. My family loved it. Thank you for sharing and providing an update to a great recipe.


This soup was so good. The Madras curry powder is bang on. Even my toddler devoured it.


I've enjoyed your website for a while, but this was the first recipe I've made. It was delicious! I used the Spice House's sweet curry powder and substituted frozen peas near the end, since they're what I had. Already thinking of making this again later this week. Thank you for your beautiful posts and interesting recipes.


I made this today and it was perfect! I was a little sceptical about the golden raisins but even these were lovely.


We have been making this regularly since you first posted it- I can't believe it was 7 years ago! I love to have it on hand when I have company in, I've brought it camping, we usually have some in the freezer for busy weeknights, and it was one of the first "real" foods I've given both of my daughters. Thanks to you and your friend for sharing such a gem!


This looks so flavorful and delicious... I bet your whole house smelled delicious!! Such a pretty color, too :)


Woke up with a cold and now this is on the stove cooking - perfect timing. Smells amazing.


This soup is how I first found your site. My best friend and I still make it often. She is vegetarian, and I am not, and we both love it!


I've been making this soup ever since you posted it ages ago. Simple, quick, and delicious.


This is also one of our favorite soups! Happy to see it featured here, along with that gorgeous cookbook :)


This is my all time favourite soup that I make often.


This soup is just plain amazing. Anything with Lentils and coconut milk is a bonus in my book. It is now my go to soup when I need to feed a lot of people and feel like I am impressing them a little.


Heidi, This soup was Seriously, my husband and I both loved it. I made a few revisions based on what I had at home, but it was great! Thank you for sharing so many wonderful recipes with us. I constantly list you at the top of my favorite places to get creative and healthy cooking inspiration. (I also wrote about this soup on my blog with plenty of links back here) Thank you!

Kelly @ quest for real food

Hi Heidi, I just wanted to compliment you on all your creativity and your ability to embrace such wonderful ideas in cooking. I am the cook at a Waldorf preschool in Portland, Or and I am inspired by your culinary endeavors weekly. Variations of this soup have hit home with many four and five year-olds on Tuesdays. So thank you.. Michelle HS: I love hearing this Michelle, thanks for the note :)


Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I made it last night, pretty much exactly as you have listed, minus the cilantro at the end. It turned out delicious, I could not be more pleased. The coconut, curry, and ginger blended together so well and no one flavor was overpowering. A very hearty vegetarian soup that I will definitely make again!! Served along with a side of Trader Joe's Naan Bread it was plenty for a late Sunday dinner.


I added some lime juice to change things up a bit and it worked really well(I put about a teaspoon into my serving, but then I really like lime). I make this soup all the time, and my roommates consistently steal it for lunch =)


Love this soup. Have made it at least 10 times already. So easy to make and yet super tasty. It's also easy modify based on what's on hand. Cauliflower is fantastic in this. Thank you so much!


Awesome soup!!! I made a couple modifications though... I added some onion and garlic to the sauteed scallions and ginger, then added some fresh lemon juice and a little garam masala when the soup was done cooking. I also left out the raisins because my husband will only eat them if they are in a cookie! Served over some short grain brown rice. Can't wait to have leftovers tomorrow!


I usually not comment but I have to this time. OMG this soup is just incredible. THEE best thing I have made in my kitchen. The perfect balance in texture and flavor. I was blown away the moment I tried my first bite. Thanks, Heidi.


This soup is amazing. And so easy. Simple goodness. Thanks so much for all these incredible recipes. I'm a huge fan living in the East Bay and the new Berkeley Bowl is my heaven.


Holy Cow! This is the BEST soup I've ever made. It is so rich and savory, deceptively simple, & packing quite a punch with just a few, easy-to-find ingredients. I added chevre (goat cheese) and crimini mushrooms, as well as a dash of cayenne. It tastes like something you'd find at a nice restaurant and then wish you had the recipe for. My advice: make it!


Hi- I haven't cooked with lentils before and I wasn't able to find yellow split peas, so I purchased yellow split lentils. Will yellow split lentils work as a substitute? If so, how will I need to alter the recipe. I assume lentils won't take as long to cook and how much water should I use to cook them. Thanks!!!


You have awaked my desire to cook!! Thank you!!! all recipes I have made of yours have been awesome and I keep coming back for more. I plan to make this soup today on a rainy Saturday. Perfection!

Brittany Johnson

Delicious!! I liked the crunchy raw scallions with the texture of the soup. I used coconut oil instead of butter, and omitted the raisins since I'm cutting out sugar. This soup is really good !!! I have loved all of your recipes that I have tried, from both your cookbook and your blog. (7 so far!)


Made this last night after making a quick run to whole foods to pick up most of the ingredients. I've never used lentils or split peas before, but this is excellent and filling. The blend of spices is really fragrant, the split peas give it a great texture, and the coconut milk blends in to make it taste super rich. I ended up subbing tomato sauce, and garnishing it with sriracha to give it that extra kick and hit of color. It was easy to make, it's even better then next day, and it's an amazingly delicious money saver. I bought all organic ingredients and it only set me back $8.50 for a pot that will last me a couple days. This is a keeper. HS: Glad you liked it May. I made it again the other night. I think it is going to be in frequent rotation around here as well. :)


I made this last week...changed the spices a little according to what I had. It was terrific. Next time I will cut back on the curry - I used red curry and it was very hot! But still delicious. I could not get enough of it.


I made this tonight and served it with farro as suggested. It was very good and filling. I've been trying to eat healthfully and exercise to slim down. I've used several of your recipes in the last month with great success. I wonder if you'd ever consider posting nutrition information like some magazines and cookbooks do?


Heidi: I've tried a couple of recipes from this site and I am absolutely sold! I made my own curry powder and the soup turned out fabulous! Here is my recipe (Makes enough for two soup sessions) 1 tsp cardamom seeds 1 tsp fenugreek seeds 2 tsp coriander seeds 1 tsp cumin seeds 1/2 tsp oregano seeds or oregano powder 1/2 tsp dried ginger powder 1/2 tsp turmeric powder 2 dried red chillies Grind them to a fine powder. Takes about 2-3 mins to make this! I left out the raisins (hubby doesnt like them) and added chicken. Yumm! Thanks!


this soup makes me hungry - I am bookmarking this page.


Heidi - This soup was absolutely devine! I increased the ginger + tomato paste and served it over brown rice. The only ingredient that got mixed reviews was the raisins. Everyone loved the flavor but not the texture. Any suggestions?


I just made this and had a bowl of it over brown rice. It was amazing - so amazing that I had to comment immediately upon finishing! The flavor palette is complex but perfect - the nuttiness of the yellow split peas with the spice of ginger and curry, all in a creamy vehicle of coconut milk and punctuated with juicy pops of ghee-sauteed raisins. Wow. Just wow. I used extra carrot and ginger, took a jog break after simmering the legumes the first time (a perfect stopping point, I might add), and ended up using tomato sauce (8 oz.) instead of tomato paste because it was what I had. I can't wait to see what the flavors are like tomorrow!


I made this and it was ok, but I probably won't make it again. For me, it needed a sour note so I added tamarind and a bit of lime juice which helped a little. Still didn't blow me away though.


Great recipe! I tried it this evening. Next time I'll probably tweak it for more spice and a little extra heat!


Yummy, outstanding, unbelievable and really edible. a cool, unusually natural taste


this was delicious! i added a dollop of plain yogurt on top to "cool" it a little bit. thanks!


This was fantastic! I'm thrilled about the leftovers too! Great call serving it over grains -- we used red rice and it looked and tasted stunning.


Just made this - absolutely delicious! I added 3 minced cloves of garlic to the onion mixture and a bit more green onion. Love it!

Laurie Heil

I made this soup the other day. I doubled the amount of raisins and added some dried cranberries. I diced 1 onion and used 3 green onions instead of 8. It turned out awesome!


This was so delicious!!!!! Finally made it last nite. Necessary changes were: no raisins. Thought I had them, but they are my snack at the office. Included a grab of cilantro to the cooking about 10 min before done. AND topped with roasted pumpkin seeds. This blew us away last night. BF loved it! Thanks Heather!


I've intended to make this for the past 2 weeks and finally made it yesterday it's just amazing I kept going back for more

Sofie Knoller

I have been looking at this recipe for weeks now imagining....salivating....dreaming. Tonight I made it and it was wonderful....but I just know that tomorrow, it will be even more fabulous. Yummmmmmmmmmm!!!! Thanks for a recipe that I know I will be making many times more!!!


I made this with lite coconut milk and compensated for its more liquid texture by reducing the water from 7 to 5.5 cups. The soup came out a nice consistency, but you lose that coconut intensity by using lite and I wound up adding half a cup of regular coconut milk to adjust the flavor. I also added the juice of one lime to balance the flat beaniness of the split peas & lentils. Just had it for lunch and it was great! I would definitely recommend using regular coconut milk.


I love your recipes. I am planning to make this, but I can't eat golden raisins due to the sulfur. I was planning to just leave them out until I read the comments about how good they are in the soup. So, do you think regular raisins or currants would work, or would it be better to omit them entirely? Thanks. HS: Hi MS, you can leave them out - the soup is still delicious. Or you can seek out a dried fruit that works for you - SF dried apricots, chopped up might be good?


We made this last night, and it was excellent. Thanks!


I made this soup for dinner tonight. I made it without the raisins and we ate it over brown rice. So delicious, so filling, and so pretty! Thanks, Heidi :)


yummy, made this tonight, used light coconut milk and still was fab....i didnt put over rice, we just ate plain, figured would save calories and i couldnt get enough, full as can be, cant wait for lunch left overs tomorrow..everyone will want to try it...thanks for the great recipe


Im so full, i made this soup tonight and loved loved loved it, i used light coconut milk and it was ever so good also and thicked up quite well, i had to add a little water it got so thick...cant wait for lunch left overs tomorrow...thanks guys for the wonderful recipe....yummmy


Just made this soup, with some adjustments for the contents of my pantry. Added regular onion and celery that had to be eaten soon, and didn't have yellow split peas, so I just doubled the amount of red lentils. Had to sweat the veggies first and then added the curry and tomato paste. Heidi - it's soooo good! I added the coconut milk to the veggies before adding the lot to the lentils, and even that mix alone, minus the lentils, tasted wonderful. The tomato and coconut so so tangy and rich, it didn't even need salt! Thanks for the recipe! In fact, thanks for all of them! Every single one I've tried has turned out stupendously.


AMAZING! and just the thing I needed to help survive this nasty cold I'm fighting this week. The raisins are such a great surprise. Thanks for the always wonderful recipes. :)


This soup is absolutely incredible!! I made it last night and followed your recipe exactly - the flavors, textures, colors and aromas made this dish so much fun to prepare. I blogged about making pictures are nowhere near as great as yours, but here it is! Thanks so much for this recipe Heidi!!

Jenny Sansouci

This soup is beyond exquisite. Perfectly balanced, rich — and very more-ish! Changes I made were: I pureed the soup with my stick blender and added the remaining sliced scallions for final minutes of cooking (after blending). That way, the soup was enjoyed over 3 days (incredible flavor had blossomed by day 3), without the usual consequence of intensified taste and smell of scallions not long after they are sliced. Also, I used a can of ‘lite’ coconut milk, with zero noticeable difference in flavor or texture. And I subbed 4 cups chicken stock for 4 of the 7 cups water. The cilantro topping (minus the scallions, in this case) is the perfect foil. Absolutely will make this soup again and again.


What an excellent combination of ingredients. I have always enjoyed a good wholesome traditional lentil soup, and also thai/vietnamese coconut milk soups and curries. This looks like a delicious combination that I had never thought off...really inspiring

I used a red lentil soup which has coconut & curry for my lamb curry & rice. it is to sweet


We make this last week and REALLY enjoyed it. Thank you so much.


Hi Heidi, I made this this weekend and plan to make it again this week. It was wonderful. My husband came home while I was making it and couldn't believe how good the house smelled. I served him a small portion for lunch alongside other things because he is always skeptical of new creations. After one bite, he asked me to put more in his bowl. He was really blown away by this dish and kept calling me a gourmet cook--I think he was absolutely shocked I'd made something he thought tasted better than things he'd had at authentic Indian restaurants. He doesn't even like raisins but I don't think he even noticed they were in there. I love raisins and would add twice as many! Thanks for the great recipe. We all loved it.


So good!!! I definitely agree, the thicker the better. The flavors become so much more intense. One thing I wanted to add - I had to be careful to occasionally scrape the bottom of the pot once I added the tomato mixture so that the tomato paste wouldn't stick and burn. I had to stir and scrape a lot since I let it simmer longer :)


Just a report back: Thompson raisins work just fine instead of golden raisins. I actually wish I had put more in - they were great! Green split peas also worked fine - although it did change the color of the dish to a slightly greener-yellow. This meal tasted wonderful - a new staple for my kitchen! THANK YOU! p.s. Part of the process had us saute butter, green onions, ginger, tomato paste, and raisins together. That tomatoey mixture was amazing. I can't stop thinking about what else to use that sauce for... HS: Thanks for reporting back Josh! I'm glad it turned out - and yes, isn't that mixture delicious? I was trying to think up alternative uses for it as well!


Made this for dinner last night - it was fantastic. I love you recipes Heidi - I just bought SNC and it's great. Can't wait for your new book! I'm a vegetarian and use organic foods so your blog and cooks are the best for me. Thank you!


did I mention that I have a weekness for anything coconut - curry? oh! I'm in heaven already!


I made this soup last night with red lentils and split mung dal (didn't have the yellow split peas), and it was luxurious and incredible. Perfect for cold Spring weather!


Made this yesterday. Added a cup of pure pumpkin puree I had left from a bread recipe. Delicious, warming on a cold rainy day, and better the next day.


Love that soup, looks delicious.

tobias cooks!

Hi Heidi, I'm a big fan of your blog and also of lentils. This recipe looks amazing. I wanted to ask you about what could I use to substitute cilantro. My wife just cannot stand it. I am a considerate cook, but this makes it difficult to cook certain dishes like Mexican or Indian. Any ideas?


Thanks for your response to my question about the coconut milk, Heidi. I made it and it was so so yummy. Thanks!


I made this last week -- DELICIOUS! I substituted parsley for cilantro. Amazingly rich taste, gorgeous colors in the bowl. I love the mixture of red lentils and split peas. This is a hit, and I'll definitely make it again. Thanks Heidi!


I am definitely going to try this one! your website.


Hi, I've tried your recipes often in the past.. this one looks particularly great (maybe just cos I have everything on hand for it :)).. What exactly does the curry powder contain? Is it more like garam masala (cinnamon, cloves, anise, etc), or more like the south indian spice mixes that are mostly a mix of chillies, cumin and coriander ?


Yum! I have made a similar recipe before, but the raisins in this recipe really do make this awesome! Can't wait to have it again.


Made this for dinner tonight - it was amazing!!! I reduced the curry powder to 1 tbsp, but that was the only change that I made and I probably didn't have to do that. My husband was doubtful about adding the raisins, but I went ahead and added them, and he was glad I did. So yummy! I completely agree with others who have said this is one of the best soups they have ever made.


Made this soup on Sunday. Wow! Best soup I've ever made. I left out the tomato paste, curry powder and cilantro. Replaced them with a heaping tsp each of green curry paste, tom ka gai paste and organic better than bouillion chicken. Chopped the raisins. They're a killer addition. Thanks!

Kath in VT

Very good! I made this for my soup this week, and I'm a fan. I used green/brown lentils instead of red, though, because I have a ton of 'em sitting in the cabinet. Reminded me a lot of the "Jamaican Lentil Stew With Coconut" recipe on RecipeZaar, which I think I may have liked just a little better.


love the tastes in this soup, Heidi, thanks for another winning recipe. this one is especially good for our dreary new england early spring days! i added some cauliflower for even more texture and thought it worked great.


Yowzas!!! This soup is ALSO delicious. Not that I was surprised. Thanks again for the AMAZing recipe. You've turned me into a chef, ha!


i made this and i looooooooooove it. i had so leave out the cilantro but soo good


Made this tonight for company! Ladled it over brown rice, steamed cauliflower and zucchini. Served with toasted Ezekiel Sprouted Muffins topped with garlic, olive oil and dried marjoram. A lovely dinner. Thanks, Heidi and to all above for some great variations.


This is one soup I definitely need to make, regardless of the season. Looks delicious.


LOL! Leave it to soon as I posted it, I reread the recipe and saw where to add the remaining onions - it got cut off when I printed it. Oops!


I've got this soup on the stove now, and I can't wait to try it! It looks delish. I might be missing something, but the recipe says to "add half of the green onions" into the tomato paste mix and I can't seem to find when to add the rest of the onions - am I blind or is it missing from the recipe? I just put them into the soup with the paste mixture, but I'm wondering if I should have done it a different way. Any ideas? Thanks!


Amazing! Two, three, four thumbs up. I took pictures of the process for anyone curious, although they look pretty POS compared to Heidi's. :) Anyway, I highly recommend this.


a sudden early spring snow called for a soup supper. heidi to the rescue, yet again! i knew raisins wouldn't go over well in this house, so i added corn instead. added a nice sweetness and complimented the creamy texture of the lentils. wonderful soup!!!


I made this soup just the way you said to and it was so good. My husband had his friend over and I wasn't sure if his friend would go for the vegetarian thing but he really liked it and my husband loved it. He said it might be a 10 out of 10! Thanks Heidi!


my grandmother makes similar soup in Poland, wonderful in every version!

Polish Pottery

I just made this with the following modifications: Peas --> Black Beans Cilantro --> Fresh chopped basil No Raisins Ladeled it over cooked long grain brown rice and was amazed how delicious it was. Plus, now my wife and I have lunch for a week!! Thanks Heidi.

Richard Wilner

I just made this soup and it is delicious! I doubled the red lentil b/c I didn't have split peas, but the texture is still great. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

rachael grant

I agree with all the OMG this is SO good posts! I did the same and added a leek instead of spring onions, and it was DELICIOUS! Sometimes im thankful that my boyfriend doesnt like my veggie foods, as i get to savour and keep this all to myself, yipee! Thanks Heidi, AGAIN! xxx

Liz B

Love this! I made it for dinner last night and both my fiance and I brought leftovers for lunch - couldn't wait to eat it again. I love lentil recipes - keep it up!


I made this soup last night . It was so amazing!! I added a dollop of fat free yogurt to my bowl. Another winner! Thanks!


Thanks for the recipe Heidi: I made this for lunch on Saturday and it was absolutely delicious. I froze the leftovers in batches and am looking forward to having them for lunch during the week.


Thank you for this recipe! I made this for dinner tonight, and it was amazing! I love all the spices, and the butter and coconut milk make it so rich. I used chana dal instead of yellow split peas, since that's what I had on hand, and I sauteed a few leeks with the onions as well. So happy I'll be taking the leftovers for lunch this week!

Jenn Sutherland

Yummi-licious soup! Thank you for the recipe! I made a vegan version substituting oil for the butter or ghee which worked fine. (I choose safflower oil over olive oil not only because I had it on hand, but also because it's super subtle flavor would have less impact on an already amazing blend of flavors.) The final product -- an outstanding easy soup that I see myself making again and again. I am now an eager follower of your site!


I just made this using a sweet potato instead of the carrot and a sweet yellow onion in place of the green onions, and it is absolutely delicious. This one will be on pretty constant rotation, I think!


Just made my own version of this soup using beluga lentils, adding one clove crushed garlic to the lentils as they cooked with carrot and ginger. Then mixing a few different curry powders I had together for a spicier "smokier" flavor that I love and then toasting. I also substituted tomato paste with crushed tomatoes while making the curry, garnished with a dollop of chipotle sour cream and the chopped shallots. Just finished my 3rd bowl and I have to say this is the BEST soup I have ever had in my life..EVER.


I LOVE this soup. My son suggested sprinkling a little toasted coconut on top when serving (along with the cilantro/green onions). I am so happy I found your site. I try a lot of the recipes and it has become one of my favorites!


I made this for my beau on Friday evening - wow, was this ever good! So fragrant that I didn't even want to stop smelling it while I was cooking this............ Even better today two days later..........this one is every bit as delectable as the fabulous photo of it! Sensational...........wish I could take the credit for creating it. - thank you, Heidi!


Just made this, sans the scallions (I'm not a fan), used a small minced onion instead, and it is delicious! I'm sure after a day or two in the fridge it's going to be even better. Prep time is not too bad either. Thumbs way up!


"Wow. That was good," my husband said after finishing his second bowl. Easy too. Thanks for the great recipe.

Ann Marie

Made the soup as soon as İ read it,and had a second helping with rice!!!!!!!!! just loved it.Thanks

semra kulin

I am in the process of making the red lentils exploded? and so they are not a "Lentil" texture, although the yellow split peas have held their own...should I have added the lentils later in the simmering process? Anyone have a suggestion?


Though I've followed your site for a good while, this is my first post. Yesterday, on the spring equinox (of all times!), winter decided to give a last gasp and even sent snow down here in Texas! It was the perfect time to make this soup, and I had all of the ingredients on hand already, which was fortuitous! The soup came out WONDERFUL, and my whole family (mom and 2 sisters) loved it! That's saying something since they usually don't like anything we didn't grow up eating. Thanks for this!!


easy, healthy, and tasty! such a great transition from winter to spring! i brought some of this soup to a friend at work and made her whole day. thanks for spreading the coconut curry red lentil love! your website and book have become a major part of my home and i'm so appreciative of your talents and warm heart. thank you and keep em coming!


I love a good lentil soup. This looks divine! I've never done a lentil soup with coconut milk before.... exciting!!!!


I made this today and am making a spot for the recipe in my ultra-exclusive most-favorite stash! Thanks!


Love your food and your attitude toward healthy yummy goodness! I just started my own blog about my mom whom was just diagnosed with cancer and was wondering if you have any soothing recipes good for someone on chemo. Nourishing healthy foods in small doses?


When you call for coconut milk in your recipes, do you mean regular or lite? Thanks for this. Can't wait to try it! HS: In this case I used whole coconut milk - there is a lot of water in relation to the coconut milk here, so I wanted something with a lot of body/substance.


Thanks Heidi - another great soup! I added Sambal Oelek (chili paste) topped with extra scallions, cilantro, and ginger slivers for layered cooked and raw flavors.

Fish Girl

wow, look at that, I'm already drooling, great color, looks delicious


Two of my favorite things, lentils and curry. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for sharing.


yum yum yum! making this for dinner tonight. will likely have some leftovers--anyone know if this freezes ok?


Super delicious! I made this recipe yesterday... thanks!


Lentils are my favorite legume! In Greece we usually eat the green or brown ones cooked in an entirely different way than the Indian. I've never tried red ones. I must.. soon! Magda

my little expat kitchen

We eat some form of lentils at every meal, being Indians and vegetarians, and I am always trying to find another new way of cooking our innumerable lentils. I made your soup today and it was simply awesome!


I made this today -- it was absolutely delish! Did not have green onions so I subbed leeks. I made a double batch and the consistency was pretty thick -- perfect over a brown rice/wild rice blend. Its 10pm and I can't wait to have leftovers tomorrow!

After sunny and 60* yesterday in Minnesota, today we're back to a wintry mix at 30*. Typical Minnesota March. We made your soup in response to the chilly weather and loved it. We made a little garlic naan on the side for dipping - fantastic! Thanks :)


My husband made this recipe this week. ohmygod, it is SO good. I am eating a bowl right now over jasmine rice and I am a happy girl. Thanks for the wonderful recipe and for writing your excellent blog.

Cathy Curtis

I made this last night and it was indeed good, but it seemed to be missing something that I often find in Indian food. Maybe it was the heat of spicyness? Does anyone have any ideas of what to add to this?


Heidi, once again a recipe that I just had to make. I had most of the ingredients, I had green split peas so I used those. Delicious!!!! I think the only change I would make next time is to bump up the vegetables by adding one more carrot. Thanks again for the healthy meal ideas!!!


Omigoodness, Heidi! This is an AMAZING soup! I made it tonight for two hungry men and they loved it. The combination of flavors is simply arresting. Every spoonful is packed full of character and depth. Mmm... I can still taste it. Warmed us all up on this cold evening. Thanks for this, and ALL your recipes! I cook from your site at LEAST once a week :).

Lauren Z

We loved this recipe in our house . What's more, it was easy to make, sophisticated and healthy, and 4 out of 5 in the family loved it (that's impressive for us). I'm a relative newbee to your blog but find many of your recipes appeal to my sense of taste and style. Thank you!

Amy S.

Amazing, Heidi your food looks so delicious. I recently made a challenge to myself to cut the crud out of my diet and it starts with one month of eating only recipes from your site. My questions is how do I store some of the prepared foods? I made the 4 servings of the nutty cinnamon Quinoa and heat one up each morning, that worked well. Saving and reheating this soup is also easy.... tonight I plan to make the grilled zucchini Quinoa and am not sure if I should just cut the recipe into quarters or if it will save in batches to eat throughout the week.... thoughts? Thank you!!


Whew...I don't know if perhaps my curry powder was a little hotter than most have used but I probably could've used 1 tbsp instead of 2. I love spicy food but I can barely eat this soup--I way over-curried :( That said: The raisins are a brilliant addition and I added 1 cup of frozen corn towards the end because I was out of split yellow peas and the texture is good. Going to add a bit of yogurt and see if that cools the fire! :)


Hi, I stumbled upon your blog doing a google search for vegetarian recipes. Your food photography is absolutely beautiful and inspiring...and the concept of your blog is great! Cracking open one of the hundreds of cookbooks sitting on my shelves is something I've been meaning to do forever and NOW I have a reason to do it...Thanks for the motivation! :)


SO easy and delicious! I had to use pureed carrot (I had used all the whole carrots for baby food yesterday), but it still tasted great. My 10-month old gobbled it up and waved his hands and feet for more! I did end up simmering this for quite some time - close to 90 minutes. The house smelled amazing and the texture was perfect.


I made this the other night and it was a hit with the ENTIRE family (which is a shock!). I did not have tomatoe paste, exchanged green onions for chopped yellow onions, regular raisins, and no Curry but added a Turkish spice mix (garsala?). This is a definite keeper!


My mom makes a variation on this soup in which she slowly sautes tons of onions with curry powder and butter and then adds them to the cooking red lentils. It's so hearty and satisfying, but I can't wait to try your gussied-up version!

small kitch cara

I made this last night and found it to be very tasty but a bit mild for the mood I was in, so I added some leftover salsa verde w/chipotle ... admittedly a strange cross-cultural violation of the sort I normally wouldn't commit, but to my surprise the flavors complimented one another, and the added heat was a "plus." I served over brown rice as recommended. Yum!

Dean E.

Soups on now! Smells divine.


To Hillary, Legumes take different times to cook based on how dry they are when you start. Some brands have been stored for a long time, so they have had time to dry out. You could try another source; one with lots of turnover. Also, at altitude, legumes take longer to cook since water boils at a lower temp if you are up high. A pressure cooker helps with this. hope this helps


I always cook with brown lentil and am very excitedf about this dish with red lentils...I will try it this weekend!


Lovely Soup.. Looks perfect n delicious.. :)

Hari Chandana

Oh, this soup looks absolutely fantastic. I've been stalking your website for awhile now, but unfortunately I'm a freshman in college living in the dorms (Needless to say, dorm food is a far, far cry from natural cooking). I spend so much time daydreaming of all the recipes of yours I'll make when I get an apartment next year! Thanks for the inspiration. Luckily, I'm making a visit home tomorrow, with access to a kitchen :) This soup will definitely be a product of a weekend well-spent!


Ok, so: Creamy, coconut-y curry broth = Win Lovely sweet raisins to offset a savoury dish = Win Hit of freshness from fresh ginger & herbs = Win All this WIN plus the big jar of red lentils in my pantry I've run out of ideas for means I am SO making this for dinner tonight! :) Question for Heidi: The one ingredient I lack is split peas. To save a trip to the grocery do you think I could sub in a cup or so of frozen corn kernels towards the end of cooking for some texture? What do you think?


I have a really hard time cooking split peas until they are soft. I follow the recipe to a T, but still after 30 minutes, the split peas are still quite hard and dense. I've cooked split peas for 2 hours before, and they still are hard. Does anyone have any suggestions or tips? (I have a Le Creuset dutch oven, so my pot is definitely retaining heat!) Thanks! (BTW, thanks, Heidi for all the great recipes!)


I made this last night. It's the best lentil soup I've ever made. Heidi, you rock!


I see coconut and I shudder...I see coconut milk and I swoon! Great soup. Now, you must quit recommending cookbooks :) I just got Good to the Grain and the first thing I did was make the Kasha Pudding...........very nice. Next are the Figgy Scones. Thank you again!


The kale salad from the Esalen cookbook is incredible, you'll be blown away by it. I recently made it on Jane Spice.


I just made this for dinner and ended up burning the roof of my mouth because I could not wait for it to cool down before I had a spoon! It is so very worth the burn. Absolutely yummy. I cooked the lentils in the pressure cooker to save time - for about 15 mins - and followed all other directions per recipe. I am already looking forward to a tasty lunch tomorrow.


In Southern parts of India, an everyday staple in most homes goes like this: prepare seasoning in ghee/clarified butter or oil, a bit of mustard seeds, cumin, dried red chillis (can be substituted with paprika), crushed garlic or asafoetida and a sprig of curry leaves. You need to get your seasoning right here. The mustard needs to pop while cumin should brown a bit before you throw in some chopped onions and grated ginger, saute till onions turn transparent and pour this over the cooked and mushy lentils and finish off with fresh coriander leaves garnish. That's a basic South Indian dal recipe. You can take add chopped greens, especially spinach, amaranth leaves or fenugreek leaves work very well. There are innumerable combinations that go with split pigeon peas and the above basic seasoning. Bottle gourd, ridge gourd, tomato, lemon cucumber and pumpkin to name a few.


Really good the first day, but absolutely awesome the next day. It's thicker the second day, making it what I would call a Thai-inspired vegetarian chili. I made it with French lentils, substituted ground ginger for fresh, and used McCormick's Hot Madras Curry Powder, which was fine for me, but too spicy for the kids. I'll go with a milder curry powder next time. A real keeper. Thanks Heidi!


What a fun party idea and this soup sounds amazing! Thanks for sharing!!


This sounds delicious, and I have everything it calls for (minus the split peas, but that's easy to pick up), BUT! I have a deep and abiding hatred for cooked raisins in anything. Any ideas for a substitute? I could always omit them, I realize, but I thought I'd see if you had any ideas for something that would be compatible with the rest of the flavors in the soup.


I made this for dinner last night, unfortunately without golden raisins which I thought I had but didn't. I also couldn't find yellow split peas at my local grocery store (wah!) so I used yellow lentils instead. Anyway it still came out really delicious! We thought it could have used even a little more kick, but maybe I should have toasted the curry powder longer...? But thanks for the recipe! :)


Yes, time to wave goodbye to all our favorite winter foods - I'm a little sad! But the sun that's finally out here in Boston is cheering me up :-) The addition of raisins to this soup is something I wouldn't have thought of - love it!

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

Heidi, this soup is delicious. I happened to have all these ingredients at home yesterday. So, I prepared the soup. It came out exactly like the picture. Thank you fo sharing.


Love this recipe! Made it for dinner but substituted raisins for chorizo - couldn't resist using it up. Lovely recipe. We'll make this one, again.


I just made this soup for dinner and it is amazing! YUM!


this look incredible and I'm excited to try this out! I was wondering, other than a hunk of crusty bread, what would you serve alongside this? I know that it is hearty enough to be a one-bowl gig, but i like sides to round out meals. would love your thoughts!


No split peas in the cupboard - what are your thoughts on just doubling up the lentils?


I made this yesterday and it is wonderful. Can't wait to feed it to 20 month old grandson who likes his food to have flavor.Thank you very much.


also, I added some frozen green peas to mine. I'm sure in san fran fresh peas are in sight and would be awesome in this soup (frozen peas were good too)


I made this last night - it was so delicious and perfect. I was already looking forward to lunch when I packed up leftovers after dinner - but this morning I was in a rush, and forgot to bring it. I even packed a little thing of green onions and cilantro separately - sad! I will be dreaming of it all day long.


I made this last night, Heidi, and it was fantastic. Only, we didn't have raisins, and we didn't have green onions. I used a regular yellow onion chopped in a fine dice and sauteed it before the tomato paste till it was translucent and sweet. I think the sweet oniony chunks made up for the raisins and the green onions, although I can't wait to try it the proper way soon. Best thing, my 10 year old daughter gobbled it up!


That TABLE. My god, that table. It seems to show its face in many photos around here. So beautiful, so trusting. Thanks for sharing another great recipe! Your taste in food is very interesting, yet very approachable.

Melinda Feucht

Trying this one tonight, thanks.

Restaurant Capitola

I made this tonight, it is incredible and the kind of soup that can only get better the next day. I am so glad you posted this!


This looks so delicious...we're just heading into soup season down here in NZ so I am definitely going to try this recipe - it could well become my staple diet - thanks!


Our home smells heavenly, all four kids are clamoring - what are your making?! They cannot wait for dinner! Thank you for another amazing recipe.


Oh what a fun way to get together!

Simply Life

Coconut and curry, with lentils. Yum. I could curl up with a big bowl of this.


I just made this soup 1 hour ago and it is delicioso! I added 2 more carrots, a few more golden raisins and green onions - it was perfect, and I put it over farro. Yummy! Thanks Heidi. This recipe will be made again and again.


I cant wait to try this one!! Everytime you post a new recipe I get so excited! I am a big follower of your website and cookbooks!!!! You inspire me in my kitchen! Thank you!


Very good!!! I'm hungry! By

il ramaiolo

The recipe caught the eye of my palate, but what caught me on a deeper level is the beauty of the photograph accompanying this receipe. Less the food, and more the beautiful crack in the bowl and the crack on the table. Beauty in imperfection yields my favorite kind of perfection. Now, to gather ingredients to make said soup!


Never too many good lentil instructions! I've been absolutely hooked on Pierce St Lentil Chili this winter...but have managed a few others, too. This will definitely be on the menu soon! Thanks, Heidi.


Wow, that soup looks incredible! xo K

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)

I love the idea of the soup party. It's a good idea any time of year, but especially during lent. And this soup looks like perfection!

The Rowdy Chowgirl

What a fascinating mix of flavors! So...and, what did you take to the party?


Lentil soup was the first thing I ate when I returned from the Southwest to Seattle this week. I love the raisins and coconut milk in this recipe and now that it's raining again, it's a perfect time to make it.

Debra Daniels Zeller

I've been wanting to mix red lentils and yellow split peas to make a most colorful lentil rice salad, but your raisins and coconut milk may have just one-upped my grand design.

Lentil Breakdown



Just ladled my second cup aside red chard spanikopita and it is a keeper. Was a beautiful sunny day today drying out from the few days of torrential rain and the warmth was not a deterrent for this soup! Perfect.


Looks so good! I never mix my split peas and red lentils. I'm sure the texture is just fantastic. This is going into the must make pile :)

jamie G. Dougherty

What a gorgeous color! The combination of flavors (coconut milk, curry powder) is right up my alley.

Cookin' Canuck

I just made one of your lentil soup recipes last night! I should have held out a day for this one, it sounds amazing!


Fantastic!! I added a diced red chile, garam msala powder, and fenugreek seeds to the sautee and served it over quinoa with greek yogurt!! :)


I LOVE SOUP DINNER PARTIES! Also, you must know exactly what I have on hand....i've been saving my red lentils AND my coconut milk for something...I think this will be it! THANKS!


This is a must try. We can't get enough lentil soup in my house and thanks to you we have had quite a variety to rotate through this winter. The Real Food Daily cookbook has an incredible Walnut Lentil Pate recipe that I like to use my left over lentil soup in. I can't wait to see how these flavors transform into that.

Yuuuuuuuuuuum. Even though the sun is shining here in NYC and the daffodils are poking their way up in the garden... this soup actually makes me want to hold on to winter for a few more days just so I can enjoy it's cozy warmth and nourishment!

Nora from in. Wellness

Soup party - sounds so fun! Any party where a food is the focus is the best. The soup sounds amazing. I've used both red lentils and yellow split peas in soups, but never together. I find yellow split peas take a lot longer than lentils to cook up - but, its fine to start them up at the same time?


I have lentils just crying out to be made into this soup!


I love red lentil coconut soup. I couple years ago, I amended a recipe for red lentil dal into a soup by adding coconut milk. It has become one of our faves. Even those that don't think they like coconut should try it.

Chiot's Run

What a fun party! I cannot get enough lentils the past few months, so am enjoying all your takes on the soup. Thanks!


On the stove now, and it smells incredible. H, I also have half the onions sitting around waiting for their destiny. I figure they go on top with the cilantro,as they seem to be there in the picture. HS: Exactly Janutchka, sprinkled on top of each bowl :)


I just love soup and I love lentils. i surely am going to cook coconut red lentil soup this winter.


You can never have too many lentil soup recipes in my opinion. With winter's chill still lingering around here in Wisconsin, I'm sure I'll have a chance to make this before spring arrives!


I soak my lentils in a covered bowl under sun prior to the pressure cook. I had never considered the simple mix of lentils and split peas along with elegant seasonings.


Love the soup, but out of curiousity: what happens to the other half of the onions? I mean, I can think of plenty of things - but where were they *meant* to go? HS: Sprinkled on top of each bowl :)


This looks amazing. Going to use some of my home made coconut milk in this one!

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen

I love soup parties! Thanks for sharing this recipe! It's being printed and added to my "little black book"!

LoveFeast Table

Looks fantastic! Have this bookmarked for the approaching cooler days.


You can never have enough lentil soup recipes! :D or dhal recipes!


Hello I always cook dhal with both of these pulses but never with coconut milk,so I will try it and am sure my family will enjoy.


Great! I bought red lentils two days ago and was wondering what to do with them... It looks delicious :D

French Cooking for Dummies

Last weekend, I bought way too many red lentils to make my very first dahl with and I was planning to search for a recipe to use them up. Your timing couldn't be more perfect! Looks delish!

christie @ honoring health

This soup is gorgeous and sounds delectable. We still have a couple months of cold temps up here in New England, so I have plenty of time to make this recipe!


I imagine there are people all over the world closing their eyes and looking up at the sun today... thanks for yet another amazing recipe! Gotta make as much soup as possible before spring greens start coming up and it will be time to obsess over salads. :-)


I have a recipe of Coconut and Red lentil Soup which I have been using for my teaching - Fusion Cookery for the past 7 years, with fresh chilli and ginger. It is interesting to have other recipes for a change. Shall try this one! Thanks for sharing with us Heidi!


The last time I used so many cups of water in a lentil soup it came out a bit bland (the Kabocha soup called for 6 cups I believe). Can broth be substituted, or was there something else I may have done wrong? I cannot tell you how obsessed I've been with your site lately. I'm always excited to see a new recipe, and never disappointed. Thanks for the constant inspiration!

Anne Marie

I'm a closet lentil soup disliker. Too many potlucks featuring too many blandy bland lentil soups have jaded me. This may be the recipe that makes me rethink my limited lentil thinking.

tom | tall clover farm

Sounds fabulous, Heidi....thanks for yet another tasty meal idea!

The Healthy Apple

even though you said the last lentils were the last, I am SO glad you shared this recipe. It looks absoluetly perfect, can't wait to try.


The soup sounds wonderful and looks so beautiful. I am concerned that you are using cracked bowls and would warn you against that practice. It may be one of your favorite bowls but bacteria can form in the cracks and harmful chemicals from the clay can leach into liquids. If you can't bear to part with this bowl I would suggest it be used for decorative purposes only. Stay safe and healthy!!!


Just curious. Besides from friends, how do you come across the interesting cookbooks you write about? Internet research, browsing in bookstores? Great looking soup.

val s.

This one has my name written all over it. I've been wondering what to make of some coconut milk AND some yellow split peas! Now I know, don't I ;) Thanks


I love the combination of the two. It's pure comfort food.


For those that like to use garlic, a pod or two minced with ginger would add to the taste. Also, cooking the dal in a pressure cooker would make it softer in lesser time. (An alternative is to soak the dals in water overnight).


I am so making this dish! I have a coconut, so I will make the milk fresh, but will have to use green split peas out of necessity. Will that effect the flavors greatly? You haven't steered me wrong yet Heidi!!! Can't wait for the new book!

Casey Angelova

Heidi, this looks sooooo good! I love red lentil soup and I love coconut curry so combining them sounds like a dream :)

Joe @ Eden Kitchen

I thought I was done with the lentils for a bit, but I'm all over this one because of the coconut milk and ginger. I'm no expert on Ayurveda but I think lentils are good for all three doshas.

Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks

This is an intriguing recipe with enticing flavors incorporated. I think that curry blend you noted makes a wonderful accent to the soup.

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

I love red lentils! Mixed with coconut and I would be in heaven :)

Nutmeg Nanny

Wow. This sounds amazing. I love red lentil soup and I love anything coconut. With all the cold, wet, raw, rainy weather, I'm still in the mood for soup.


YES! I was planning on making a Lentil Soup with Dried Prunes (inspired by a recipe in Padma Lakshmi's newest book), I think I'd like little raisins better. Thanks for sharing Heidi, you're the best!

Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul

I really like the additions you made to this with sauteed green onion and ginger. A warm homey soup indeed.


Mmmm I love the idea of plump raisins in soup!!! This soup sounds amazing!!! That party must have been a blast!!


I actually do not think you can ever have too many lentil soups. I live in Arizona, and I will even eat lentils during the summer. After all, Esau sold his birthright for lentil soup - how can you go wrong? Thank you for this beautiful reminder of the beauty and simplicity that make lentils such a wonderful and inviting food.


I was actually planning on making your tempeh curry tomorrow night, but scallions, coconut milk, raisins, and ginger? i am completely sold, and already smitten. still a bit chilly here and perfect soup weather!

Sarah (Braise and Butter)

this looks so yummy.... I have to try and make it this week!! thanks !!


I've been on a lentil kick this winter too. Lentil soup is earthy and comforting. Love red lentils and coconut milk.

Jeff @culinary philosopher

I don't think anything beats Lively yourself up Lentil Soup, but since it has been on very high rotation, I'm going to give this one a try :)


wow - I think the raisins might be my favorite part of this recipe! I think I'll have to make it before Spring really arrives. Since I'm in New England, I should still have plenty of time :)


Hello Heidi, I agree with everyone else that you cannot have too many lentil based soups. I have made your red lentil and brown rice soup all through our summer and look forward to making this one, so as far as I am concerned, keep the lentil soup recipes coming!


We had a smashing, similar soup tonight, and although I've never much loved lentil soup, I adored it chock-a-block with Indian spices. We used freshly ground cumin, coriander and brown mustard seed, fried at the end of the onions, and topped it with a greek yogurt raita, fresh with chopped cilantro and cumin and lime juice. With only water as stock, the added richness was nice, but I'll give the coconut milk a go soon. I love the idea of adding yellow lentils to red, for a bit of chew. So timely, this one. Thanks.


Curry Spiced Coconut Broth? Yum! This sounds delicious!

Anne @

I recently hit up an Indian grocery store and bought both yellow split peas, masoor dal AND coconut milk. I think its fate.


Thanks for the recipe - I was actually going to look for a coconut milk curried lentil soup recipe to make for lunch tomorrow...right after I checked google reader. It must be destiny.

Mary Ellen

mmm mmm, that looks very yummy!! can't wait to try it :)


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