30-Minute Mondays--Red Lentil Coconut Soup with Garam Masala by Real Food Girl
Soups, Stews, Chowders

30-Minute Monday–Red Lentil Coconut Soup with Garam Masala

Spicy, exotic, hearty, filling, luscious, vibrant, unique- these are words that I would use to describe this soup.  It’s a celebration in your mouth.  You may even violate the spoon because you’ll wanna get every.last.drop off it when you take your first bite.  Yeah, it’s *that* good. 

You may be surprised to learn that I don’t care for Indian food. Back when I used to do home mortgages and worked in a bank, we would have a big potluck once a month.  We had the sweetest banker who was from India, but every single time I ate the dishes he brought, I’d get super sick.  For some strange reason I tend to avoid foods that make me sick, so any time I’d come across a recipe for an Indian-inspired dish, I’d pass it over as quickly as possible so as not to make my stomach freak out. 

30-Minute Mondays--Red Lentil Coconut Soup with Garam Masala by Real Food Girl

When I saw this recipe, however, I knew I had to give it a try.  I had purchased some Madras Masala from Penzey’s Spice Shop before moving down to SC and had been itching to use it in a recipe and saw this soup as an opportunity to do so.

This was also my first time working with lentils in a soup. I’m totally going to do it more often.  They are a bit more earthy tasting than split peas and have a similar texture. I loved this soup.  The Stud Muffin on the other hand, didn’t like it at all.  In his defense the man doesn’t like soup that much. The only 4 soups he will ever eat are my Potato Soup, Jalapeno Chicken Corn Chowder, Wild Rice Corn Chowder and my Split Pea Soup with Ham.  That’s it. The man doesn’t like broth based soups, lentils, or curry.  Which I don’t get because he LOVES my curry-chicken salad.  Sometimes I just don’t get him. 😉

This soup needed some fresh from the oven Naan.  My friend Ashley over at My Heart Beets has a homemade Naan recipe (that happens to be GF) that would be perfect for sopping up all the yummy goodness of this soup.

30-Minute Mondays--Red Lentil Coconut Soup with Garam Masala by Real Food Girl

This soup comes together quickly and I can’t wait to hear what you think about it.  I bet you never thought you’d be having an Indian-Style Red Lentil Soup in 30-Minutes, now did ya? 

If you have a chance, save a little for your lunch the next day.  After this soup has had time to rest in the chill chest over night the flavors deepen even more and the soup tastes even better.  I snarfed down half the pot of this soup myself the first night because I have impulse control issues it was just so different and tasty and I’m not a huge yellow curry fan, but the Madras Masala blend that I used was just interesting and delicious enough to keep me shoveling that spoon into my pie hole.


30-Minute Monday- Red Lentil Soup with Coconut
Serves 4
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 4 cups homemade chicken stock or boxed low-sodium organic chicken stock
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 cups split red lentils-rinsed and drained
  4. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  5. 1 TB coconut oil
  6. 1 TB clarified butter
  7. 1 yellow onion, diced small
  8. 3 garlic cloves- minced
  9. 1 TB grated fresh ginger
  10. 1 1/2 tsp. Garam Masala or Madras Masala
  11. 1 14-ounce can organic full-fat coconut milk
  12. 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  13. 1 plum tomato, cored, seeded and chopped coarsely.
  1. Bring broth, water, lentils, and 1/2 tsp salt to a boil, covered in a 3 quart saucepan. Reduce to a low simmer and continue to cook, covered, until needed.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large Dutch oven, over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion and 1/4 tsp. salt and cook until softened and lightly browned, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in garlic, ginger, and Garam Masala and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the broth and lentil mixture and coconut milk, scraping up any brown bits. Bring to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender and soup is thickened, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Off heat, stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle individual bowls with chopped tomatoes before serving.
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated

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Classically trained Cordon Bleu chef turned anti-GMO, pro-organic, food hippie blogger with a passion for REAL food.


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