Thai Red Lentil Curry Soup

Thai Red Lentil Curry Soup

Soup will forever be my soul food. When I want a warming meal, when I have a lot of scraps of veg, when I have half containers of beans or grains, when I have creative energy to burn off….I make soup. 

So, expect a lot more to come your way over the next few months as the temperature dips low and the heavy sweaters come out of the closet.

This Thai red lentil curry soup is filling and deep in flavor but also lightened up with fresh cilantro and lime juice. It pulls you in both directions.

Be sure to use mild curry powder if you don’t want a lot of heat and I highly recommend a side of whole grain bread to sop up the bits left in the bowl. The last time I made this thai red lentil curry soup it I served it with whole wheat sour dough from a local bakery here in Taipei and it was sensational. 

The soup is also thick (even stew-ish) and hearty enough to be served with whole grains, especially if you let it sit for a while as it will thicken. 

Thai Red Lentil Curry Soup

Author : Ashley Madden
Servings: 4
This is a zesty pureed soup made from split red lentils and cashews. It's full of Thai flavor and plant-based protein.




  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 (4-inch) lemongrass stalks, halved
  • 6 kaffir lime leaves optional
  • 1 cup split red lentils
  • 5 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth plus more if needed
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • ½ cup cashews soaked in hot water for 1 to 3 hours
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce


  • 3 scallions sliced
  • 1 bunch cilantro , leaves and tender stems only


  • In a large pot, sauté the onions with a few tablespoons of water for 7 to 10 minutes until the onions are translucent.
  • Now add the garlic, ginger, and curry powder. Stir and sauté for another minute.
  • Bruise the lemongrass stalk halves by crushing them with the butt of your knife or a pestle. Place them in the pot along with the kaffir lime leaves (if using), red lentils, and broth.
  • Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Drain the cashews, discard the soaking liquid, and place in a blender. Remove the kaffir lime leaves if you used them and transfer the soup to the blender. Blend it all together until smooth. Do this in stages if needed. Return the soup to the pot and add the lime zest, lime juice, and tamari. Taste and add more lime or tamari as needed. Add more broth to thin the soup if desired. Serve and garnish with cilantro and scallions/green onion.


Recipe recycle: Leftovers will thicken in the fridge. Reheat and serve over warm quinoa and brown rice for a delicious meal.
If you can't find mild curry powder, I suggest using 1 tablespoon curry powder.
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