Total vegan comfort food! Filled with mostly pantry ingredients, this creamy lentil soup is incredibly satisfying and so easy to make.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced or grated
- 1 bunch cilantro, stems finely minced and leaves chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons harissa paste (see notes)
- 1 28oz can whole tomatoes
- 1 cup water
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 cup dry brown lentils
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Add 1 diced onion and saute for 5-8 minutes, until they start to lightly brown.
- Add 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated and saute for an additional 30 seconds.
- Push onions and garlic to one side, and add 1 tablespoon tomato paste and 2 tablespoons harissa paste. If the pan is really dry, feel free to add a teaspoon of oil and stir pastes until they darken and start to caramelize (about 30-45 seconds). Combine with onions and garlic.
- Add tomatoes and all their juices, lightly crushing with a wooden spoon to help them break down.
- Add 1 cup water, 1 can coconut milk and 1 cup lentils. Season with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and stir everything really well to combine.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until lentils are very tender. If soup starts to look a little thick, add the remaining 1/2 cup water as needed.
- When soup is ready, make garlic-coconut crisp: Heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-low heat. Add 3 cloves of thinly sliced garlic and 1/3 cup coconut flakes, and increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until both garlic and coconut start to brown and get crispy. Once everything is light brown, remove from heat and season with a pinch of salt.
- Serve soup with a sprinkle of garlic-coconut crisp on top.
- Store-bought harissa paste tends to vary in spice level, so make sure to try yours before adding. Based on how spicy you like your food, you can use as little as 1 tablespoon and up to 1/4 cup (or more!!) if you want. Alternatively, you can totally leave it out.
Lentil soup is nothing new, but it’s also something I always want to play with. At its core, it’s basically a blank canvas for flavor and that’s incredibly fun for a person like me.
You know, me? A person obsessed with food?
Aside from being absolutely delicious, this creamy lentil soup is SO easy to make. Most of the ingredients are what I consider to be pantry staples (dry lentils! canned tomatoes! coconut milk!), and one little not-so-secret ingredient…store-bought harissa paste.
Yes, really! Just a few tablespoons (or more, you do you) gives this soup the perfect amount of flavor and also makes it really adaptable. You can totally control the amount of spice based on how much you add, and if you really don’t want to deal with it just leave it out! Feel free to replace with something like curry powder, a little red pepper or even just go totally without. You’ll still have a super comforting, hearty soup.
And now let’s talk about that situation on top. I saw the coconut-garlic combo on this recipe and immediately wanted to try it on this soup. While I love creamy soups, I always find myself wanting – no, needing! – a little texture. Like this sweet potato soup with crispy chickpeas, this soup needs a little topping and a coconut-garlic crisp is perfect.
I so hope you guys give this one a try. It’s definitely a good add to your soup rotation.
You have one of those, right?