I have another vegan, gluten free recipe for you this January! This Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup topped with crispy kale chips is warming, comforting and nutrient-packed.
I love red lentils.
When I’m eating vegetarian or vegan meals, I love to incorporate beans. They’re full of protein and fiber, and help keep you fuller longer.
Lentils are one of my favorites, and I’ve been using red lentils a lot in soups. They’re quick-cooking and very versatile. I love red lentils for soup, because they break down easily during cooking and become incredibly creamy.
My inspiration for this dish was an Indian dahl, but I went Thai here by incorporating Thai red curry paste, coconut milk, lemongrass and lime juice. The flavors work so well together, I can easily eat this soup on repeat all week.
Kale Chips are for more than snacking
For a little extra fiber and a more well-rounded meal, I added thinly sliced kale into the Thai Lentil Soup. This soup is delicious but is straight up creamy, so I decided to top things off with crispy kale chips.
It’s fun to use the same ingredients two different ways in a recipe to incorporate a new texture. My previous recipe for Herbed Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with Tahini Yogurt uses chickpeas in two different ways in a similar manor to the kale here.
Some chickpeas are incorporated into the quinoa salad and the rest are roasted for a crunchy topper. If you’re into this lentil recipe, chances are you’ll enjoy my chickpea quinoa recipe too.
Ways to Switch up this Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup
- Try a green or yellow curry paste with brown lentils
- Sub out kale for spinach or Swiss chard
- Try chicken broth if you’re not vegan
- Use a shallot or red instead of a white onion
- Leave out the fresh lemon grass if you can’t find it
- Add a tomato product such as crushed or whole canned tomatoes (which I would break up in soup) or even chopped, fresh tomatoes.
More soup and bean recipes here:
- Italian Lentil Soup
- Chicken and Dumpling Soup
- Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
- Crispy Baked Falafel with Tahini Yogurt Sauce
- Herbed Chickpea and Quinoa Salad with Tahini Yogurt
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This Thai Red Curry Lentil Soup topped with crispy kale chips is warming, comforting and nutrient dense. Plus, it’s vegan and gluten free.
- 1 bunch kale (curly or lacinato), stem removed
- 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, grated on microplane
- 2 inch piece ginger, peeled & grated on microplane
- 1 small hot red chili pepper, minced (optional)
- 2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1–14oz can coconut milk, ¼ cup reserved
- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed, peeled and bruised
- 2 cups vegetable broth, plus more as needed
- Kosher salt
- Naan or other flatbread, warmed for serving* (GF if needed)
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Prepare kale: Preheat oven to 275°F. Divide kale in half. Finely chop half of kale into ½ inch thick strips and reserve for soup. Tear remaining kale into 1 inch thick strips and place on a baking sheet. Coat with one tablespoon of oil and season with salt. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until crispy. Cool on sheet tray over a wire rack.
- Saute aromatics: While kale bakes, heat a dutch oven or large pot over medium. Add remaining 3 tablespoons of oil, followed by onion. Season with salt. Cook slowly until very soft and sweet, about 30 minutes.* Reduce heat to low when needed to prevent browning. Add garlic, ginger and chili and cook 1 minute. Add curry paste, increase heat to medium and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring often, until color is slightly deepened.
- Simmer soup: Add coconut milk (reserving ¼ cup), lentils, bay leaf, lemongrass and enough vegetable broth to cover (about 2 cups). Place reserved coconut milk in fridge. Partially cover soup and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 15-25 minutes or until lentils are tender and creamy. Remove and discard bay leaf and lemongrass. Add reserved kale and simmer about 5 minutes. Add additional vegetable broth, as needed, for desired consistency.
- Serve: Transfer soup to serving bowls. Top with a swirl of reserved coconut milk and kale chips. Serve with warmed naan and lime wedges. Enjoy.
My favorite way to reheat store-bought naan bread is to warm a pan over medium high to high heat. Then add a small amount of fat (oil or butter), followed by the naan. Cook 1-2 minutes or until crispy. Flip and crisp on opposite side.
You can cook the onion as little as 5 or 6 minutes, or until it’s translucent, but cooking the onion slowly adds a ton of flavor and additional sweetness to the soup.
Store soup in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Store kale chips after they have cooled in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
- Category: Soup
- Method: Simmer
- Cuisine: Thai
- Serving Size: 1/4 of soup
- Calories: 580
- Sugar: 8g
- Sodium: 475mg
- Fat: 40g
- Saturated Fat: 24g
- Unsaturated Fat: 16g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 46g
- Fiber: 9g
- Protein: 16g
Keywords: thai lentil soup, curry lentil soup, coconut lentil soup, lentil soup