We’re bringing back one of my favorite, super nourishing, plant-based soup recipes from January of 2020 but first, we must take a little trip down memory lane from that time. I published this wonderful vegan coconut tomato lentil soup recipe right after Sidney was born and it was perfect timing for all things cozy!
“Hello from our brand new family of THREE! The past few days were a whirlwind (to say the least) as we welcomed Sidney Jude Bucciferro to the world on Monday, January 13th. Thank you all so much for the well wishes, thoughts and love — we so appreciate it!”
Now my sweet boy is 2 years old, and we’re a family of 4 thanks to Viggo. So crazy how quickly time goes by!
ANYWAYS back to this warm and cozy tomato lentil soup of my dreams. I had been wanting to make a new lentil recipe for a while because my lentil Moroccan stew and coconut chicken lentil soup are insanely delicious. Lentils are an amazing source of plant-based protein and fiber, which makes them perfect for those of you looking to eat more plant-based in the new year. This delicious soup is easy to make right in one pot and the flavors are everything. Serve with your fav sides and enjoy a wonderful lunch or dinner any day of the week!
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Ingredients in tomato lentil soup
This deliciously creamy tomato lentil soup is made with nourishing, simple ingredients and packs plenty of fiber & plant-based protein. To make this vegan lentil soup you’ll need:
- Lentils: I like to use brown or green lentils because they tend to hold their shape in soups & stews (as opposed to red lentils), and they pack 15g of fiber and 9g of protein per serving.
- Cozy spices: for this recipe, you’ll need cumin, coriander, turmeric, garlic powder, oregano, and a pinch of cayenne (if you’re feeling adventurous). It’s what I use to make homemade sazon so the combination has a slight Hispanic flare with warm zesty flavors.
- Sofrito: in Spanish, “sofrito” means “sauce,” and it’s very traditional when it comes to Puerto Rican foods. My version is a mixture of garlic, onion, green bell pepper, cilantro and tomato sauce. Some do it with fresh tomatoes and culantro, but this is how I normally make it.
- Crushed tomatoes: I love the extra flavor boost that fire-roasted tomatoes bring to the soup (no, they’re not spicy!), but regular crushed tomatoes will still be delicious.
- Coconut milk: there’s something about soups simmered in coconut milk that I absolutely love. The coconut milk brings a slight sweetness paired with all of the spices and makes it so creamy. I would not recommend using full fat as it’s a bit too thick.
Make this soup your own
This vegan tomato lentil soup is, of course, absolutely delicious as-is, but there are a few tweaks and additions you can make to customize it!
- Boost the veggies. Feel free to stir in some spinach or kale for some greens
- Add a kick of heat. If you want a spicy tomato lentil soup, remember to add in that 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne (or more), and top your bowl with a drizzle of hot sauce! The coconut milk will be the perfect balance, but you can drizzle more on top or add a dollop of greek yogurt to cool the soup off, too.
- Try more protein. While the lentils give this soup lots of plant-based protein, you could also add cooked, ground turkey or chicken for even more.
Don’t forget this tip when cooking with lentils
Lentils are a whole, all natural food, so the package may have some dust and dirt in it. This is normal! Because of the “extras” that come with a bag of lentils, you’ll want to rinse them off and sort out anything that’s not a lentil before cooking with them.
Do you cook lentils before adding them to soup?
Nope! The green lentils will cook right in the broth and will add a nice thickness to this simple tomato and lentil soup. You don’t need to soak them for this recipe either, just rinse and sort them as I mentioned above.
Nutritious tomato lentil soup in 4 steps
That’s right, this one pot vegan tomato lentil soup is SO easy to make and absolutely delicious.
- Make the sofrito. You’ll start by cooking down the onion, green pepper, cilantro and garlic. Once they’re tender, add in the sazon spices and crushed tomatoes. This is your sofrito!
- Add the lentils. Stir in the lentils and coconut milk (save a little coconut milk for the top!) and season the soup with salt and pepper.
- Simmer it together. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the soup until the lentils are soft. The soup will be nice and thick, but if it’s too thick for your liking simply add a little water.
- Garnish & serve. Once the soup is cooked to your liking, serve it with a little coconut milk on top and some fresh cilantro. Check out our fav sides below!
What to serve with this vegan tomato lentil soup
This tomato lentil soup is incredible on its own, but here are some more delicious things to serve it with:
- Toasty naan or pita bread because they’re perfect for dipping and sturdy enough for all of those yummy lentils.
- Thick cut pieces of bread or a baguette would also be delicious.
- Fluffy quinoa or rice if you’d like to enjoy it as more of a stew! Try my amazing coconut rice.
How to store and reheat this vegan tomato lentil soup
- In the refrigerator: this creamy soup will stay good in your fridge for about 1 week, though I doubt it will last that long! Once your soup is completely cooled, just place it in an airtight container (or multiple, if you’d like to meal prep it). To reheat it, simply do so in the microwave with a microwave safe bowl, or feel free to reheat it on the stovetop.
- In the freezer: yes, this vegan tomato lentil soup recipe is freezer-friendly! Follow the instructions above, but instead of placing the soup in the refrigerator just put it in your freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply thaw the soup overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave when you’re ready to eat.
More soups & stews you’ll love
Get all of my delicious soup recipes here!
I hope you enjoy this easy vegan coconut tomato lentil soup. If you make it, please leave a comment below and rate the recipe — I really appreciate it! xo.
Vegan Coconut Tomato Lentil Soup
Nourishing vegan coconut tomato lentil soup simmered with delicious, warming spices like cumin, coriander and turmeric. This creamy tomato lentil soup recipe has plenty of plant-based protein and makes a wonderful meal prep lunch or dinner!
white onion, diced
very finely diced green pepper
very finely diced cilantro
- Optional: ¼ teaspoon cayenne (only if you like a little heat)
(28 ounce) can fire roasted crushed tomatoes (or regular crushed tomatoes are fine)
green or brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
(15 ounce) can light coconut milk (reserve 2 tablespoons for drizzling on top of soup)
salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper
- To garnish:
- Extra fresh diced cilantro
- Pita or naan bread for dipping
Add olive oil in a large pot and place over medium high heat. Once oil is hot, add in onion, green pepper, cilantro and garlic. Saute until onions are translucent and green peppers soften, about 3-5 minutes. Bring heat to medium low and add in spices and crushed tomatoes, simmer for a few minutes until it comes together.
Next stir in lentils and coconut milk, reserving 2 tablespoons of coconut milk for drizzling on top once the soup is done. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring soup to boil, then reduce heat and simmer over medium low for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are soft and tender. The soup should thicken up similar to how tomato soup is. (If it gets too thick for your liking, then feel free to add ½ cup-1 cup water or broth.) Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary, adding additional salt and pepper if needed.
Serve soup immediately and drizzle in a circle with leftover coconut milk and cilantro. I love to serve mine with naan or pita bread for dipping. Serves 4.
See the full post for easy ways to customize this soup, plus storing & freezing tips.
Servings: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 serving (based on 4)
Saturated fat: 5.3g
Recipe by: Monique Volz // Ambitious Kitchen | Photography by: Eat Love Eats
This post was originally published on January 16th, 2020, and republished on February 3rd, 2022.