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Crock Pot Curry Lentil Soup With Spinach

Enjoy this Crock Pot Curry Lentil Soup with spinach and vegetables any time you’re craving a clean meatless meal! A great source of dietary fiber and plant-based protein, this healthy soup recipe is big on flavor and nutrition. 

Ladle scooping out a scoop of curried lentil soup

For those times you’re looking for a light meal that contains a great deal of nutrients, this golden lentil soup is a true gem. 

Between holidays, I naturally crave cleaner and lighter foods after all the heavy meals, which is where lentil soup goes to thrive.

My Immunity-Boosting Turmeric Chicken Soup is also one of my go-to detox soup recipes for this purpose. 

In addition to being packed with health benefits, lentils are one of the most satiating foods. This is a blessing for anyone who follows a low-calorie diet (or trying to cut calories temporarily) but still likes to feel full.

For my friends who like to do a post holiday detox or a stint of clean eating, this recipe is a keeper!

Consider doubling the recipe to make 8 servings instead of 4 if you’re feeding a large family or you want leftovers.

I love making healthy soup recipes like this for weekly meal prep. Because I’m a big protein eater, I tend to either add in some animal protein or eat the soup alongside chicken, salmon, or steak.

Bowl of curry lentil soup with Greek yogurt on top and a red napkin to the side.

If you aren’t into curry flavors and are looking for a traditional lentil soup recipe, make my original recipe for Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Let’s discuss the basic ingredients for curry lentil soup.

Ingredients for Crock Pot Curry Lentil Soup:

Yellow Onion, Garlic, Fresh Ginger: The combination of onion, fresh garlic cloves, and fresh ginger provides a great deal of flavor to this curry lentil soup. These three ingredients are common in Thai curry and Indian curry recipes as they provide bold, robust flavor.

Carrots, Red Bell Pepper, Baby Spinach: For added micronutrients, flavor and texture, we add chopped carrots, bell peppers, and baby spinach. 

Green Lentils: Any kind of lentils work here, but I like using sprouted green lentils.  Red lentils, yellow lentils, black lentils, and French lentils work great.

Vegetable Broth and Full-Fat Coconut Milk: The liquid portion of this healthy lentil soup recipe is vegetable stock and full-fat canned coconut milk. Use the whole can of coconut milk for creamier soup.

Curry Powder: Rather than adding a ton of individual spices that are typical in curry recipes, I keep it simple by using yellow curry powder.

Curry powder is a combination of ground cumin, ground coriander, ground ginger, garlic powder, ground turmeric, ground mustard, and sometimes black pepper. 

Apple Cider Vinegar and Pure Maple Syrup: While both of these ingredients are optional, they add some nuance to these curried lentils.

The cider vinegar provides acidic tangy flavor, which complements the creaminess, and the pure maple syrup adds sweetness. All flavors combined really rounds out the flavors of this green lentil recipe.

Sea Salt: Add sea salt to your personal taste. If your broth contains a lot of sodium, wait until the end of the cooking process to add salt. 

There are plenty of ways you can customize this vegan curry lentil soup! Here are some ideas.

Recipe Adaptations:

  • If you prefer making your own curry blend of spices, feel free to do so here. You can also use Thai curry paste such as yellow curry paste, red curry paste, or green curry paste.
  • You can add more coconut milk to make this lentil curry soup richer and creamier. 
  • For soupier soup, add another cup of broth. I like thicker soups, which is how this easy lentil soup recipe turns out.
  • Use chicken broth if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian. Water works too!
  • You can swap these out for any other vegetables you like, including cauliflower, broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. 
  • For spicy curried lentil soup, add cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or hot sauce to your personal taste.
  • Add chopped leftover chicken or roasted turkey from Thanksgiving for a boost of protein.
  • If you’d like to sauté the chopped onion ahead of time, you can saute onion in a skillet with olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil for 5-8 minutes over medium heat. You can also add in the garlic, ginger, and curry spices to open up the flavors more.
  • ​Tomato lovers, add in one can of fire-roasted tomatoes.
  • Use Swiss chard or kale in place of spinach in this great recipe if you’d like.
  • Add garbanzo beans or black beans for more plant-based protein.
Ceramic bowl with curried lentils soup and a red napkin to the side.

Now that we’ve covered the basic ingredients, let’s make this easy crock pot curry lentil soup recipe!

How to Make Crock Pot Curry Lentil Soup:

Soak the dry lentils in cold water for at least 15 minutes prior to making the recipe, up to overnight. Drain the water, then transfer the lentils to your slow cooker.

Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir well until everything is combined.

Ingredients for curry lentil soup in a crock pot

Note: if there is a lot of separation in your coconut milk on account of the can being cold, pour all of it into a microwave safe jar or mug and microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until the coconut water and coconut cream stir together easily.

Pouring coconut milk into the crock pot.

Secure the lid on the crock pot. Cook on High heat for 3 to 4 hours or Low heat for 6 to 8 hours. The exact cooking time depends on how soft you prefer your lentils and vegetables.

Ingredients for curry lentil soup all stirred up in a crock pot.

About 10 minutes before the soup is finished cooking, add in the baby spinach. Secure the lid again and cook until the spinach has wilted.

Spinach in a crock pot, ready to be mixed into soup.

Stir the soup and taste it for flavor. If desired, add more sea salt, lime juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, and/or pure maple syrup to your personal taste.

Serve lentil soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top and some fresh chopped parsley or fresh cilantro. Include brown rice in the meal for complete protein.

Finished curried lentil soup in a crock pot.

This delicious recipe tastes even better the next day and the 2-3 days following prep. For this reason, feel free to make it ahead of time!

You can also prepare this recipe in a large pot such as a stock pot or a Dutch oven. You can also make it in an Instant Pot.

For smooth lentil soup, use an immersion blender to blend part or all of the soup until it reaches your desired consistency.

Ladle scooping some soup out of the crock pot.

How to Store Lentil Soup:

Store any leftover lentil soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week. Freeze for up to three months.

Can I Freeze Lentil Soup:

In general, anything that contains a great deal of sauce (or liquid like soup), and some fat content freezes and reheats well. Soup recipes generally freeze well, as do curry recipes. 

I find the best way to freeze soup is to transfer it to a large zip lock bag, seal it up, then place that zip lock inside another zip lock and seal it as well. Essentially, double bag it. 

Lentil soup keeps for up to three months in the freezer.

Ceramic Bowl of curry lentil soup with Greek yogurt on top and a red napkin to the side and a golden spoon.

The next time you’re looking for a light lunch or easy weeknight meal, whip up a batch of this crock pot lentil soup!

If you love healing, hearty soup recipes like this one, also try out these reader favorites.

More Healthy Soup Recipes:

Enjoy this easy coconut curry lentil soup recipe!

Bowl of curry lentil soup with Greek yogurt on top and a red napkin to the side.
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5 from 4 votes

Crock Pot Curry Lentil Soup

A delicious and nutritious light meal that is perfect for those times you're looking for a clean eating recipe. Packed with fiber, antioxidants, and fiber for a detoxifying lunch or dinner!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time4 hours
Course: Main Dishes, Meatless Main Dishes, Soups, Stews, & Chilies
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 447kcal
Author: Julia

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 1 ½ cups green lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk*
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger grated
  • 1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar or lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup optional
  • 1 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt to taste**
  • 5 ounces baby spinach chopped

Instructions

  • Soak the dry lentils in cold water for at least 15 minutes prior to making the recipe, up to overnight. Drain the water, then transfer the lentils to your slow cooker.
  • Add all of the ingredients to your slow cooker. Stir well until everything is combined. Note: if there is a lot of separation in your coconut milk on account of the can being cold, pour all of it into a microwave safe jar or mug and microwave for 30-60 seconds, or until the coconut water and coconut cream stir together easily.
  • Secure the lid on the crock pot. Cook on High heat for 3 to 4 hours or Low heat for 6 to 8 hours. The exact cooking time depends on how soft you prefer your lentils and vegetables.
  • About 10 minutes before the soup is finished cooking, add in the baby spinach. Secure the lid again and cook until the spinach has wilted.
  • Stir the soup and taste it for flavor. If desired, add more sea salt, lime juice, lemon juice, soy sauce, and/or pure maple syrup to your personal taste.
  • Serve lentil soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt on top and some fresh chopped parsley or fresh cilantro.

Notes

*For richer, creamier soup, use the whole (15-oz) can of coconut milk instead of one cup.
**I use 2 teaspoons of sea salt, but I enjoy saltier food.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Serving (of 4) | Calories: 447kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Sodium: 1280mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 20g

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dianne

Monday 27th of November 2023

how long to cook if I do not have a crockpot?

Julia

Monday 27th of November 2023

Hi Dianne! On the stove top, lentils take about 15-20 minutes to cook according to the internet, but this can vary widely depending on the texture you enjoy. I like my lentils to be very soft and I live at high elevation, so the 35-45 minute cook time that Helen mentioned is typically what I do myself. Hope this helps!

HelenB

Monday 27th of November 2023

@dianne, I would think until the lentils are cooked. They’ll probably take 35-45 minutes - you don’t want them to be undercooked.

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