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5 from 1 vote

Thai Red Lentil Soup

Course: Soup, Vegetarian
Servings: 4
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef


  • 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. red curry paste
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, white portion only, smashed with a rolling pin
  • 4 makrut lime leaves
  • 1 ¼ cups (250 g) dried red lentils
  • 5 cups (1.2 L) water
  • 2 cups (500 ml) coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • juice from 1 lime
  • for garnish (optional):
  • fried shallots (2 large shallots, thinly sliced and fried in vegetable oil until crisp)
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges


  • Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add red curry paste and push it into the sides and bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to break it apart. Add lemongrass, makrut lime leaves and heat until they become fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lentils and water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove the lemongrass stalks and lime leaves and discard. Puree the soup in a blender or using an immersion blender until it becomes smooth. Add the coconut milk and soy sauce, stirring to combine. Return the soup to medium-low heat and cook until it just begins to boil. Remove from heat and add lime juice, stirring to combine. (Taste at this point and add additional soy sauce or salt if needed - mine needed another half teaspoon or so of salt.)
  • Serve immediately, topped with fried shallots and fresh cilantro.


adapted, just a tad, from Thai Red Lentil Soup by Yotam Ottolenghi, published in The Guardian, September 26 2009