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This lentil potato soup with turmeric and cumin is the perfect accompaniment to any cool or rainy day. It’s filled with anti-inflammatory turmeric, fiber, protein-rich lentils, and potassium-packed potatoes, creating a soup that’s both healing and delicious.

completed Lentil Potato Soup in a white bowl with ingredients in the background

Vegan soups are a budget-friendly meal to use throughout the year. But this potato and lentil soup with its naturally warming flavors of cumin and turmeric and its creamy texture is perfect for colder days. 

Made with dry lentils and simple pantry staple ingredients, it’s definitely the perfect meal to make on a limited budget. I often make a batch or even a double batch and freeze some for later. That way I have easy meals to grab for lunch or dinner.

More soups to serve up for an entire meal are this vegan split pea soup or coconut curry soup.

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Why This Recipe Works

  • Mostly inexpensive ingredient list. 
  • Great for making ahead.
  • Naturally warming and satisfying soup.
  • Easy to make.
  • Soups travel great, making it perfect for easy lunches.

What Goes Into This Recipe

The ingredients you will need to make a bowl of lentil potato soup may already be in your cabinet! Let’s look at the main ingredients you will need.

ingredients for Lentil Potato Soup measured out against a white surface
  • Vegetable oil: Choose an oil that is good for medium-high heat cooking, preferably one with a mild or neutral flavor.
  • Cumin seed: Use the whole seeds for more flavor. 
  • Aromatics: Yellow onion, cloves of garlic and fresh ginger.
  • Potatoes: Yukon gold, russet potatoes or another all-purpose potato work best in this preparation. 
  • Red lentils: These quick-cooking lentils result in a much creamier soup than other types of lentils.
  • Vegetable broth: Gives the soup more flavor than cooking with water alone.
  • Turmeric: Gives the soup a balanced bit of earthiness and warming flavor as well as a yellowish hint.
  • Coconut milk: Canned is preferable and gives the soup plenty of creaminess.

Substitutions and Variations

Sometimes you want to change things up! Here are some tried and true swaps you can make when preparing potato lentil soup.

  • Lentils: For a creamier soup stick with the red lentils or you can swap with yellow lentils which have a similar texture and mild flavor. While you can also make this soup with any lentils including, green, brown and even black, these other varieties of lentils may require a longer cooking time.
  • Cumin: If you don’t have whole cumin seeds, you can substitute with ground cumin but use two teaspoons of ground instead of one tablespoon of seeds.
  • Coconut milk: Adding coconut milk is completely optional but it adds a nice flavor, mellows out the spices and adds more creaminess to the soup. You can also use other plant-based milks but they will not be as creamy as the canned coconut milk. Just be sure to use a plant milk with a mild flavor.
  • Want it spicy? Add in some cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes or some sliced chilies. 

How To Make Potato and Lentil Soup

  • 1) Heat the oil in a large dutch oven or soup pot. When heated, add the cumin seeds and toast them for about 1 to 2 minutes. Keep a close eye on them and don’t let the cumin seeds burn.
  • 2) Add the onion, garlic, and ginger. Cover with a lid and cook over medium-low heat for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften. 
  • 3) Add the potatoes and red lentils and stir to coat them with spices and oil. Add the broth to a pot and bring to a gentle simmer. 
  • 4) Cover with the lid and cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes until potatoes and lentils are very soft and mashable.
  • 5) Add salt, black pepper, and turmeric to taste. Stir in coconut milk, if using. 
  • 6) For a creamier soup, blend the soup using an immersion blender or a regular blender working in batches until you reach desired consistency.

TOP TIP: Blending vegan lentil potato soup is completely optional! You get great flavor when it’s served as a chunky soup or when blended. If you swap out the lentils and use green or brown, this soup will work much better served up chunky.

Expert Tips 

  • For a creamier soup, use red or yellow lentils. 
  • Puree the soup by pulsing the immersion blender or regular blender to leave the soup with a bit of texture.
  • Adjust the seasoning to your own taste.
  • Serve it up with some freshly made jalapeno cornbread or vegan focaccia bread.

FAQs

How long do you soak lentils for soup?

You don’t need to soak lentils for soup or other recipes. They cook rather quickly so this step is not necessary.

What lentils are best for soup?

Any lentils work well for soup, but in this recipe, the texture and mild flavor of red and yellow lentils really work best. Personally, I enjoy brown and green lentils in chunky soups and red or yellow lentils in creamy soups. Here’s a great guide to lentils you can check out to learn more!

completed Lentil Potato Soup in a white bowl with ingredients in the background

How to Store

  • Make ahead: Red lentil potato soup is perfect for meal prep. After cooking the soup, transfer it to containers to fit the desired number of servings and allow the soup to cool completely. Then cover and store in the fridge or freezer. 
  • Storage: Store in the fridge for up to five days and in the freezer for up to three months.
  • Reheat: Allow the frozen soup to thaw out in the fridge overnight. Transfer the amount you wish to serve and heat on the stove for 5-8 minutes over medium heat until heated through. You can also microwave smaller amounts of the soup until hot. If the soup seems a bit thick add more vegetable broth, coconut milk, or water to thin it out a bit.

More Vegan Soup Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Lentil Potato Soup in a white bowl with ingredients in the background

Lentil Potato Soup

5 from 121 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 servings
This lentil potato soup with turmeric and cumin is the perfect accompaniment to any cool or rainy day. It’s filled with anti-inflammatory turmeric, fiber, protein-rich lentils, and potassium-packed potatoes, creating a soup that’s both healing and delicious.

Ingredients 

  • 1 Tablespoon of medium-high heat oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of cumin seed whole
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1- inch of ginger chopped
  • 2 cups of yukon or russet potatoes unpeeled and cubed
  • 1 cup of red lentils
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon of salt or more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 cup of canned coconut milk for added creaminess (optional)
  • Pinch cayenne pepper if desired

Instructions 

  • In a large soup pot, or dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds. Heat about 1 to 2 minutes. Do not let cumin seeds burn.
  • Add onion, garlic, and ginger. Cook over medium-low heat with the lid on for 2 to 3 minutes until the onion begins to soften.
  • Add potatoes and red lentils and stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a gentle simmer.
  • Cover pot and cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes until potatoes and lentils are very soft and mashable.
  • Add salt, black pepper, and turmeric to taste. Stir in coconut milk, if using.
  • The soup will be chunky at this point. Eat as is, or use an immersion blender to blend until creamy. You can also use a regular blender working in batches until you reach desired consistency.

Video

Notes

  • For a creamier soup, use red or yellow lentils. 
  • Puree the soup by pulsing the immersion blender or regular blender to leave the soup with a bit of texture.
  • Adjust the seasoning to your own taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 392kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 15gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 11gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.01gSodium: 1539mgPotassium: 953mgFiber: 15gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 550IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 7mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Renee Press
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: American
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Renee Press

Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She’s on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com

More about Renee Press
5 from 121 votes (89 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am now a fan of lentils….RED lentils! I have never liked lentils because they never got soft for me – and I would soak them, too! But red lentils are tasty and blend really well. And this soup is so delicious! I’m glad it was my first try with the red lentils! I’m making it right away again because I want to try it with the coconut milk at the end.

  2. Would substituting sweet potatoes for white potatoes be OK? Would I do a straight swap? Would I need to adjust any other of the ingredients?

    1. Hi! Yukon gold, russet potatoes or another all-purpose potato work best in this preparation although it should still work out with sweet potatoes! Let us know how it turns out if you try it!

  3. 5 stars
    One of my favorite soups in my 10+ years of vegan soup making. So simple, yet so delicious! Followed the recipe as written, added cilantro as a garnish 🙂

  4. Wow!! This is SO yummy!! I had all the ingredients, and was looking for a way to use them up when I found this recipe. It’s SO simple….but SO much flavor!!! I pretty much followed the recipe, EXCEPT that I added extra potatoes (because I had them), and I used 2 teaspoons of ground cumin vs buying cumin seeds (by the way, I am not a huge fan of cumin – so that worried me as well! – but all the other flavors blend so well, I don’t notice the cumin on its own). I also did not use any oil to saute the onions, etc with. This is a KEEPER and going in my recipe binder – because I will be making this again and again!! I was going to portion out 4 servings for meal planning, but now I can’t stop eating it!! Help! haha.

    1. You can substitute with ground cumin but use two teaspoons of ground instead of one tablespoon of seeds. 🙂