Spicy Thai Green Curry Soup with Lentils

By Alexandra Caspero on February 11, 2022
Thai Green Curry, but make it soup! With lentils, butternut squash, kale and green curry paste, this one is a must for spice lovers!
Serves 4

If you love green curry, then you’ve gotta try this spicy Thai green curry soup option. Loaded with plant-based protein, vegan and easily gluten-free, this healthy soup is ready in less than 40 minutes.

Searching for dinner ideas a few weeks ago, I stumbled across this green curry lentil soup recipe from Bon Appétit and knew I had to try it. While their version was delicious, I tweaked it a bit to fit my nutrition and spice preference.

The result is spicy, comforting Thai vegan green curry soup that’s perfect for busy weeknights.

Bowl of Green Lentil Soup with curry

Ingredients for Green Lentil Curry Soup

This recipe is adapted from the BA one, with more green curry paste for extra flavor and spice, kale for a heartier wilted green, and plenty of Thai basil stirred in at the end and vegan. 

After making this a few times, I’ve learned that it’s also a very forgiving soup for what you have on hand. Regular or sweet potatoes can be subbed for thee butternut squash, more or less curry paste can be used depending on your preference or you can sub in yellow or red curry paste instead of green if preferred. 

Here are the vegetable ingredients you’ll need: 

  • White or Yellow Onion
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Red Bell Pepper. I don’t recommend a green bell pepper as it isn’t as sweet. You can also omit it if you like– I’ve made it both ways. 
  • Fresh ginger– my trick for peeling ginger with a spoon is below! 
  • Butternut Squash. The original recipe called for sweet potato, but I prefer the the softer, creamier taste of butternut squash. You can use sweet potato or regular potatoes if you’d like. 
  • Carrots 
  • Fresh or frozen kale. I’m not big on spinach in soups as I find it looses it’s flavor and texture quickly. A heartier green, like kale leaves, can handle being simmered and reheated without falling apart. 
  • Thai basil leaves. We’re lucky that we live less than a mile from an International Grocery Store and can easily source Thai basil. If you can’t find any, substitute cilantro or regular basil instead though note that that regular Italian basil tastes different than Thai basil. 
  • Fresh lime juice. This is a must for the tang that fish sauce traditionally gives Thai curries. 

Other ingredients: 

  • Green curry paste. This brand is my favorite, I use the entire 4 ounces and love the flavor. You can get it at most International Grocery stores, well-stocked stores and online. 
  • Lentils. Brown or green lentils are my favorite. If you can find French green lentils then I highly recommend those as they keep their shape while cooking. 
  • Low-Sodium vegetable broth 
  • Unsweetened canned coconut milk, regular or light.

 Saucepan of Healthy Green Curry Soup with Kale

How to Peel Ginger with a Spoon

Yes, you can use a vegetable peeler to peel ginger. With its knobby, uneven surface however, peeling fresh ginger with a vegetable peeler can be a tough task. Use a spoon instead! 

Grab a metal spoon, then run the concave side of the end of the spoon down the ginger knob, gently scraping off the skin. Hold the ginger fairly tight and close to the spoon to get the maximum amount of pressure. Ta-da! Easy peeling of the skin, then finely chop or mince. 

I use a microplane grater for grating both garlic and ginger as I find it finely chops both ingredients so they melt into the soup and is easier than trying to finely mince with a knife.

Bowl of Vegan Green Curry Soup

How to Make this Lentil Curry Recipe 

Start by heating the oil in a large soup pan or pot over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until just softened. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook another 2 minutes, stirring often, taking care not to burn the garlic.

Next, add in the curry paste and cook another 3 minutes, until paste starts to darken a little. Stir in the pepper, butternut squash, carrots, salt, lentils and broth then increase the heat to medium high to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes, or until lentils are cooked through and tender.

Add in the coconut milk, kale and lime juice and cook another 5 minutes until kale is just wilted. Stir in the Thai basil then season to taste, adding more salt, black pepper, lime juice as desired. Serve with additional lime wedges and enjoy! 

This spicy green curry lentil soup is also fantastic over rice! 

Where to Find Thai Green Curry Paste

As so much of the flavor from this soup comes from which type of curry paste you buy, I highly recommend using one that you love. Two plant-based curry options are Maesri and Mekhala, both of which I highly recommend. Curry powder is not the same as curry paste and not recommended as a swap. 

I call for a full 4 ounces of curry paste, which is about 1 jar of whatever paste you find but note that the spice levels of curry paste can vary drastically. Therefore, if you don’t like spicy food then I’d recommend starting with roughly half the amount and adding from there. 

You can always add more paste to increase flavor and spice, but it’s hard to take away spice once it’s added.

Bowl of soup with curry paste, lentils and butternut squash

I hope you enjoy this Thai Green Curry Soup recipe as much as we do. If you try it, make sure to come back, leave a comment and rate it. Your feedback helps others and seeing you make my recipes makes my day! 

More Thai Inspired Recipes: 

15 Minute Vegan Pad Thai
Spring Vegetable Thai Green Curry
Thai Coconut Carrot Soup 
Vegetable Thai Curry Bowl

Print
Green Curry Soup Recipe with Lentils

Spicy Thai Green Curry Soup with Lentils

  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, vegan, soup, Thai, curry, healthy
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Thai Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

If you love green curry, then you’ve gotta try this healthy Thai green curry soup option. Loaded with plant-based protein, vegan and easily gluten-free, this healthy soup is ready in less than 40 minutes.


  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, vegan, soup, Thai, curry, healthy
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Thai Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
  • Author: Alex Caspero
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner, vegan, soup, Thai, curry, healthy
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: Thai Inspired
  • Diet: Vegan
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil, like olive oil
  • 1 cup white or yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and finely minced
  • 4 ounces green curry paste (about 1/2 cup; I use the entire can of this paste. See notes below)
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 cups chopped butternut squash
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt. Depending on the saltiness of your curry paste or broth, you may not need any additional salt.
  • 3/4 cup brown or regular green (not split) lentils
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk (light is fine)
  • 4 cups loosely packed kale leaves, ribs removed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/3 cup Thai basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large soup pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-5 minutes, until just softened. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook another 2 minutes, stirring often, taking care not to burn the garlic.
  2. Add in the curry paste and cook another 3 minutes, until paste starts to darken a little. Stir in the pepper, butternut squash, carrots, salt, lentils and broth then increase the heat to medium high to bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 25 minutes, or until lentils are cooked through and tender.
  3. Add in the coconut milk, kale and lime juice and cook another 5 minutes until kale is just wilted. Stir in the Thai basil then season to taste, adding more salt, freshly ground black pepper or lime juice as desired.

Notes

I call for a full 4 ounces of curry paste, which is about 1 jar of whatever paste you use. Note that the spice levels of curry paste can vary drastically. Therefore, if you don’t like spicy food then I’d recommend starting with roughly half the amount and adding from there.

did you make this?

Tag @delishknowledge on Instagram and hashtag it #delishknowledge

The Ultimate Plant-Based Protein Cookbook + Course

(Includes 40+ recipes!)

FREE 7-DAY COURSE + COOKBOOK

Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Plant-Based Chef and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

(3 comments) leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    1. Paula
      March 28, 2022 AT 8:52 am

      Delicious. I just made a second batch to take to work for lunch this week.

    2. Vanessa
      March 6, 2022 AT 5:27 pm

      I made this tonight and whoa baby was it spicy! I should’ve listened to your warning and started with slightly less curry. I think I’ll serve leftovers over rice to reduce the heat a little. Still delicious!

      1. Alex
        March 8, 2022 AT 6:20 am

        What curry paste did you use? I find that they can vary widely in terms of spice and it would be helpful for other readers to know in case they want a more mild spice.