This creamy cauliflower lentil soup makes a delicious and colorful, healthy vegan lunch or dinner. Smooth pureed red lentils and cauliflower with coconut milk, chiles, and apple creates a balance of sweet, savory, and subtly spicy flavors.
Soups are a mainstay in my house, you’ll find tons of them across the seasons on the blog and it’s for one very good reason. They’re delicious, easy, and a fantastic way to celebrate the flavors of seasonal produce.
They also happen to be a great, tasty way to serve something nutritious. This cauliflower lentil soup is all of those things – easy, fast, really yummy, and super healthy. Plus it makes great use of cauliflower, which can enhance and take on so many other flavors. It’s a favorite of ours and I think it will be for you too.
The gorgeous color and texture of this healthy vegan soup comes from a combination of a few key ingredients. You should be able to find them at the local market or grocery store starting in the fall and often through early spring, but I’ve also added suggestions below if you can’t find them fresh.
- Onion – any fresh onion you like will work. Just give it a good dice.
- Red chili – You want a spicy, fresh pepper, not a sweet bell pepper. Easily tone down the heat by removing the seeds and ribs, or using less of it. If you can’t find one, you can swap in dried options like paprika with a small amount of cayenne.
- Apple – I recommend any sweet apple. It should be peeled and diced.
- Olive oil – Any cooking oil like canola, coconut, or vegetable oil would work too.
- Curry powder – There are tons of types of curry powder out there. Choose a blend that works for how much spice you like.
- Red lentils – If you can’t find red, yellow or brown lentils can be used to achieve the same texture. But, they’ll take longer to cook and may alter the color of the soup.
- Crushed tomatoes – Since the soup is pureed it’s okay to use canned whole or diced tomatoes too.
- Cauliflower – Either a small fresh one or frozen cauliflower will work.
- Coconut milk – I prefer canned coconut milk over the cartons in the dairy section for the best, creamy texture.
To make a batch of creamy red lentil cauliflower soup you’ll just need a large pot and either an immersion blender or a stand blender you can puree hot liquids in.
Start by heating the oil in the pot. Add the curry powder and diced fresh chili to that and stir, letting it cook for a few minutes.
Add the onions and diced apple to the pan next and saute until they begin to become tender. While that cooks, rinse the lentils and chop the cauliflower if you’re using a fresh head.
Mix the lentils, cauliflower, tomatoes, and water into the pan and give it a stir. Bring it to a boil and cover the pan, letting everything simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the lentils and veggies are very tender. You may need to add a bit more water as the lentils cook so keep an eye on it.
Next puree the soup and return it to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk and bring it back to a boil. Season with salt to taste, and when you like the flavor it’s ready to serve.
Serving and Storage
There’s nothing better than a warm bowl of soup with a nice salad. I recommend trying my apple fennel salad, creamy celery root salad, or my arugula, clementine, and radicchio salad.
Of course having something to dip into a creamy vegetable soup is also delicious! A flavorful garlic bread, or healthy options like Swedish seed crackers or vegan quinoa patties all work beautifully.
If you end up with leftovers, store them in the fridge for 5 days. It reheats as a yummy lunch or quick dinner easily. Since this uses coconut milk instead of dairy, it’s also really freezer friendly. Feel free to tuck a portion or two away for a rainy day meal another time.
I hope you love the velvety, rich flavors of this healthy soup. I love that it’s good for me and my family, but it still feels warm and comforting to eat. You can also check out my many other soup recipes to help inspire you through the rest of the cold months of the year. Here are a few of my creamy vegetable favorites!
Creamy Cauliflower Lentil Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 red chili pepper , deseeded and chopped
- 1 onion , finely chopped
- 1 big apple , peeled, cored and cubed
- 1 14-oz. can (400g) crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup dry red lentils , rinsed
- 1 lb. (450g) cauliflower florets
- 2 cups (500ml) water
- ½ teaspoon salt , or more to taste
- 1 14oz. (400ml) can full-fat coconut milk
- Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the curry powder and chopped chili pepper, and cook for about a minute, until fragrant.
- Add the chopped onion and apple, and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Pour in the crushed tomatoes, red lentils, cauliflower florets, and water. Stir until combined.
- Simmer the soup covered over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the vegetables and lentils are cooked and tender. Add water if necessary.
- Season with salt and use an immersion blender to puree the soup, until smooth and creamy.
- Stir in the coconut milk and let the soup come to a boil. Adjust salt to taste, if needed, and serve.