30 Minute Creamy Spiced Red Lentil Soup with Spinach

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I made up this soup a couple days after taking an Indian Vegetarian Classics cooking class at PCC Cooks. I recently over-stocked (is there such a thing?) my pantry with dried beans, lentils and grains and have an abundance of red lentils. When I saw the two local, organic leeks in the produce drawer needing to be used up, I automatically thought of some type of soup infused with the spices and flavors we discussed and used in the cooking class.

This soup comes together really quickly and is naturally thickened by the red lentils as they break down. The beautiful yellow hue is a gift from the ground turmeric. I’m pointing that out since the first thing my family said was, “Hey, I thought you said red lentil soup?”

I only had a half of a bag of organic baby spinach left so I called for 3 to 4 ounces in the recipe,  if you have more, add it. In my book, you can rarely, if ever, have too many greens.


  • For leek cleaning instructions, head over to my Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Crispy Leeks
  • I am obsessed with this vegetarian broth.
  • If you don’t have whole white peppercorns, you can sub black peppercorns but the flavor will probably have more of a bite.
  • Red Lentils cook very quickly and are a natural thickener. If you don’t have them, you could use yellow or green lentils or split peas but you will most likely need to adjust the cooking time.
  • Full fat coconut milk (adjust Points Plus) or plain coconut creamer would work in place of the soy creamer.

5.0 from 4 reviews
{30 Minute} Creamy Vegan Spiced Red Lentil Soup
6 Points Plus Per Serving -- Individual Serving Size is 1 and ¾ Cups -- Makes 6 Servings
Serves: 6
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 leeks (white and light green), chopped
  • 2" piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, smashed and minced
  • 2 teaspoons + ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 stalks celery, ¼" half moons
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
spice ball or bag containing:
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 4 white peppercorns
  • 3 to 4 ounces organic baby spinach, sliced into ribbons
  • ¼ cup plain soy creamer (See NOTES for alternatives)
  • cilantro for garnish
  1. Clean leeks and remove dark green tops. Finely chop or use food processor to save time.
  2. Peel ginger and mince. Smash garlic and finely mince.
  3. Measure spices for spice ball and remaining spices. Rinse lentils and set aside. Slice spinach into thin ribbons.
  1. Heat a soup pot over medium high heat. Add olive oil and then leeks, garlic, ginger, ground cardamom, turmeric and 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  2. Add celery, lentils, water, broth and spice ball. Bring to a boil. Cover, lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove spice ball. Add spinach, remaining ½ teaspoon of kosher salt and stir to wilt spinach.
  4. Remove from heat and add non-dairy creamer.
  5. Serve hot garnished with fresh cilantro. Excellent with a side of brown rice or quinoa. Enjoy!


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  1. says

    I made this tonight, and it was SO good! Much better than I expected, and my 5 year old tipped her bowl up and asked for seconds. A hit with everyone! Thanks!

  2. mamie says

    I was looking for good freezer recipes that would suit my husband and 11 month old daughter, and love that this website has that handy recipe index! I followed the recipe as closely as I could with what I had on hand…omitted straight cardamom, celery, white peppercorns, cinnamon stick, creamer. Used about 1/4 teaspoon garam masala in place of omitted spices, and did not replace the creamer, and it was still a recipe I will be adding to my freezer recipe arsenal. Thanks for sharing!!!

    • EverydayMaven says

      So glad to hear it worked even with the changes – that is great! I also have all of my recipes categorized by “freezer friendly” – here is a link. Have a great night!

  3. Maggie says

    I love your recipes but do you ever post nutritional info? I know you include points but I am curious about protein and calorie content.

  4. says

    I always love lentil soup and this one you created looks marvelous. I especially like that you include greens – I agree, you can never have too many greens! Definitely a wonderful winter soup, Alyssa!
    Hannah recently posted..My Apple PieMy Profile

  5. says

    Great looking soup! I love red lentils and use them all the time (and when they cook they actually do change color and become yellowish), partially because they’re so delish and partially because they cook in such a short time. I love adding greens to any sort of lentil, as you have with the spinach. Really a good recipe – thanks so much.
    kitchenriffs recently posted..The Aviation CocktailMy Profile

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