Why I love this Dairy-Free Red Lentil Soup
Dairy-free red lentil soup is a staple recipe in my home. My husband and I love the Indian-inspired flavors in this recipe, plus the flavors are mild enough that our kids also love them! I cook these for our children as alternative to traditional legume recipes to change it up, and introduce them to other types of protein sources.
This diary-free red lentil soup recipe is super easy! It is a one pot meal, and only takes 30 minutes to cook. This is one that I love to throw together on an activity night for a quick, healthy and hearty meal that also makes for easy clean-up when we are tired from our day.
These red lentils are Indian inspired, and the flavors are mild and delicious! It uses the flavors of cumin, coconut milk, and tomatoes to make a really great combo that I have found people really enjoy, even if they aren’t familiar with these types of seasonings and flavors.
It is nice to add new flavors to the mix, so you are developing your family’s taste buds, and trying new foods.
Why Lentils are a part of my Mindful Eating Plan
This recipe is dairy and soy free as well as vegetarian! Both soy and dairy are inflammation causing foods, so by using ingredients like coconut milk and soy free vegetable broth we can avoid inflammatory reactions.
If you are interested in learning more about anti-inflammation eating and how mindful eating can help you lose weight and reset your gut then check out my three-day mindful eating plan. This is a free three day meal plan with recipes that will help you kickstart eating for hormonal balance and gut health.
Lentils are made up of over 25% protein and packed with B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. This makes them a great addition to any diet. Lentils are also rich in health promoting polyphenols. According to Healthline, polyphenols “boost digestion and brain health, as well as protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and even certain cancers.”
Lentils are a very versatile dish, they can be prepared any number of ways to go in salads or as a side dish, and can be flavored any way you prefer.
I do recommend keeping your legume intake to only once or twice at most a week. Legumes are a bit harder to digest and very starchy, so keeping them to a moderate amount in your diet is best for gut health and for keeping the stomach bloat away.
Tips for cooking this Dairy Free Red Lentil Soup
These dairy-free red lentils are super easy to cook and they do not require soaking them for hours before cooking.
I love this dairy-free red lentil soup because it can cooked in about 30 minutes, and they don’t need to be babysat at the stove.
Red lentils can be made to be soft or slightly crunchy, depending on your preference. I prefer mine on the soft side, and the 30 minutes of cooking will get them to that consistency.
Depending on the different type of lentils you buy, they may take more or less time to cook, be mindful of this when you are purchasing lentils for this recipe! Red lentils only need about 30 minutes, where as green or brown need closer to an hour to get the desired softness.
I prefer to use red lentils for this dairy-free Indian-inspired recipe, because they have a slightly sweet, nutty flavor.
This red lentil soup holds really well in the refrigerator and can be stored for up to five days. I love making extra for lunches, or even serving leftovers a second time in my home.
One of my favorite ways to serve these dairy-free red lentils are with an easy Greek seasoned pan-grilled chicken, a fresh salad, and soy-free hummus. It is like going out for a nice dinner minus the big price tag and hassle.
Dairy-Free Red Lentil Soup
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes- no sugar added
- 1 1/2 cup red lentils
- 2 cups vegetable broth- make sure it’s soy free!
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 cups spinach
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
Heat a saucepot over medium heat until hot.
Add cumin seeds and toast 1 minute. You start to smell them.
Add onion and cook down, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown and stick to the pot, about 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes with their juice and cook 2 minutes longer, stirring frequently.
Add lentils, broth, 2 cups water, coconut milk and lemon juice; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
Stir in spinach and let it cook for 2-3 more minutes until wilted.
Stir in salt and serve.
This Dairy Free Red Lentil Soup can be incorporated into many meals as a side dish or even on its own. Incorporating lentils into your mindful eating plan is a great reminder that eating healthy never has to be bland or boring, and trying new foods can provide awesome unknown health benefits!