This Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup is packed with protein thanks to the addition of red lentils! It's a healthy recipe with warming spices that's easy to make in your Instant Pot, Crockpot, or on the stove top (instructions are included for all three!).
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In our house we eat soup for dinner pretty much every Sunday during the cooler months of the year. It's a nice routine because we can mix up the soup recipes, but we pretty much always know what's for dinner.
Soup is always open to having sidekicks around, and is an excellent way to cram a lot of vegetables into your face while still feeling warm and satisfied. Also, most soups freeze and re-heat like a boss, so we always eat a portion and freeze a portion, which means we only have to cook every few Sundays.
This Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup is one of my current faves. It's got big flavour, and not only is it packed with veggies but it also brings a bunch of plant-based protein to the table thanks to the addition of red lentils.
The lentils also make it a slightly thicker soup, which is handy when you're feeding kids who haven't fully developed their spoon skills.
What do I need to make this soup?
This is a pretty simple recipe make with ingredients I'm willing to bet you tend to keep around. You're going to need:
- Carrots --> A whole pound!
- Ginger --> Yass please!
- Red lentils --> The unsung hero of this soup.
- Onions and garlic --> The aromatic support crew.
- Spices --> We're going in with turmeric and smoked paprika.
- Vegetable broth --> I use bouillon cubes and I'm not sorry.
How do I make this recipe?
Friends, you've got THREE options for making this healthy and delicious Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup recipe.
Option 1: Make it in your Instant Pot
You guys, I'm kind of in love with my Instant Pot. It does such a great job on soups and stews, especially where beans or legumes are involved. They come out perfectly cooked, every time. Plus, you don't have to babysit your soup while it cooks, which is a major bonus for this frazzled mamma.
If you don't have an Instant Pot, don't get your knickers in a twitch. You've got two other souper (<-- see what I did there?) good options below!
Making this Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup in the Instant Pot couldn't be easier. You just dump in all of the ingredients, and set it to manual on high pressure for 12 minutes. Once it's done, let it vent naturally for 10 minutes, and then quick release the rest of the way.
Option 2: Make it in your Slow Cooker
This is another dump-and-cook technique! Chuck all of the ingredients into your slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours. Set it and forget it!
Option 3: Make it on the stove top
If you don't have an Instant Pot or a Slow Cooker, start by evaluating your life choices.
Kidding! I know not everyone has space for or access to these appliances. (Srsly though, consider getting one.)
Heat a large heavy-bottomed pot on your stove top, and start by cooking the aromatics. That's yer onions, garlic, and ginger. Add in the spices, carrots, lentils, and broth. Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer until the lentils and carrots are tender - this will take about 20 minutes.
No matter which way you made your soup, the final step is to blend it. I use an immersion blender for this step, because I am lazy and don't want to wash up my blender. If you *do* use a regular stand-up blender, please be careful when blending hot liquids
Pro tips / recipe notes:
- Since this is a blended soup, save yourself time and don't try to be perfect with your chopping. I let my toddler chop the carrots for this soup, and they were very haphazard.
- Use an immersion blender to purée the soup to save time and dishes.
- If you are using an immersion blender, be sure to finely grate your ginger rather than chopping it.
- Keep your ginger in the freezer! It keeps forever and grates like a dream.
Can I freeze this soup?
You bet you can! Simply portion into freezer-friendly containers and be sure to leave some space at the top for expansion.
How do I re-heat frozen soup?
I usually let the soup thaw enough to slide out of the container, then heat it on low on the stove top. But guess what? The microwave works just fine too.
Note! Due to the red lentils, you can expect this Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup to thicken considerably as it cools. You may want to add a little water to thin it out when re-heating.
Hey Nutrition Lady, are carrots good for you?
Yes my friends, carrots most certainly are good for you.
Carrots contain good amounts of antioxidant nutrients, including antioxidants like vitamin C, as well as phytonutrient antioxidants such as beta-carotene. Red and purple carrots are rich in anthocyanin, and in yellow carrots, about half of the total carotenoids come from lutein.
The antioxidant nutrients in carrots are believed to provide cardioprotective benefits - that is, they're good for your heart! But there's more to the health benefits of carrots than that: studies have demonstrated the ability of carrot extracts to inhibit the grown of colon cancer cells.
Carrots are also an excellent source of vitamin A, biotin, vitamin K, dietary fiber, molybdenum, potassium, and vitamin B6, and vitamin C.
Other tasty soups you might enjoy:
Instant Pot Carrot Soup with Garlicky Greens
Pumpkin Curry Soup
Vegan Corn Chowder
Tomato Fennel Quinoa Soup
Vegan Chickpea Noodle Soup
Instant Pot Lentil Soup
Miso Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup
Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup with Red Lentils
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon fresh ginger finely grated
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 lb carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 cup red lentils rinsed well
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- Place onions, garlic, ginger, spices, lentils, carrots, water, and vegetable broth into your Instant Pot.
- Place the lid on the Instant Pot, and use the manual setting on high pressure set for 12 minutes.
- Once the pressure cooking cycle is finished, allow the steam to release naturally for 10 minutes. Then, flip the vent to quick release for the remainder. Tip! I like to do the quick release under my stove fan if possible. Otherwise, place a kitchen towel over the top to control the steam.
- In slow cooker, combine lentils, carrots, onion, ginger, garlic, turmeric, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper; pour in water and broth.
- Cover and cook on low until vegetables and lentils are tender, 6 to 8 hours.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large stock pot over medium high heat.
- Add onions and sauté until they are translucent.
- Add garlic, ginger, turmeric, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, and sauté for 2-3 minutes more.
- Add carrots, and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the water, vegetable broth, and red lentils. Bring the soup to a boil, then cover and simmer over medium-low heat until the carrots are tender and the lentils are well cooked - about 20 minutes.
- Using immersion blender, or in stand blender in batches, purée soup until smooth.
- Serve hot topped with greens if desired.
- Nutrition values are an estimate only!
- Pro tip: Since this is a blended soup, save yourself time and don't go all perfect with your chopping.
- Pro tip: Use an immersion blender to purée the soup to save time and dishes.
- Pro tip: If you are using an immersion blender, be sure to finely grate your ginger rather than chopping it.
- Pro tip: Keep your ginger in the freezer! It keeps forever and grates like a dream.
- Note! Due to the red lentils, you can expect this Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup to thicken considerably as it cools. You may want to add a little water to thin it out when re-heating.
This recipe was originally published November 6, 2015. It was retested, rephotographed, and updated to include Instant Pot instructions on January 8, 2019. Last updated January 13, 2021.