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.
Some weeks it's this easy, veggie-loaded Lentil Soup Recipe. Other weeks it's Chickpea Noodle Soup. We're always up for a soup adventure!
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.
This was very good!!
Delicious, well balanced flavours .
Awesome, looking forward to trying it out this weekend as I only just invested in an InstantPot, quick question though, what is a serving size? Is it 1 cup? Asking for a friend watching her Weight Watcher points:-) Thanks
I'm not sure to be honest as I haven't measured it out. But I use quite big soup bowls, so I'd say 1/6th of the recipe would be more like 1.5-2 cups.
Awesome thanks, made the soup, uber delish, making another batch to freeze it's that good!
I loved this recipe. I did it on the slow cooker. As I cannot eat onions or garlic I substituted with Asafoetida and celery - just as yummy. Will definitely be making this again : )
alice k mynett
I may have reviewed this a couple of years ago, but here I am again. This soup is amazing - real stick-to-your-ribs soul food. With the corona virus around, I feel like this soup fortifies by body and immune system, as well as feeding my soul. Awhile ago, I grated a quantity of fresh ginger and froze it in 1 tbsp globs on wax paper. That saved time and bloody fingertips now. Thanks, Katie. All the best to you and your family.
Hi there - I'm planning to make this in my slow cooker. Can I use canned red lentils? Should I adjust the cook time? Thanks!
Hi Sadie, I've never made this using canned lentils so am not sure how it would turn out. I imagine you'd need to reduce the liquid (since cooking the dried lentils soaks up quite a bit of water) and reduce the cooking time. Exactly how much, though, I do not know.
Just made this using my soup maker that I got for Christmas. Tastes amazing! And only took 30 mins from adding the ingredients to the soup maker to finish with perfectly blended soup. I will definitely be making this again. So healthy.
Wow, I just had to look up what a soup maker is! Glad you enjoyed this recipe, and I learned something new 🙂
I just made this in my instant pot and it is delicious!!! Thanks for a fabulous recipe.
I made this on the stove top and used my immersion blender. This is so delicious!! Once the prep is done, it is really easy. The taste improves the next day. I added extra ginger (LOVE fresh ginger). Thank you for a delicious healthy soup!!
Yay! I'm so glad you enjoyed this soup, Anne!
The soup is potentially good but the overriding flavor of boiled onions ruined it. The flavor would have been immensely better if the onion had been sauted first. The boiled onion flavor was so pervasive I was unable to mask it with other ingredients and spices. I know that the point of the recipe was to not have to do any precooking. In that regard the recipe is easy. However, the outcome was, I'm sorry, quite awful.
Hey Lucy! Thanks for the feedback - I'm bummed this soup didn't work for you. I'm curious as to how you cooked it. Instant Pot? Slow cooker? Stove top? I do specify to cook the onions and other aromatics when cooking on the stovetop for exactly this reason. If you're cooking in the Instant Pot or slow cooker the pressure and / or long cooking time should take care of the onions.
Question: there are lemons all throughout the pictures. Any lemon in the recipe?
Sometimes I serve my soup with a squeeze of lemon, but mostly they're in the photos to add a bit of colour and contrast.
Do you add a squeeze of lemon at the end? Not sure if the lemons were just for aesthetic effect!
Planning on making this recipe tonight!
Whoops, I should probably clarify that! It's just served with a squeeze of lemon 🙂
Very good, made as is in my slow cooker, love how simple it is! Would definitely make again.
Do you need to soak the lentils or can you just add them dried? Thank you!
No soaking required! Just give them a good rinse and chuck them in 🙂
My husband and I usually make soup on Sunday nights, but we were looking to diversify things a bit. This recipe is really easy to follow, has simple ingredients but makes for such a tasty soup! We made it in the stove top and didn’t even need to put it in the blender after. Just the right amount of ginger also! It is definitely a keeper and made me want to try other recipes in the website.
My 8 year old told me to put this on the keeper list!
Yes! High five to your 8 year old!
Yes, this is a keeper! What's not to like... carrots, lentils, thought I wouldn't love the ginger and it was magical. This one is getting printed 🙂
delicious, healthy and easy! my favorite combo 🙂
i added some crushed walnut pieces after serving for some texture . yummm will definitely make again. I love making soups in large portions so i can freeze and make a quick dinner another day! thank you
I have had my instant Pot for over a year. Kevin and Kirsten gave it to me for Christmas 2017. Your Mum and I had fun as your Dad and she came to Sunday night roast - my first attempt at anything Intant Pot. I think Mum decided to wait awhile to see what else I could make she even invited the Point Sisters to dinner while they watched me make chilli. Mum got hers a little later but she enjoys it for sure
Yes! I tried making beans in hers in the summer and was sold! So happy to have one of my own now.
Well, your recipe got me trying our Instant Pot for the first time - we've had it for months and husband has used it, but I hadn't...
The soup is very tasty - I doubled the spices - love turmeric for my arthritis.
The only quibble I have is that the chopping took me twice the time you have suggested for prep. But, in your defence, you had a helper. I'm sure a three-year-old sous-chef can really cut down on your prep time 🙂
Good to know re: the chopping time! Though I will say we chopped those carrots VERY haphazardly... big chunks, small chunks, you name it. So if you were doing any sort of precision cutting it would definitely take longer.
Hi, I only have sweet paprika and brown lentils, can I use them? Live in a rural area, too far to trek into town. 🙂
You can - it will change the texture and taste of the soup from what the recipe intended, but should still be nice and tasty.
Thank you for not asking me to fry the onion! I like my slow cooker to do all the magic 🙂 This was delicious. I was so excited to have leftovers and have a feeling it will be in heavy rotation here this winter. . .
Don't you hate it when they ask you to fry the onion? I feel like it should never be allowed for a slow cooker recipe! Glad you like this soup as much as I do, Tara!
Shikha @ Shikha la mode
It's become so cold in SF, this is perfect!
It's definitely a perfect cozy soup for those chilly days!
This soup is delicious and easy! Thank you so much Katie for keeping life healthy and real. At least your stovetop situation has been resolved. Best wishes on all your upcoming adventures!
Thanks Gloria! I'm so glad you enjoyed the soup!
This soup was so good tonight with some crusty French bread and a fly of dry red wine. Thank you for thinking delightful meal.
Glad you enjoyed it as much as I do! It's definitely one of my favourite recipes 🙂
i still feel guilty about that stovetop!
Don't! It's our own damn faults for doing it ourselves. We knew better!
I'm so sorry about your stove top ordeal! My husband and I aren't great with that kind of stuff easier, and it seems like every project ends up being a bigger ordeal than expected, so I totally feel your pain. Glad you at least found some inspiration to bust out the slow cooker though. I have a recipe for carrot soup with similar spices, but I think I'll try this one next time. I love the idea of adding some red lentils for texture and protein!
I don't know why we ever do these things, we totally know better! But the soup is well worth the scuffed hands, and is a total keeper!