Curried Coconut Lentil Stew

untitled-131Just like many of you, I’ve been trying to eat healthier in the new year. I ended 2014 having made some significant changes to my diet and lifestyle – the main one being I went vegan in August. Since January 1, 2015, I’ve not been eating any processed sugar and have been trying so very hard to get more greens into my diet. I love greens, but I often forget about them! Poor little, forgotten greens! I’ve also been trying to do more food prep on the weekends, so that we are more prepared on weekdays leading to healthier meals and healthier snacks. I’ve been prepping veggies, making a huge pot of brown rice, and putting together energy bites for healthy snacking. This weekend, I’d like to make my own whole-wheat bread with seeds and perhaps some homemade granola bars. The trick is to set aside 2-3 hours on the weekend to prep your food for the week. I find planning ahead is key when you have nutrition goals you’d like to attain. Meal prep doesn’t have to be boring! Every weekend, I choose a new recipe to try. I put on some music or some House Hunters International (love me some House Hunters International!) and I get cooking. Having everything prepped in advance is a huge life saver during the week when I’m working overtime or rushing off to classes. Even if your weekends are busy, it’s a good idea to at least put some time aside to pre-chop veggies and store them in airtight glass containers in the fridge. Pre-chopped veggies are great for throwing together a salad, curry, stir-fry, pasta dish or even for snacking paired with some hummus.

untitled-93This stew is ideal for weekend meal prep. You basically throw a bunch of veggies, lentils and spices in a pot. Then you allow it all to simmer together for 25 minutes and you end up with a delectable, hearty stew with tons of flavour (and protein & fibre). Store the stew in the fridge and then re-heat for a fabulous weeknight meal. Serve with a side salad and some crusty, whole-grain bread and you’re set!

Curried Coconut Lentil Stew

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 6

A quick and easy yet deliciously hearty lentil soup flavoured with warm spices and creamy coconut milk. The perfect, cozy soup for a cold night in.


  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1-14 oz can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne for heat (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of red lentils, rinsed
  • 3 and 1/2 cups of low-sodium vegetable stock or water
  • 1-14 oz can of coconut milk (low-fat is fine), well-shaken
  • Juice of one lime
  • Fresh chopped cilantro for garnish


  1. In a large pan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, carrots and celery and sauté for 8 minutes or until the onions are translucent and starting to brown.
  2. Add the garlic and sauté another minute. Add the ground ginger, ground turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, cayenne (if using) and ground cinnamon. Heat through another minute or so, until the spices become very fragrant.
  3. Add the diced fire-roasted tomatoes, vegetable stock (water) and 1 cup of red lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook stew over low-medium heat for 20 minutes, or until the lentils are nice and soft. Add more vegetable stock or water if the mixture becomes too dry.
  4. Season soup with sea salt and pepper. Whisk in 3/4 of the can of coconut milk into the stew. Simmer another two minutes then squeeze in juice of one lime.
  5. Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with remaining coconut milk followed by chopped fresh cilantro. Enjoy!

Source: loosely adapted from Vegan Divas Cookbook by Fernanda Copobianco


    • thefigtree says

      Me too! Becoming vegan has become a really grand adventure! I’m loving it :) How can you not when you get to eat stew like this all of the time!? :)

  1. Andrea says

    Made this today and we loved it. Thanks for a great recipe. I think you left out when to add the veggies, so I added them after the lentils. Delicious meal and I know I’ll be making it again and again!

    • thefigtree says

      Thanks for pointing that out! I’ve amended the recipe to show when to add the carrots and celery. Oopsie! :) I am so glad you enjoyed the recipe!

    • thefigtree says

      Awe, good! I am so very glad you enjoyed it! I love it where you can throw everything into one pot, let it simmer and in no time you’ve got a delicious, nutritious dinner.

  2. carolyn says

    Hi Courtney, I made the curried coconut lentil stew. It was wonderful. The combination of spices shows a cook who knows her thing. Can’t wait to try the next dish. Cheers Carolyn.

  3. arlene cyril says

    i just made it before i make my comment…. we all love it i make it exactly what it says in the ingredients and method… the result is excellent…we will make it again and again…. thanks.

  4. Brenda says

    This soup is awesome. I put all ingredients in the crockpot…therefore did not sauté in coconut oil. Also, to save money, I bought the half gallon Coconut milk from the dairy section, since this is what I drink anyway. Not sure if there is much difference. It’s low in calories and sugar free.This soup is now at the top of my list.

    • Rebecca says

      Hi Brenda,

      That’s a great idea to make this in the crock pot!! Did you literally just dump all of the ingredients into the crock pot and do it on low for 6 – 8 hours?

      Thanks in advance for your help – I definitely want to make this on the long weekend!

  5. says

    Congratulations on going vegan! Lentils are a particular favorite of mine and this soup looks delicious – love all of the warm, earthy spices that go so wonderfully with the lentils.

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