Red Lentil & Chickpea Soup

Red Lentil and Chickpea Soup

January 5, 2024

National Soup Month – Week 1

It’s a new year and a new food month to celebrate. Even in Hawaii, we enjoy soups just as much as our neighbors in colder northern states.

To kick things off, I’m sharing a soup that I enjoyed when I was in Boston this past fall. Some of the Moveable Feasters got together and our host, Dave, made this incredibly delicious and filling soup.

Red Lentil and Chickpea Soup - overhead

A little vegan never hurt anyone

There are several friends who will find the above statement pretty surprising coming from me. I’ve always treated the word “vegan” as something to avoid and believed that vegan dishes were inherently not very tasty. More recently, a co-worker chose to go vegan and introduced us to some of the local eateries like Umeke Market and Blondie’s Vegan Kitchen. So while I remain unabashedly omnivorous, I am more open to vegan dishes.

Dave, my fellow Moveable Feaster, needed to make a vegan dish for a dinner he was hosting. He found a recipe online (I think it may have been this one) that he modified to fit his needs. He liked it so much, he made it again for the Feasters (all omnivores). It was delicious! We asked and received the recipe. And here it is, modified a little further, to share with you.

Red Lentil and Chickpea Soup - closeup

Notes and modifications

  • While this recipe would work with most types of lentils, the results will be different. Red lentils break down and produce a more creamy soup. Brown lentils will break down but not as much (and the color is a little hum drum dreary). Urud dal and puy lentils stay relatively firm, even when fully cooked so you will have a more brothy rather than creamy consistency
  • If you are omnivorous then feel free to substitute chicken broth for vegetable broth. I just use water.
  • The type of curry powder you use will change the flavor of the soup. I use a garam masala blend that a friend’s mom gifted to me. Use your favorite curry powder or try something new.
  • As much as I love this soup, it’s the chutney and garnishes that really make the dish. They add brightness, a little heat, and texture. They are essential parts of this soup.
Shallot and golden raisin chutney
Chutney of shallots, golden raisins, cilantro stems, and lime juice
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Red Lentil and Chickpea Soup - closeup

Red Lentil & Chickpea Soup

  • Author: Dave V. (modified)
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This hearty vegan soup is flavorful as it is filling. The chutney and garnishes are essential. Serve with some crusty bread and a green salad. 



For the soup

2 15.5 ounce cans of chickpeas

2 cups vegetable broth or water

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large white or yellow onion, finely chopped

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

1-inch piece of ginger, finely minced or sliced thinly

1 tablespoon curry powder

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 13.5 ounce cans of coconut milk

1½ cups of red lentils (dry)

Salt and pepper, to taste

For the chutney

1 shallot chopped fine

¼ cup golden raisins chopped (or left whole)

23 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems

Juice of ½ a lime


Cilantro leaves

Unsweetened flaked coconut

Sliced almonds

Fresno chilies, sliced


Drain the chickpeas, reserving the liquid. Add enough vegetable broth or water to the chickpea liquid to make a total of 5 cups. Set aside

Heat the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook until the onions are translucent but not browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Add curry powder and cayenne. Sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the chickpeas and the liquid to the pot. Bring to a low simmer then cover, with the lid slightly askew to allow steam to escape. Simmer for 20 minutes.

While the soup is simmering, combine the chutney ingredients and set aside.

To the soup, add coconut milk and lentils and return to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the lentils have broken down and are creamy. If too thick, add more water or broth. Taste and adjust for seasoning as needed. If using sliced ginger, remove and discard before serving.

Serve soup with the chutney and garnishes.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Soups
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean


  • Calories: 524.68
  • Sugar: 8.29 g.
  • Sodium: 584.21 mg.
  • Fat: 31.57 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 21.93 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 48.86 g.
  • Fiber: 18.4 g.
  • Protein: 17.14 g.
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: chickpeas, red lentils, coconut milk

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