As the weather gets colder, all we want to do is curl up in a blanket and hibernate. While we won’t argue against that sentiment, there’s a much easier solution to the chill in the air: hearty soups and stews packed with protein. And why not throw curries in the mix, too? After all, they’re like warm, delicious, Indian-spiced stews. So, they count. Why go for something packed with protein? Plant-based proteins have a one-two combo of protein and fiber that helps us feel fuller, longer — even more so than meat! Plus, plant-based proteins like chickpeas, lentils, and other legumes and pulses are among the most affordable ingredients out there. Plus soup is easy to prepare so you can spend less time standing in the kitchen and more time all warm and cozy on your couch.
Ready to get started? Check out these 15 easy and affordable recipes for soups, stews, and curries!
1. Sweet Potato Lentil Coconut Soup
This Sweet Potato Lentil Coconut Soup is Thai-inspired due to the use of bold flavors like lemongrass, lime juice, coconut, and chili flakes. Puréed lentils make the soup extra thick and creamy as well as give it a double dose of protein. If you want, you also have the option to make croutons by tearing up a day-old baguette into pieces, seasoning them with olive oil and herbs, and baking in the oven until nice and crunchy.
2. Pigeon Pea Soup With Opo Squash
This warm Pigeon Pea Soup With Opo Squash is packed with flavor and filling ingredients — and it doesn’t take all day to make! Protein-rich pigeon peas are cooked with a blend of tempered Indian spices, tender opo squash, and savory broth. This soup can be served with some crusty bread or poppy seed rolls, or as a side in an Indian meal with flatbread, pickles, and vegetables. You can substitute pigeon peas with other split lentils or grams and the squash with other mild-flavored quick cooking squash.
3. Butternut Squash and Green Lentil Curry
This Butternut Squash and Green Lentil Curry is a must-try. Roasted squash and savory cremini mushrooms sit atop a bed of soft, flavorful green lentils. This healthy curry is spicy, comforting, filling, and best of all, it’s easy to throw together on busy days.
4. Lentils With White Bean and Potato Mash
5. Lentil and Quinoa Kitchari
6. South Indian Lentil Stew
7. Miso Soup With Garlicky Lentils, Kale, and Mushrooms
This Miso Soup With Garlicky Lentils, Kale, and Mushrooms is such a quick dinner to throw together, it’s guaranteed to become a household favorite. It’s perfectly packed with protein, fiber, and secret hidden veggies. It’s extra-filling and extra satisfying, and particularly awesome to make a big batch to eat throughout the week. We’re all about not having to spend the whole week planning and re-planning food.
8. Indian Sambar: White Pumpkin and Lentils
9. Caribbean Pigeon Pea Coconut Curry
In this Caribbean Pigeon Pea Coconut Curry, stewed curried pigeon peas are served on a bed of steamed vegetables. Although each vegetable contributes its own flavor and texture, the curried pigeon peas and mushrooms pack the biggest punch. The coconut milk-based curry is warming, smooth, and savory. A side of rice is unnecessary, but it ensures that you won’t miss one drop of this delicious curry.
10. Cinnamon-Spiced Chana Masala
If you want to try something unique, make this Cinnamon-Spiced Chana Masala. Chickpeas stew in a savory, spiced tomato sauce until they absorb the flavors. While most curries have a kick to them, this one is mild, making it great for kids. This dish thickens as it cools, so even the leftovers are amazing. Serve this with a generous portion of freshly cooked brown basmati rice.
11. Chickpea Spinach Stew With Lentils and Quinoa
This Chickpea Spinach Stew With Lentils and Quinoa is a one-pot meal that has a trifecta of protein-rich ingredients. It’s warm, filling, absolutely satisfying, thanks to a wealth of warm spices and aromatics. Plus, it cooks in under an hour! It’s highly recommended you serve this with flatbread or crackers.
12. Black Chana Vedic Curry
This Black Chana Vedic Curry is simple to make and amazing to taste. It’s packed with protein thanks to black chana, also known as black chickpeas and you can add vegetables depending on what’s in season, so it’s versatile, too! Serve this with a big side of rice and dig in!
13. Red Lentil Soup With Fresh Cilantro and Lemon
This Red Lentil Soup With Fresh Cilantro and Lemon is creamy, filling, and absolutely delish. It’s hearty, but not overbearingly so because it’s balanced with fresh cilantro. Simmered red lentils bring the protein that keeps you feeling full and satisfied and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice right before serving really complements the coriander.
14. Slow-Cooked Split Pea Soup With Homemade Croutons and Coconut Bacon
This Slow-Cooked Split Pea Soup With Homemade Croutons and Coconut Bacon is true comfort food. Lentils are cooked in a savory broth, then served with crunchy homemade croutons and smoky coconut bacon. This soup is filling, stick-to-your-ribs, chock full of protein, fiber, and full of flavor. What could be better than throwing a bunch of ingredients into one pot and returning to a perfectly cooked soup?
15. Shortbat Adas: Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup With Pita Croutons
Shorbat Adas is a very popular Middle Eastern soup of lentils that is seasoned with lemon, cumin, and olive oil that’s typically served with pitas. In this rendition, collard greens are added for a boost of nutrition. Instead of pita bread, it’s served with crunchy za’atar spiced pita croutons. Overall, this is a tasty, nutritious, easy, and quick soup to get on the lunch table.