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

Sweet Potato Lentil Coconut Soup [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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

pigeon pea soup

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

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 

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If you’re looking for a versatile recipe that’s packed with protein, look no further than these Lentils With White Bean and Potato Mash. A heart stew made from lentils, mushrooms, carrots, and spices is served on top of a filling mash made from white beans and creamy Yukon Gold potatoes. Serve this with a side salad or some vegetables with crusty bread and you have yourself a hearty meal.

5. Lentil and Quinoa Kitchari

kitchari
This Lentil and Quinoa Kitchari is an Indian comfort food that provides strength and energy. It uses the six tastes of Ayurvedic cooking — sweet, sour, pungent, astringent, bitter, and salty, so it leaves you feeling full without the sluggishness. This take on kitchari uses both lentils and quinoa, so it’s packed with protein, but feel free to add a side of rice to make it last!

6. South Indian Lentil Stew

stew
Among all of the diverse Indian food cultures, South Indian food is probably the easiest to make meat and dairy-free. The most traditional menus are a healthy combination of lots of vegetables with thick stews of lentils and coconut, rice, and spicy lentil broths accompanied by chutneys and pickles. This protein-rich South Indian Lentil Stew is made on a weekly basis in most South Indian homes. It is a thick, yet light stew that can be easily made with any imaginable vegetable or a combination of them. It is quick and easy to make and extremely satisfying. It is mostly eaten with rice but could go easily even as a tortilla filling or with some bread.

7. Miso Soup With Garlicky Lentils, Kale, and Mushrooms 

Miso Soup With Garlicky Lentils, Kale and Mushrooms [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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

White Pumpkin Sambar
A sambar is a South Indian stew made from hearty vegetables and lentils in a tamarind broth. It’s eaten throughout the year, but this White Pumpkin and Lentils is especially great for fall. White pumpkin has, as the name suggests, stark white flesh and a brilliant green skin that’s not edible – just like your regular orange pumpkin. The flesh is rather bland and takes on the flavor of the masalas you add to your dish, which makes it the perfect accompaniment to a vibrant melange of spices.

9. Caribbean Pigeon Pea Coconut Curry

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

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

Chickpea Spinach Stew With Lentils and Quinoa [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

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

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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

Red Lentil Soup With Fresh Cilantro and Lemon [Vegan]

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

Slow Cooker 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

Sorbat Adas: Middle Eastern Red Lentil Soup b

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.

If you want more ideas, then we’ve got plenty. Check out our vegan soup recipes, vegan stew recipes, and vegan curry recipes! Make sure to also check out Here’s Our Ultimate Guide to Vegan Soup Recipes! for all of our favorite soup recipes!
Lead image source: Cinnamon-Spiced Chana Masala