Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic, shallot, and carrots and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 7 minutes. Add curry powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 4 cups water, and the lentils, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until lentils and carrots are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Pour 2 cups soup through a fine sieve into a bowl, reserving solids. Puree strained liquid with remaining soup in a blender until smooth. Reheat after blending. Stir in reserved solids.
Reserving some for garnish, stir cherries and cilantro stems into soup, and ladle into bowls. Swirl in remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk, and garnish with cherries and cilantro leaves.