Growing up in a large family, I learned early on that sometimes our parents wanted and needed to save a few dollars. After all, raising 6 daughters would tax anyone’s budget! So it’s a good thing bargains can easily be found in the kitchen! Budget crunch time is a time any Mom or Dad would (and should) make soup. It’s usually inexpensive and healthy. You can throw in a bunch of potatoes, onions, leftover veggies from previous days, maybe some pasta or legumes, add water or stock, and Voila! Soup! A healthy and hearty meal on the cheap! That’s a win in my kitchen! And, since we all believe Flavor is King (don’t we?) a tasty soup is vital! With our recent rainy, cold, and windy days, I recently decided it needed to be a soup day. And, I realized I just couldn’t get enough of the spices in those yummy (and easy!) Roasted Vegetables with Chicken and Feta I made. So, naturally, I had to use those same spices in a soup or stew. And this Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup fit the bill! It is so flavorful and satisfying I wondered why I’d never made anything like it before! The sweetness of the potatoes and red peppers, the savory lentils and the earthy flavors of cumin, coriander and turmeric make this soup one of my new favorites!
The basic recipe for Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup is one that is Vegan. (In my family, I have to keep that news a bit of a secret??). Rich in protein from the lentils, with added heartiness from the Sweet Potatoes make this soup/stew a complete meal. If you like, you could add any meat you like, or top the finished soup with bacon bits or maybe some goat cheese. Any leftovers would serve as a lovely base layer for meat, a veggie medley or even an egg dropped over the top and poached for breakfast! Mmmmm. You could also increase the amount of stock or water to make this stew-like creation more soup-y.
So whether you have any budget constraints or not, Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup should become a new staple in your kitchen! Enjoy!
Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup
This classic and easy-to make soup/stew hits all the flavor notes: savory lentils, sweetness from sweet potatoes, spiciness from the Indian spices. And even better the 2nd day.
I like it with a sprinkling of Garam Masala or crushed red Pepper on top.
The basic recipe is Vegan, but if you are so inclined, top it with smoky bacon bits, goat cheese or pepitas (or all 3!).
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 60 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
- Yield: 12-16 Servings
- Category: Soups and Stews
- Method: Stovetop
- 3 T Olive Oil
- 1 Lg Yellow Onion, diced
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, diced (ok to substitute yellow or orange, I like red for color)
- 2 1/2 t Ground Cumin
- 2 1/2 t Ground Coriander
- 1 t Curry Powder
- 1 t Turmeric
- 1/2 t Cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt and Pepper
- 1” nub of fresh ginger, minced
- 1 lb Red Lentils, rinsed
- 3 medium to large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-3/4” cubes
- 2 Qt. Vegetable Stock
Sauté the Vegetables
- In a large heavy pot or stockpot, over Medium/Medium-High heat, add the olive oil. When hot, add the diced onion and saute, stirring occasionally until onions are becoming translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the red pepper and carrot pieces and continue to cook for an additional 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the spices as well as 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper, and stir frequently until they become nicely fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and stir.
Add Lentils and Sweet Potatoes
- Pour in the rinsed lentils, stir, and then add sweet potatoes.
- Add in 1 1/2 quarts of the stock, and bring to a boil. Once the soup boils, turn down to low and simmer 30-40 minutes or longer, until potatoes are soft, adding additional stock to attain desired thickness. If you would like it thinner, add in some water. Taste test the soup, adding salt and pepper as necessary (I added in at least 2 additional teaspoons of salt) and a bit more pepper as well.
- Serving Size: 1 cup