Spiced Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

IMG_4173After finding a lentil and coconut milk soup recipe on Sprouted Kitchen I filed it away for a cold day.  Today’s that day, with a light snow coating everything and encouraging indoor pursuits.

IMG_4166The recipe called for lemongrass, which would amp up the flavor and be quite delicious, I’m sure, but I was not amped up to search the suburbs for it. I also added sweet potatoes because almost everything is better with some roasted sweet potatoes. And then there’s the coconut milk, the quantity that I reduced from the original so that I could save some calories for those cookies hidden away in the freezer. If you like a creamier soup, go for the full 1 ½ cups of full fat coconut milk.

This recipe makes a thick stewy soup, so you may want to thin it with additional broth if that’s to your liking, and you may also want to spoon this over steamed brown rice for a heartier meal.

IMG_4172Spiced lentil sweet potato soup
Serves 4 people

1 medium-sized sweet potato, about ½ pound
1 ½ cups lentils, rinsed (green, brown, black beluga, or a mixture of those)
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
½ tsp turmeric
1 tsp curry powder
2 tsp dried thyme or 1 TBS fresh thyme leaves
1 TBS olive oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
1 tsp sea salt, or to taste
½ tsp ground cardamom
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
3 TBS coconut milk (full fat kind recommended)
1 cup water
2 cups washed and thinly sliced kale (baby spinach would also work)
fresh ground pepper to taste
chopped cilantro for topping (optional)
fresh-squeezed lemon juice for topping (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Put the sweet potato on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil, and when oven is warm, roast until potato is soft and gives when you squeeze it, about 35-45 minutes. When potato is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and chop into small chunks.
  2. While the sweet potato is baking, put the lentils, broth, thyme, turmeric, and curry powder in a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 minutes, until lentils are tender.
  3. While the lentils are simmering, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet on medium heat and sauté the onion until soft and just browned. Add the salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes and sauté another minute. Stir this mixture into the lentils, keeping the heat on a low simmer.
  4. Add the coconut milk, 1 cup of water, and kale and simmer another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until kale is just wilted. Add fresh ground pepper to taste and adjust salt if needed.
  5. Stir the sweet potato into the soup and top with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired.
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