Well, it’s officially fall here in northwest Pennsylvania. The temperature barely broke 50 degrees, and it was gloomy and rainy all day.
There is an upside to shorter days and colder weather, though… IT’S SOUP SEASON. I mean, it’s soup season all year round for me, but now it’s socially acceptable.
I first made this Sweet Potato Lentil Soup a couple months back. It started out as a pretty basic vegetable soup, until I remembered that I had some leftover sweet potato puree that needed used up. I like a nice thick texture to my soups, and this ingredient does the trick. The addition of a can of unsweetened coconut milk took this soup to a whole new level, though.
Fun fact: the creation of this soup is what led me to start this food blog. My husband, whose idea of a delicious dinner never involves lentils, was blown away at how good this soup tasted. As an avid food blog fangirl, I always thought about starting my own – but, what would I post?? Well, fast forward a couple months, and here we are!!
This soup starts out like most do, with chopped onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. We’ll also add a bell pepper, any color you like – I chose green this time, and a medium sweet potato that’s been diced. Peeled or not peeled, your preference. There’s a decent list of seasonings in this recipe, but trust me, it’s worth getting all the little jars out, they add such good flavor! You’ll need yellow curry powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, oregano, bay leaf, crushed red pepper, salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
The rest of the ingredients consist of brown or green lentils, vegetable broth, a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes, a can of unsweetened coconut milk (I always buy regular, but lite will work too), and sweet potato puree. For the sweet potato puree, you can either use canned – or mash the insides of a baked sweet potato really well with a fork.
Gather your ingredients and lets get to it…
Heat some olive oil in a soup pot or dutch oven. Add the carrots, celery, and onion, as well as a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir occasionally while they soften for about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the chopped bell pepper and diced sweet potato, along with the garlic and all of the seasonings. Cook about a minute or two, allowing the spices to become very fragrant.
Pour in the diced tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes for about 5 or 10 minutes. I like to break up any big hunks of tomatoes with the back of a spoon as they cook. Pour in the vegetable broth. Add the drained and rinsed lentils as well as the sweet potato puree and give a big stir to incorporate everything. Put a lid on the pot and simmer for 25 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Note: if you did not soak your lentils, you may need to add additional vegetable broth and tack on 10 minutes cooking time to this step.)
Check to see the lentils and diced sweet potatoes are cooked through. Add in the coconut milk and stir thoroughly. Let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, then scoop into bowls, and top with chopped green onions and pistachios. Enjoy!