This Spicy Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup with gentle warming spices, red peppers and coconut milk is nourishing, hearty and delicious.
Serve with crusty bread for a filling, healthy and nutritious lunch or supper. It’s also vegan, dairy and gluten free.
I can’t believe we’re already at that time of year when our minds (and stomachs) turn to warming, comforting foods such as slow cooked beef casseroles, creamy pasta bakes and warming, nourishing soups.
a comforting, warming soup recipe
There’s nothing like a good bowl of soup to make you feel better. When I’m bunged up with a cold and feeling rubbish, I tend to take all the veg that’s sitting in my fridge drawer and turn it into soup.
If it needs to be used up, it goes in, along with whatever spices are sitting at the front of my food cupboard. This kind of spontaneous cooking can be a bit of a hit or a miss, but it’s the best way to learn how to cook well.
spicy sweet potato and lentil soup
This sweet potato soup with lentils, spices, red pepper and creamy coconut milk is the result of my many kitchen experiments. Sweet potatoes add an earthy sweetness, ground cumin and crushed chillies provide a little spice and a small amount of coconut milk adds creaminess. It’s so delicious and perfect for chilly Autumn days.
And did I mention it’s also suitable for vegans and dairy/gluten free diets?
can i use different vegetables in this soup?
Of course! It’s a very adaptable recipe – for example, you could use butternut squash instead of sweet potato, or swap the onions for a leek.
how to make spicy sweet potato and lentil soup
(Ingredient amounts and detailed instructions are in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)
step one – gently fry the vegetables
First of all, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over a low to medium heat in a large saucepan. Add diced onion and gently fry for 5-10 minutes, or until the onions are beginning to soften and look translucent.
Add the sweet potatoes, carrot, celery and red pepper. Cook on a low heat for around 10 minutes or until the vegetables have softened.
Add grated ginger and crushed garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, then add 1 tsp ground cumin and crushed chilli flakes.
step two – add the lentils and vegetable stock
Add the red or yellow lentils and vegetable stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a low simmer for about 30-40 minutes.
Add a small tin of coconut milk and simmer gently for 10 minutes (don’t let it boil or the coconut milk might separate.) Using a blender, blitz the soup to a consistency you’re happy with. I prefer the soup with a little texture, so I don’t go too mad with the blending.
Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste and if you don’t need the soup to be vegan friendly, serve with a swirl of plain yoghurt, a sprinkling of fresh coriander, chopped chillies and black sesame seeds.
A loaf of freshly made bread will turn this into a filling meal that’s full of goodness. It’s just what you need on a chilly night. Oatcakes, crackers or bread rolls are of course also great with this soup.
Looking for a quick and easy bread recipe? Try this cheese soda bread. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a bowl of soup.
storing leftover soup
Place leftovers in a lidded airtight container in the fridge. The soup will keep for up to three days.
Reheat the soup in a saucepan over a medium heat until piping hot. Pop a lid on the pan to stop the soup from splattering all over the hob. You’ll probably need to add a little water to loosen the consistency.
can you freeze sweet potato and lentil soup?
Yes! This soup is ideal for freezing and enjoying at a later date. Place the cooked and completely cooled soup in a lidded airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Defrost the soup in the fridge before reheating.
more classic soup recipes to try
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- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Red or White onion, peeled and diced
- 1 stick of celery, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped into small dice
- 1 Red bell pepper, diced
- 500g Sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 2cm fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 Tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4-1/2 Tsp Chilli (red pepper) Flakes
- 200g Red or Yellow Lentils, rinsed
- 1 - 1 1/2 Litres vegetable stock
- 200ml Coconut Milk
- Salt and Pepper
- Fresh Coriander, red chillies and black sesame seeds to garnish (optional)
- Heat the olive oil over a low to medium heat and add the diced onion. Turn the heat to low and cook until the onions are translucent (about 5-10 minutes)
- Gently fry for a couple of minutes before adding the diced celery, carrot, red pepper and sweet potatoes. Sprinkle with salt and gently fry the vegetables for about 10 minutes or until they are beginning to soften. Add the crushed garlic, ginger, ground cumin and chilli flakes and cook for a further couple of minutes.
- Add the lentils and stock and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to medium low. Place a lid on the pan and cook for 30 minutes.
- Pour in the coconut milk and contibue to cook for a further 10 minutes. Blend the soup to a consistency you're happy with. I prefer it with a little texture so I don't go overboard on the blitzing. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
To ring the changes, swap the sweet potates for an equal amount of butternut squash.
Feel free to add a stick of finely diced celery if you like.
The soup will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 4 months.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 4
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1323mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 11gSugar: 15gProtein: 11g