January is National Soup Month, so I have decided that I will devote every Friday this month to a soup recipe. I am starting off with a recipe that I have been meaning to try for a while called Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup. I love lentil soup and had never tasted this version before. I partially puréed the lentils before adding the vegetables because I like the creamier texture. I also added a little sugar at the end because my soup was slightly bitter, but this is optional (I used Demarara sugar because it was handy, but any sugar would work). Topped with some chopped fresh tomato (cilantro would also be good, if you like it), this was the perfect comfort food for a cold and blustery winter night.
Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup
4 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. turmeric
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander
1/8 tsp. cayenne (optional)
4 C. stock, broth, and/or water (plus extra if needed)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 C. red lentils
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 T. Demerara sugar (optional)
In a small skillet, sauté the onion in the olive oil over medium heat for five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute longer. Reduce the heat to low, add the spices, and cook for about two minutes more until fragrant. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Bring the stock, broth, and/or water to a boil in a large pot. Stir in the salt and the lentils, reduce the heat, and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the sweet potato and the vegetable/spice mixture and continue cooking until the potato is tender, about 15-20 minutes, adding more liquid if the soup is too thick (I ended up adding another 1 1/2 C. liquid). Stir in the Demerara sugar until dissolved and serve. Serves 4.
Note: I had cooked sweet potatoes left over from dinner the night before, so I simply added them to the vegetable/spice mixture after removing it from the heat. I stirred everything into the lentils after they had cooked for 20 minutes and let the soup warm through on low heat for another five minutes.