Red Lentil – Sweet Potato Soup

I had a student confess she only signed up for my cooking classes after tasting this soup at the intro lecture.

This is as close as I can get you to my vision of comfort food; it approximates split pea soup in consistency, but with bright sweet, gingery and peppery taste rewards.

There are just four common ingredients with only water for stock. It’s hard to believe you can get this much bang for so few ingredients and small expense. The cost to make this big batch is what you would pay for just a cup at a restaurant.

Lentils are a cook’s dream, a bean that needs no soaking. It has a meaty, peppery flavor and dissolves into a creamy base with only a short cook time.

red lentil - sweet potato soup ingredients

 INGREDIENTS:

  • oil, 1 TBS.. bland, (not olive)
  • onion, yellow, 2 cups, (1 large), small dice, [7 oz./198 gr.]
  • sweet potatoes, 2 cups, (1 medium), peeled, 1/4” cube [12 oz./340 gr.]
  • red lentils, 2 cups, [12 oz./340 gr.]
  • gingerroot, fresh, 1-1/2 TBS., peeled, grated, (not minced or chopped)
  • water, 7 cups
  • salt, 2 tsp.
  • pepper, to taste, fresh ground is best

GARNISH

  • parsley, fresh, 1/3 cup, minced, then measured
  • Marsala wine (opt.), 2 TBS., adds a subtle, smoky tone
  • croutons (opt.)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. In a soup pot add the oil and sauté onions for a minute or so, then add sweet potatoes and continue to cook for a couple minutes more.
  2. Stir in the lentils, ginger, water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook, partially covered, about 25 minutes. The lentils should dissolve into the broth. Puree some of the soup if you want a creamier consistency.

image: Courtesy of Bill Hettig. The sun also rises from this soup pot.

NOTES*

Lentils are a legume rich in protein, fiber and key nutrients. Soups made from lentils and split peas thicken quite a bit after cooling. Thin the soup to retain a creamy consistency.

Gingerroot needs to be finely grated. Mincing will not work as well.

Freezes well.

ALTERNATE RECIPE: Jamaican Lentil Soup

Exchange parsley with cilantro; add scotch bonnet based hot sauce to taste

PLANNED-OVER:

Home-meals are not leftovers so much as they become planned-overs. This “Red Lentil Stewp” will put another bloom on the flower.

Reheat and add some or all of the following: cooked macaroni or rice, bits of cooked protein—chicken, tofu, or salmon—a good drizzle of balsamic vinegar. If you have baby spinach, add to soup pot and simmer a few minutes until tender, then add in cooked components.

Image: Courtesy of Bill Hettig. As a planned-over, the author added baby spinach and some cooked rice to create a “stewp.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s