Sunday, 11 April 2010

Soup Sundays - Spicy Sweet Potato and Lentil

As a vegetarian, I'm constantly aware of the protein-content in my meals. Meat-eaters often consume way more than the 45g RDA, but sometimes I find it hard to fit even one protein-rich food in my day, which leaves me tired and fed up and hungry! Since turning veggie, I've discovered amazing ways to use pulses and tofu, and have fallen in love with so many amazing and healthy foodstuffs! However, one thing I have struggled to see eye-to-eye with is the lentil. Be it green, red, brown or Puy, no matter how I cook them, they always taste papery and bland to me. When I eat lentils prepared by someone else (or rather, when my Mum cooks me her amazing lentil pie!) I find them delicious, and so I have bought a bag of red lentils as an incentive to learn what to do with the lentil, and my quest began this evening!

I've mentioned a few times about my love for making soup on a Sunday evening. Today I needed a hearty, healthy and easy soup - I've been sat doing a speech analysis all afternoon and wanted something to pep me up! So, I threw together this simple, spicy soup, which was pretty tasty! And it involves lentils - phase one of lentil quest complete! I have created a tasty lentil dish!

Serves 2

Half a sweet potato, peeled and cubed
125g red lentils, washed in cold water
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
750ml vegetable stock
1tsp cumin
pinch of chilli flakes (to taste!)

1. Fry onion, carrot and sweet potato in a large pan with a lid
2. Add lentils, spices and stock and bring to the boil
3. Boil steadily for 10 minutes, then turn the heat to low and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes
4. Blend and season to taste

Next time I'll add a teaspoon of honey too. And I think it'd be great with a chopped fresh chilli and some fresh coriander - this is basically a base for what could be a really amazing soup. If anyone has any tips or ideas I'd be glad to hear of them!


  1. this loooks SO yummy!!
    as a fellow vegetarian you are making me more aware of my protein! thanks!!

  2. I make a chicken and sweet potato curry with coconut which is well loved here. The recipe states lentils could also be used. I'll see what I can find for you.
    Lisa x

  3. Ooh Lisa, that sounds delish! Thanks! :-) I've recently started experimenting with coconut milk actually, yummmy!!

  4. Here goes...
    This is what I do for one adult, one rapidly growing 10 yr old and one 5 yr old.
    Heat 1 and a half tbsp curry paste (we use Patak's mild korma) and stir in a chopped onion. On a low heat cover for 5 mins. Add I large cubed sweet potato, mushrooms, 300ml veg stock and 200g cubed white potato, 200ml coconut milk. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer for 15 minutes. I normally make this the Monday after a roast chicken Sunday so left over chciken gets added too but I'm guessing you're going to leave that out! Add peas, bring back to the boil and simmer for 2 minutes.
    The recipe says lentils could be used in place of some of the potatoes, but I've not tried it.

    I may have posted this one recently, not sure. But I'm sure lentils can be used in palce of chicken here too. It's similar.
    Fry onion, 1 red and 1 green pepper and 1tbsp curry powder. Stir in 2lb sweet potato, 2 cups stock and cooked chicken. Bring to boil, simmer for 15 mins. Add 3 tbsp peanut butter. Cook for 5 mins more.

    Lisa x
    p.s with your trim figure you'd look fab in a dress like on the pattern!

  5. Meant to add have you read LissyLou and the 2 Little Boys? She has posted some veggie recipes there too recently which look good.
    Lisa x

  6. Oh wow, both sound really good - I love the idea of using peanut butter! Thanks a lot - I'll report back when I make them :-)

    I'll also check out Lissy Lou; always on the look out for some culinary inspiration!

    By the way, I noticed some Anita Shreve on your 'Books I've read' list - I love her, and have just finished Fortune's Rocks which I was unable to put down! I recommend The Pilot's Wife if you haven't already read it :-)

  7. That sounds lovely!

    My partner and I are both vegetarian, and he's recently read up about getting more B17 in our diet - I discovered mung beans are rather high in it, and can be cooked similarly to lentils. Got a 2kg bag of them from Tesco yesterday. I shall report on the virtues (or otherwise) of the mung bean later! :)

  8. that looks and sounds delicious!

  9. ohmygosh! looks so delish!

    and i'm so happy to hear that you were able to wear the earrings i sent you, and a wedding is the perfect "celebration"!!

  10. Looks delish! As a vegetarian, I'm always on the look-out for good and healthy recipes.. I'll be sure to try this one.

    If you like Indian food, you'll find lots of interesting and healthy recipes with lentils, beans, and veggies on this site:

  11. that looks really good! you are making me hungry