Red Lentil Soup with Sweet Potato

It’s soup season! Here in the Hudson Valley fall has definitely landed and I have been craving hearty, comforting soups.

Last winter, one of my patrons at the library shared this soup recipe with me the day before a winter storm. I love a good lentil soup, and I was intrigued by the sweet potato in this recipe. I had all of the ingredients on hand, and more than enough time to make it (thank you snow day!). Although cinnamon was not an ingredient in the original recipe, she suggested it to me and I think it really adds a nice flavor to the soup. You can omit it if you like, but it is barely noticeable as cinnamon… it’s more like a secret ingredient! 

Red Lentil Soup with Sweet Potato


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1-2 carrots chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1" knob of ginger shredded (or equivalent ginger paste)
  • 1 medium sweet potato chopped
  • 3-4 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • dash cinnamon optional
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 lemon
  • plain yogurt, garam masala optional, for garnish


  •  In a large pot, heat oil on medium-high. Add chopped onion, carrots, celery, and sweet potato. Sauté until onion is translucent.
  • Add garlic and ginger, sauté and stir for another minute.
  • Add spices and tomato paste, sauté and stir for another minute.
  • Add broth and lentils, stirring up any stuck bits, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes, until lentils are very soft. Add water or more broth if it seems too thick. Taste and add more salt, if needed.
  • Puree soup in blender or with immersion blender. This soup can be made very smooth or left a bit chunky.
  • Squeeze half of the lemon into the soup and stir well.
  • Serve with a dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkling of garam masala, if desired.

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