Curried sweet potato and lentil soup, made with red lentils and curry paste, packs a wallop of that traditional Thai juxtaposition of sweet, sour, salty, and hot even though it’s not at all southeast Asian in origin.
Curried Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 1 H, 15 M
- Serves 6 to 8
Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into 1/2-inch (1-cm) dice.
Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear.
Heat a large saucepan or pot—one that has a lid—
over medium-high heat. Add the oil and red curry paste and stir-fry just until it becomes strongly aromatic, about 1 minute. If you like things with just a mild heat, add just 1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste. If you like things hotter, opt for 2 to 3 tablespoons red curry paste.
Add the potato and lentils and stir to coat them with the paste. Pour in the stock and bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to a very gentle simmer, cover, and gently simmer just until the lentils and sweet potato are soft, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from the heat.
If using a blender or food processor, let the soup cool for at least 10 minutes and then carefully ladle it into a food processor and blitz until smooth, working in batches if necessary. The soup will be quite thick. If a thinner soup is desired, add stock. Return the soup to the pan and, if needed, rewarm over low heat. If using an immersion or stick blender, stick the blender straight in the pot and puree until smooth. If a thinner soup is desired, add stock. If needed, rewarm over low heat.
Add a generous pinch of pepper and the lime juice to the soup and stir to combine. Serve immediately and, if desired, garnish with cilantro, peanuts, or a drizzle of coconut milk. Serve immediately. (As with most soups, this freezes just fine in an airtight container or portioned in individual servings in resealable plastic bags. Defrost and rewarm over low heat before serving. Keep in mind that the soup will thicken in the fridge or freezer, so you’ll need to add more stock or water when rewarming it to attain the original consistency.) Originally published October 31, 2016.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Wow! This curried sweet potato and lentil soup recipe is a keeper. Creamy and rich with just enough heat to make it interesting, it’s a beautiful bowl of deliciousness. It’s hard to believe there’s no dairy, no fat, no thickener—just the sweetness from the potatoes, the lovely creaminess from the lentils, the spiciness from the red curry paste, and the brightness from the fresh lime juice. A brilliant combination of flavors that hits all the Thai flavor profiles—spicy, sweet, hot, sour—yet feels very homey and familiar.
This soup would be equally at home beside samosas for a light dinner, as a side with an all-American grilled cheese sandwich for lunch, or as a starter to a Thanksgiving dinner. This was a snap to put together and ready to serve in under an hour from start to finish. I topped it with some crispy fried shallots to add a little crunchy contrast to the smoothness and served it with additional lime wedges. It was even better reheated the next day—as so many soups are! My limes were nice and juicy and yielded 1/2 cup lime juice. I wouldn’t use less as the soup is very rich.
I've been wanting to cook more soups with sweet potatoes and lentils because I am looking for healthier but still flavorful alternatives for dinner recipes to serve for my family. I'm thrilled at how delicious simple it is to make this curried sweet potato and lentil soup. It took less than 10 minutes to prep the ingredients and throw them in a pot. The flavors are sweet from the potatoes and tangy from the lime juice with a spicy warm kick from the curry paste. My family loved this soup!
I made this soup in the heat of the summer and I can only imagine how comforting this soup would be on a blustery day. I used store-bought Thai red curry paste but when I have more time I’m anxious to try my hand at making my own curry paste. I loved the final touch of adding freshly ground pepper and lime juice after blending the soup, it really did bring out the wonderful flavors. I will definitely make this again and next time I may even blend it a bit less or just blend half the amount to leave some of the cubed potatoes and lentils whole to create slightly chunkier soup.