Soup ingredients: Onions, sweet potato, carrots, apple, red lentils

Homemade Soup

Sweet potato and red lentil soup

Autumn is here. It’s time to rally around soup–homemade soup!

It’s nutritious, delicious and thrifty. It warms you twice–once when you make it and again when you eat it. It fills you up with without making you bulge out. It’s a great way to use up leftovers or odds and ends. It reheats well–whether from the fridge of freezer. And, for those of you who are cooking challenged, it’s hard to screw up.

I really love soup. Some of my favorite include lentil, tortilla, split pea and sweet potato. I make a big batch, save some for tomorrow’s lunch and freeze the rest in single serving containers. Here’s a super simple recipe for one of my favorites!

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup
This recipe requires some blending. I used an immersion blender, but you could also use a upright blender (kind of a pain) or a potato masher (yields a chunkier soup). If you are using a potato masher, cut your veggies a little smaller–say 1″ cubes. This recipe is really flexible. If you like carrots, add a few more. Don’t like cumin? Skip it. I used an apple, but I’m not sure I could taste the difference. This recipe feeds 4, but could easily be doubled. I prep and cook at the same time, so the whole thing takes me about 35 minutes.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yields: 4 large portions

2 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1 large/ 2 medium sweet potatoes with skins, chopped
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
3-4 cups water
1 apple with skin, chopped (optional)
1/4 tsp cumin (optional)
1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional garnish: Sliced avocado, sauteed kale, roasted almonds and/or Parmesan cheese.

Depending on how large your veggies are, you may be able to squeeze this into a 3-quart pot. If you have a larger pot, use it. The space will make it easier to blend.

-Saute onions in oil over medium heat until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes
-Add garlic and carrots, stir, cook 4 more minutes
-Add sweet potato, lentils, optional ingredients and enough water to cover everything, cover with lid
-Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring occasionally
-Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft (test with a fork)
-Blend with an immersion blender, an upright blender (in small batches) or crush with a potato masher
-Add water as needed
-Garnish and serve immediately

Make ahead or make extra. It tastes even better the next day!


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