Curried Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

The most revered legume in Biblical times was the lentil, especially in the Jewish religion where lentils were eaten during mourning symbolizing the circle of life. Although viewed since ancient times as the poor mans food, in Arab culture it is considered an energizer and has flourished into many different dishes.
Preparing this soup transports me to my biblical and ancestral ties Lentils were part of the staple diet along the Spice Route; a region well known for its curry blends. Combining an ancient legume from the East with this orange fleshed potato creates a thick and hearty soup packed with spicy flavor. This soup uses the brown lentil, which has a bland flavor, however holds their shape well in cooking and so it’s ideal for a soup stew.
Servings 8
 
Ingredients
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 12 ounces each), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
2 large stalks celery, chopped
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 ¾ cup dry lentils, rinsed and picked through
6 cups water
2 teaspoon salt

Directions

1      In a large sauce pot, heat oil over medium heat. Sauté the onions and garlic until the onions start to soften. Add the sweet potatoes and celery, and cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes turn a bright orange, about 10 minutes.

      2      Add curry powder, fresh ginger, cumin, coriander and ground red pepper; cook, stirring for 1 minute.
      3      Pour in vegetable broth, lentils, and water; heat to boiling over high heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are tender, 40 to 50 minutes. Add salt and adjust as necessary.

 

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