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The Best Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

My spicy red lentil and sweet potato soup recipe has tons of flavor and will delight the fussiest vegan or plant-based eater! We all know there is nothing better on cold days than homemade soup, especially when it’s made with simple ingredients like hearty sweet potatoes, warming spices, and healthy, rich lentils!

red lentil and sweet potato soup in a white bowl that is garnished with a piece of cilantro. A white bowl of chopped cilantro and fresh tomatoes are in the background

This recipe uses simple pantry ingredients like red lentils, tomato paste, vegetable stock, and nutritious sweet potatoes. Make this great recipe in an instant pot, slow cooker, dutch oven, or medium pot on the stove top!

red lentil and potato soup in a white bowl that is garnished with a piece of cilantro. A white bowl of chopped cilantro and fresh tomatoes are in the background
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Vegan Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

This spicy, nutritious and delicious sweet potato lentil soup recipe is perfect for keeping you warm on a cold day! Just toss all the ingredients in a large soup pot and give it an occasional stir. Pour yourself a big bowl, curl up under a cozy blanket, and enjoy!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: dinner, Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: Plant-based, Vegan
Keyword: cooking for one, easy hearty soup, red lentils, soup, soups for fall, spicy soup, sweet potatoes
Servings: 2 people

Ingredients

  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cups diced sweet potato chopped into small 1/4" – 1/2" cubes
  • 2 whole bay leaves
  • 3/4 cup red lentils rinsed
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 bulb shallots finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 pinch cinnamon powder OPTIONAL
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro finely chopped

Instructions

  • Pour the vegetable stock into a medium soup pan over medium to high heat.
    vegetable broth in soup pan for red lentil potato soup recipe
  • As the stock is heating up, toss in the bay leaves and diced sweet potatoes into the pan.
  • Rinse the red lentils in water, and add them to the soup pan with the other ingredients.
    one cup red lentils
  • Add the chopped garlic, ginger, and shallots.
    chopped garlic and charlotte onions
  • Measure out the correct amounts of tomato paste, and add them to the soup pan along with the contents of the can of tomatoes.
  • Add the remaining spices and stir well until everything is blended. Bring the soup to a light boil, then cover the pan and lower the heat to low or medium. Allow the soup to simmer gently until the potatoes are soft, then remove from the stove.
    cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom and garam masala powder
  • Take the bay leaves out of the liquid, then add the coconut milk and stir. Lastly add the chopped cilantro to the soup and stir until the herbs are blended.
    Serve in a bowl with a garnish of cilantro leaves.

Notes

INSTA-POT INSTRUCTIONS:  Add all the ingredients except for the cilantro and coconut milk into the pan. Hit the “Soup” button and adjust the time for 18-20 minutes.  Add the coconut milk to the mixture once it’s done cooking then stir in the chopped parsley and serve.
The majority of the time making this soup is in the prep!!
Once you have everything chopped, diced, and measured, it goes together quickly.
This is fast and easy soup to make since you add the ingredients that take the most time to cook first. There’s no added oil, and if you prefer to limit calories, you can use lite coconut milk instead of the full-fat kind.
The recipe itself only takes about 15-20 minutes to cook since most of the cooking time is for the potatoes.    
TIP: The smaller you chop the potatoes, the faster they cook. 
OPTIONS: If you want to turn up the heat, add a teaspoon of red pepper flakes or substitute hot chili powder for the chili powder.

A Nourishing and Energizing Vegan Meal for 1-2

It can be hard making a hearty vegan meal for one, but this simple red lentil sweet potato soup is awesome for leftovers! Plus, this is such an easy soup to prepare by using staple pantry ingredients already in your kitchen. 

My easy red lentil sweet potato soup is made with warm spices that will heat you up from the inside out. The earthy vegetables in this flavorful soup also give you plenty of energy to get through the day. 

This delicious plant-based recipe is also packed with nutrients that are perfect for vegan diets. Make sure to use high-quality and organic produce for optimal nutrition. Check out some of the nutritional information for this hearty soup towards the end of this post.

How to Make My Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

Simply add the ingredients to a medium or large pot in the order described. Boil the mixture over medium high heat until the mixture begins to boil. Then, cover and lower the heat to low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Give the soup a stir with a soup spoon every few minutes. Just like that, this easy vegan red lentil and potato soup recipe is done and ready to serve.

Substitutions for this recipe

If needed, feel free to use curry powder instead of garam masala in a 1:1 substitution.

Use brown lentils if you want to use another type of lentils. If you add green lentils or black lentils, keep in mind they may need an additional 10-20 minutes.  

If you’re out of vegetable broth, you can substitute a bouillon like the Better Than Bouillon brand that’s 100% vegan.

Replace the shallots with yellow onion if needed, but add a pinch of sugar to mimic the sweetness. 

How to serve this red lentil and sweet potato soup recipe

What’s the best way to serve my red lentil and sweet potato soup recipe?

Try serving it with a delicious vegan sandwich or my quick and easy summer salad recipe. You can also serve it with toasted garlic bread, sweet cornbread, or even roasted vegetables! If you want a little coolness, add a dollop of vegan sour cream on top for added coolness. 

For a creamy soup without chunks, use an immersion blender (stick blender) until smooth. I recommend setting aside some broth before blending so you can control the texture.

Can I save the red lentil sweet potato soup for leftovers?

Yes, please do! This soup will last in your refrigerator for up to 4 days and requires no meal prep. Like many great soups, this recipe keeps building more and more flavor the longer you have it. 

To reheat your soup with the same original texture, add vegetable broth or water to thin it out. It’ll come right back to life after 10-15 minutes of simmering over medium low heat. 

Can I freeze this red lentil and sweet potato soup recipe?

You totally can! This red lentil and sweet potato soup recipe will hold in the freezer for about 2 months, making it perfect for future cravings. I recommend making a larger batch and saving the soup in either freezer-safe bags or BPA-free plastic soup containers

When you’re ready to reheat, start by thawing your soup in warm water (while still in the bag or container). When it starts to loosen up, transfer the contents into a medium pot on the stove. You can also let the soup come to room temperature on the counter and then reheat. Simple as that! 

A wood scoop with red lentils on a wooden board - ingredients for a red lentil and potato soup recipe by Easy Way to Vegan

About the Ingredients for Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are an amazing superfood full of antioxidants (beta carotene and vitamins C,D, and E), potassium, magnesium, and iron. These help support your immune system and regulate your vital internal balances. 

What are some of the best benefits of sweet potatoes? They help:

  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Remove excess sodium in the body
  • Reduce stress and relax the muscles
  • Reduce the chances of certain breast, lung, skin, oral, and colon cancers
  • Balance cognitive function
  • Aid in digestion
  • Reduce inflammation

Benefits of Red Lentils

Lentils are yummy little legumes that are excellent in this lentil potato soup recipe. Red lentils are distinctly flavored superfood that are extremely popular in vegan recipes. They’re full of B-vitamins, iron, plant-based protein, and fiber. They’re also very filling, and can be prepared in many different ways.

Some of the best health benefits of red lentils are that they help:

  • Boost your energy levels
  • Control your weight (about 230 calories per cup)
  • Improve your skin health
  • Manage blood pressure and cholesterol 

Red lentils are the best choice for vegan soups because they thicken the soup into a luscious, creamy texture. And they cook really quickly!

Benefits of the Spices

This easy vegan recipe is full of delicious spices with wonderful health benefits. Mix these pantry staples into your lentil soup recipe to really ramp up the nutritional value!

  • Fresh Ginger: Fresh ginger is full of antioxidants, helps fight germs, and soothes nausea. It can also lower your blood sugar and cholesterol and help prevent certain cancers.
  • Garam Masala: This Indian spice is found in most grocery stores. It consists of black pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, coriander powder, cumin, and nutmeg. Garam Masala is full of antioxidants, reduces inflammation, aids digestion, and even helps you better absorb the other nutrients in this dish. Amazing! 
  • Turmeric powder (and black pepper): See more on this powerful combo below!
A wooden spoonful of golden powdered turmeric, with sliced turmeric root to the left and a green leaf

Benefits of Turmeric

Turmeric is a golden-yellow spice from India with a subtle but deep flavor. Turmeric has many wonderful health benefits, some of which are actually amplified by black pepper!

The most active compound in turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin has amazing anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  

By mixing turmeric with piperine (found in black pepper), it can boost the intake of curcumin by up to 2000%. Yes, that’s three zeros!!!

So, if you’re looking for a healthy soup recipe or are just in the mood for some comfort food, this hearty red lentil potato soup is sure to please. Not only is it delicious and easy to make, but it is vegan and packs a nutritional punch. It provide plenty of fiber, protein, and other essential nutrients, so give it a try today!

And if you do, be sure to leave it a five-star rating below.

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4 Comments

  1. Alexander Johnson says:

    5 stars
    Made this recipe today and absolutely loved it!!! I accidentally put in a bit too much potato, but I just had to cook for an extra 10 or so minutes. Highly recommend for a healthy, hearty soup!! I think the leftovers will last for about 4 lunch sized portions.

  2. Thank you so much for the vegan soup recipe! I am six weeks into my plant-based vegan eating commitment and feel so much better! I’m on a quest to find excellent, easy-to-make recipes, and looking forward to trying your yummy soup soon.

    1. You’re very welcome, Marie!! Congratulations on the plant-based vegan journey – I’m thrilled you’re feeling better and hope you enjoy the recipe. I can’t wait to add more for Fall 🙂