Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

An easy weeknight curry recipe made with red lentils, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, and spinach. Vegan, gluten-free, healthy, and delicious.

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

This is a big day, friends. No, I don’t have any new book or baby announcements on the agenda – but today is the first day in four years that this vegetarian food blog has a lentil recipe! I have at least 39 chickpea recipes (more if you count the ones I probably forgot to tag) but let me present – the almighty lentil.

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

I realize that many of you probably really love lentils… they’re a great source of protein, especially if you’re vegan or vegetarian. My relationship with lentils has been so-so, but lately I’ve been giving them another chance. So far, I’ve found that I’m ok with red lentils. (baby steps)

If you’re like me and are ready to be converted, this red lentil sweet potato stew is a darn good place to start. Though it’s a bit of a hot mess, it’s been one of our favorite recipes this fall. Unlike most soups that I make, it’s not broth-y or creamy. Instead it has a deliciously thick texture that’s somewhere in between.

Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew

It’s spiced with ginger, curry & cardamom and brightened with generous squeezes of lime. It’s great the first day, the second day, and… well… it didn’t last any longer than that in our house, but it won’t be long before I make this one again.

5.0 from 10 reviews
Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • ½ large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 large sweet potato, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons muchi curry powder*
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ¾ cup dried red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup chopped green beans
  • ½ cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • Juice of 1 lime, plus extra lime wedges for serving
  • Juice of ½ small lemon
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro (optional)
Optional: yogurt sauce
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and a few pinches of salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, garlic, ginger, and sweet potatoes and stir. Add the curry, cardamom, and another pinch of salt and pepper. Stir again and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the lentils and broth. Reduce heat and simmer until the carrots and sweet potatoes are soft, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Use an immersion blender (or a potato masher) to coarsely blend the stew. Add the green beans, peas, and spinach and cook for another few minutes. Add the lime juice, lemon juice, and red pepper flakes, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more spice, lime, and salt and pepper to balance the flavors to your liking.
  3. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if using, and serve with lime wedges. If desired, combine all yogurt sauce ingredients and serve on the side.
Notes
*muchi curry powder is a blend of turmeric, cumin, ginger, black pepper, coriander, fenugreek, garlic, cloves, cayenne pepper and caraway. (I have the whole foods brand). Substitute any curry spice you like, if you're sensitive to spice, start with less and add more to taste.

If you over-spice your soup, add a splash of white wine vinegar to tone down the heat.

 

33 comments

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  1. Wow, I didn’t realize you don’t have lentil recipes here before this one – buy hey, really great one for your first 🙂 I love lentils for starters and I’m a big fan of curry as well, so I’m really excited about this Curried Red Lentil Sweet Potato Stew recipe.

  2. oh my goodness this reminds me of graduate school! My friend, Caroline (from Denmark), would a similar recipe from Ottelenghi’s book when we all had a paper deadline. This is definitely a more green-friendly version… need to try it out! Thank you 🙂 x

  3. Allyson from consideringtheradish.wordpress.com
    11.03.2015

    Lentil love will creep up on you slowly, until one day you wonder what you ever did before lentils. This lentil soup looks beautiful.

    • Rachel
      04.10.2016

      I just made this, AWESOME!!!🖒🖒🖒FIVE STARS!!!!

      • Jeanine Donofrio
        04.11.2016

        thanks Rachel! SO glad you loved it!

  4. I’m all about warm, hearty stews this season, and you had me at red lentils and sweet potato (I just made a chili with those ingredients too!). This just looks so comforting!

  5. Haha, I guess I’ve always been so excited about whatever recipe you put out I didn’t even notice you never use lentils! I don’t need to be convinced when it comes to lentils, and especially this soup. 😉 I love the coconut, red lentil, sweet potato combo, perfect winter comfort food. And I like that you use cardamom in here too.

  6. I recently just started eating Lentils too! I can’t believe I went my whole life without eating this deliciousness! This recipe sounds amazing, will give it a try! 🙂

  7. Nadine
    11.04.2015

    may I ask what kind of pots you are using? They look beautiful!

  8. Welcome to the lentil fan club Jeanne! Or “kind of” ;). This red lentil stew looks so hearty, warming, and full of flavor – everything I am craving this time of year <3 so lovely.

  9. This stew looks and sounds soooo comforting! I wanna make it and bundle up on the couch with my dog!

  10. dana
    11.05.2015

    Eating this for dinner right now…YUM. Love & Lemons is my favorite food blog and I saw this and made it straight away because I had (almost) all the ingredients already. Even though I had to sub water for veg broth and kale for spinach, and skip out on the lemon juice and cilantro, it is delicious. Great consistency and spicy aroma. A perfect stand alone dish for a crisp fall evening 🙂

    • dana
      11.05.2015

      Also definitely ate 2 servings…oops

      • jeanine
        11.05.2015

        Aww, you’re so sweet – I’m so glad you loved it as much as we did!

  11. This looks fantastic, and very warming for this time of year. Thanks for the tip with the vinegar. I am prone to adding too much heat and then just suffering through it.

  12. Sweta
    11.10.2015

    I just made this with my best friend! It reminded us a lot of Indian dal, which is my most favorite comfort food. I added two serrano peppers and a ridiculous amount of cumin and red chili pepper, and it took us both back to India! 🙂

  13. Clodagh
    11.12.2015

    WOW! Just made this on a damp, November London evening. Absolutely delicious and really easy to make. My mouth was watering as it was simmering as it smelled so delicious. I used watercress instead of spinach and extra peas as I didn’t have any green beans.

  14. Alison
    11.16.2015

    This dish is amazing! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I’ve made it twice now, it’s so delicious! Everything I’ve made from this blog has been a hit.

  15. Thanks for your wonderful article .Eat Healthy Live Healthy …Every one are not living for eating but eat for living.

  16. Gabrielle
    01.22.2016

    What to do when your city closes down for a rare winter storm? Why, check Love and Lemons for soup ideas of course ! It was a safe alternative to the drunk sledding that broke out in the neighborhood.

    Was looking to make the Tomato Chickpea Coconut Soup (for the third time) when I saw this gem. It’s so good! I took some liberties-added a shallot, a whole bag of red lentils, a can of coconut milk and a pinch of smoked paprika. Thanks for being such a great part of our snow day in Nashville.

    • jeanine
      01.23.2016

      HA – best comment ever – you win. Although drunk sledding sounds fun too :).

  17. Wow, Jeanine , this recipe was amazing! I especially like the Indian influences in the stew- cooking gourmet, vegetarian meals at home usually takes a significant amount of cooking and prep time but this stew recipe made it seem like a breeze!

  18. Jill from jillheffron.com
    01.25.2016

    This looks amazing and I actually have (almost) all of the ingredients in the house! I think I’ll try it tonight. Thank you for providing inspiration for tonight’s dinner!

  19. Ashley
    03.16.2016

    This was delicious! Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    I didn’t have muchi curry powder, but subbed another curry powder and added some garam masala with great results.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.18.2016

      Hi Ashley, so glad you liked it!

  20. Steph
    04.13.2016

    Excellent! Just made it using garam masala and subbing one cup of the broth for coconut milk (and omitting green beans/peas– just didn’t have them on hand). Really delicious.

  21. Sally
    05.13.2016

    This was truly delicious. I think the lemon/lime juice was key. Gave it some zing. I added a couple tablespoons of brown sugar and more water but altogether, excellent.

  22. Doodles
    01.13.2017

    I’m a little late to the party here, but just made this. For sure, it is absolutely the MOST delicious soup I’ve ever had. Came together so easily. We couldn’t even wait to put it in a bowl, we ate it directly from the pot! The cardamom really makes it in our opinion. (Not a fan of lentils either, never used cardamom before).
    Thanks for the fab recipe!

  23. Nikky
    01.23.2017

    THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE! I could not find muchi curry powder at my local grocery store (Food Cellar) but instead I made my own based off the spices you listed…didnt have fenugreek or cloves and I wasn’t sure what the ratios were, but I did:
    1 tsp of each: turmeric, black pepper
    1.5 tsp of each: cumin, ginger, coriander, cayenne, caraway
    2 tsp garlic powder
    Mixed it all together and then took 2 tsps of that combo as the recipe specified. Was flavorful and spicy, but not too spicy (disclosure: I love VERY spicy food so maybe my judgement isn’t the best). Thanks Jeanine, I loved this!

  24. Deidra
    07.25.2017

    This is amazing! I’m now on my 2nd large bowl. I made a few changes (didn’t want to venture out). I used Japanese sweet potatoes, sirracha instead of red pepper, added a variety of greens, and topped it with chopped green onions (green and white part). I didn’t make the yoghurt sauce as I an vegan, but might try next time with vegan yoghurt. This will make it into rotation on my menu. Thanks.

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Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.