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.

4.8 from 13 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.

 

36 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it):  

  1. Ann bagel
    03.03.2021

    The flavor of this was wonderful . I’d add the green beans earlier – here they are left too the end with spinach. I’m not a raw green bean fan so I had to cook them longer in the lentil mix and everything turned into a mush without enough texture to call it a stew .

  2. Maddie
    02.13.2021

    I’ve made this several times and it’s super delicious. I decided to up the curry powder to 3 tsp, and I was pretty generous with the salt (which I recommend). I also used frozen green beans, which worked very well. The lime and lemon juice really take this dish to the next level. The best part is, it tastes even better the next day as the cardamom really pokes through!

  3. Idara Danson
    08.22.2020

    Thanks for the update on preparing the lentil soup 🍲

  4. 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.

  5. 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!

  6. 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!

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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!

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
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.