Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sweet Potato Lentil Curry Soup

So, here's my impromptu slow cooker recipe for Sweet Potato Lentil Curry Soup. This was invented on a lazy Sunday decision to make soup, but without planning ahead. So I just used whatever I had sitting around the house. Namely, sweet potatoes, lentils, and carrots. It turned out to be delicious (even my omni husband loved it), but feel free to make adjustments and add different veggies if that's what you happen to have available: peas, corn, green beans, celery, regular potatoes, etc.

Also, depending on how much time you have to let it cook, you don't have to follow all of the directions that closely. ;)


2 cups red lentils
2 cups brown lentils (or just 4 cups of one kind if that's what you have)
3-4 medium sweet potatoes
1 bunch of carrots
3/4 of a medium white or yellow onion
2 gloves of garlic
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2-3 terra packs of vegetable broth*
1 tsp cumin**
1 tsp cardamom
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
dash of salt (to taste)

*I had 2 1/2 containers of veggie broth and also added about 4 cups of water so the soup wouldn't be too thick and stew-like. You could also use vegetable boullion cubes or just add some celery and more onion and let the soup cook longer to give it more flavor.)

**These spices are mostly optional, based on your personal preferences/availability, and I actually didn't measure any of them. I just sprinkled them until I thought it tasted like I had enough. I make curry stir-fry a lot, so I know what I like it to taste like. Also, instead of using all of these separate spices, you could do it the easy way and use curry spice! :)

First, I preheated the oven to 350 to cook my sweet potatoes (because they're easier to cut once they're a little softer. I also plugged in my slow cooker and added the vegetable broth. If you're going to be cooking on high and want more of a soup than a stew, I also recommend adding 4-6 cups of water at this time.

While the oven is preheating and the slow cooker is heating up, chop the onions and dice your garlic cloves. Then, wash the potatoes, wrap them in aluminum foil, and put them in the oven. Set the timer for 25-30 minutes, and then saute your onions and garlic in a little bit of olive oil.

Once your onions are transparent and both garlic and onions are a nice golden brown, (don't burn them!) transfer them to the crock pot. Feel free to add some olive oil to the crock pot, too, if you prefer.

Now, it's time to chop up your carrots. Don't forget to wash & peel them. Then, chop them up into bite-sized pieces and add them to your crock pot. Also, add all of your spices (except salt) and both kinds of lentils to the crock pot at this time.

Check on your sweet potatoes when you're finished with this. When they're done, not cooked through, but soft enough that they're easier to peel and cut, take them out and turn off the oven. Unwrap the aluminum foil and let them sit for about five minutes until they've cooled down enough to work with. Then, peel the potatoes and chop them into bite-sized pieces.

Add the sweet potato pieces to your crock pot (along with any other vegetables you'd like to add). Take a taste of the soup broth to see if you want to sprinkle any more spices on at this time. (I prefer to take multiple taste tests as I go along.)

Here's a picture of my crock pot and some of the ingredients that I used:
Let your soup cook on high for about an hour and a half or keep it on low if you have more time and don't mind waiting for your soup. If you cook it on high, make sure to check on the soup, stir it up, add more water and/or spices as needed, etc.

Once your soup is done, put it in your favorite bowl, and enjoy!

My yummy soup!

This recipe makes a lot of soup. It could probably serve about 6-10 people. Maybe also make/serve some crusty bread and a quick dessert if you're planning on serving it for company. If you make it over the weekend for just yourself or your family, like me, then you'll end up with lots of delicious leftover soup to pack in your lunch during the week! :)

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