Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew

I’m not exaggerating when I say that soups and stews are my favorite things to cook AND my favorite things to eat. This recipe for Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew is a great example why – it’s surprisingly simple but still richly flavorful and satisfying. With its warming spices and fresh ginger, this stew is the perfect antidote to a chilly winter day. And it’s a crowd pleaser; I’ve served this recipe to friends, family, and retreat attendees, and I can’t recall anyone ever disliking it.


As always, feel free to unleash your creativity and play with ingredients and amounts. I can think of lots of other veggies that could be added (especially greens like kale or collards), and I think some fresh parsley sprinkled in at the end of cooking would be nice. Spicy sausage could also be a tasty addition, though it is nice to have meatless dishes sometimes. You could even pour in some coconut milk at the end of cooking if you’re in the mood for a creamier soup. I love recipe templates like this that give you a strong foundation with plenty of room to make it your own. Have fun. :)


Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Stew

Yields: 4 servings

2 Tablespoons coconut or extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 Tablespoon curry powder

1 diced large onion
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 minced cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 peeled and diced sweet potatoes
1 diced (stemmed, seeded) red bell pepper

1 1/2 cups rinsed red lentils
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook cumin, turmeric and curry powder until fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion with a few pinches salt, and cook, stirring, until tender, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until tender, about 2 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and bell pepper and cook 1 minute.

Add lentils and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are tender, 20-25 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with cilantro before serving.

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