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‘Clean out the Fridge’ Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup

There's nothing like a bowl of hearty soup for quick healthy lunch. I love to prep on a Sunday and use up any vegetables or herbs that may be lingering from the last grocery shop so that I can have a fast lunch at the ready for my work week. This sweet potato lentil soup is gluten free, vegan and loaded with good stuff. Lentil soup is a staple in many cuisines because it is very affordable and nutritional powerhouse. Some of the health benefits of lentils include:

  • High in polyphenols - beneficial for cardiovascular disease
  • Great source of iron, fiber, and protein (1 cup contains 18G)
  • High in magnesium
  • Great for bone health - lentils contain 38g of calcium/cup
 

Our son Parker is also a bit of a picky eater, but he will eat anything in soup, stew or curry form. It's March Break here, so this soup is a great meal to make ahead of time since we're busy with work too!

This recipe is very flexible and customizable. I use it to clean up my vegetable drawer (out with the old, in with the new) which is why it's a good Sunday fridge clean up. The main ingredients you need are generally available pantry items, lentils, canned tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder of choice.

The rest of the vegetables are up to you, with whatever you have on hand.  I like to use up all the ends and bits I have kicking around and chop it all. For this version I used up half a pepper, a remaining sweet potato, and carrot sticks Parker didn't eat for lunch.

 Ingredients:
  • 1 cup dried lentils (green, du puy, brown, red )
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 diced onions
  • 3-7 cloves of minced garlic ( I measure garlic with my heart)
  • 2 inch chunk of peeled and minced ginger
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder of your choice
  • 2 Tablespoons turmeric
  • 4 cups of chopped vegetables of your choice

 How to Make ‘Clean out the Fridge’ Lentil & Sweet Potato Soup:

  1. Prepare all your vegetables, chop everything to similar size, small - medium dice.
  2. Sauté your onions, garlic and ginger on medium heat stirring occasionally in coconut or olive oil until translucent.
  3.  Add 2 tablespoons more oil and add your spices. Stir on medium heat for 5 minutes. Taking this time to toast your spices will bring out more flavor and help them better incorporate into the broth. *be careful not to burn.
  4. Add the rest of the vegetables, a 28oz can of chopped tomatoes & roughly 8 cups of water use vegetable or chicken stock if you have it on hand.
  5. Salt and pepper to taste & juice from 1 lemon
  6. Simmer on low for 45 minutes to an hour or until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
  7. Allow to cool then portion or store in large container fridge for up to 5 days. If you are using upcycled jars you can cover them with  Mind Your Bees beeswax jar toppers.

How Make to the Garnish on Top:

I made a quick garnish with some cilantro I had left over. I added a teaspoon of minced garlic, a handful of cilantro, a pepperoncini pepper, 2 tablespoons of the pepper vinegar, and a splash of water to loosen it up. I added it to a blender and blended it until smooth. It was quite delicious, we also ate it with crispy roasted chicken thighs! You could mix the soup with anything - grilled cheese sandwiches or even a leafy green salad.

Check out the video below.

Do I have to soak lentils before cooking?

Nope! Unlike dried beans that sometimes require a soak, lentils can go right into the pot. This is a part of the beauty of this great recipe because it only requires one pot & a cutting board. I truly appreciate this at the moment as our dishwasher is on the fritz.

What other vegetables would work in this soup?

As long as it's chopped small you can add most anything: cabbage, celery, mushrooms, cauliflower, rutabaga, squash, green beans, zucchini, winter squash, greens like spinach (I'd add these at the very end).

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