Persian Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

A few weeks ago I was tinkering with this Persian Beef Stew. It’s a family favorite, but I wanted to create a lamb shank soup version – because ah, lamb shanks! I drool over slow-cooked lamb shanks! I’ll be posting the recipe soon so stay tuned for that one. Anyway, I’m off-track. After we sat down one Sunday lunchtime and totally demolished a pot of Persian lamb shank soup, thus leaving me without any leftovers for my lunch. So I quickly whipped up this vegetarian version full of spice, vegetables, and green lentils for the next few days at the store. And so, this Persian lentil soup was born.

A enamel saucepan full of Persian lentil sweet potato soup with a spoon in it.

Here’s what I love about this hearty soup

It’s an oh-so-easy, throw-it-together, one-pot complete meal, Sunday night supper perfect for the colder months of the year.

We’re talking FULL OF VEGETABLES. Think of all that healthy food goodness in one comforting soup!

To make Persian lentil sweet potato soup, you’ll need…

  • Pantry staples – extra virgin olive oil, vegetable stock, canned crushed tomatoes, water


  • Vegetables – garlic cloves, carrots, celery stalk, sweet potato, leek


  • Spice drawer – turmeric, ground cumin, ground cinnamon, curry powder (I used Keen’s)


  • Green lentils – I use Australian fine green lentils or French lentils. There is always one of these in my pantry


  • Sea Salt Flakes & Black Pepper for seasoning

The deets

  1. In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat on the stove. Add leeks and saute for a couple of minutes until translucent.


  2. Add the garlic, carrot, cinnamon, and celery. Stir through and cook for 30 seconds. Add turmeric, cumin, and curry powder. Stir through and again cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.


  3. Add the stock and canned tomatoes. Give the vegetable broth a good stir, and bring it to a simmer. Pop on the lid and let simmer on low heat for 1.5 hours.


  4. Skim off any of the scum that forms on top. Add the lentils and sweet potato. Pop the lid back on back and cook for a further 30 minutes.


  5. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.


  6. Ladle soup into a big mug or soup bowls and serve the hot soup with a warm soda farl straight off the grill or pita bread.

Equipment

A heavy-based, good-sized stockpot or cast-iron casserole is essential to make a delicious soup. I have a cast-iron Dutch oven in almost every size (If you haven’t cottoned on yet, I LOVE cast-iron cooking). My go-to for soup is a 26 or 28cm French oven. Alternatively, you could also cook this recipe in a slow cooker, pressure cooker or Instant Pot however cooking times will need to be adjusted to the cooking vessel.

A chopping board and cook’s knife. Because we’re cutting up a sweet potato, don’t use anything smaller than a 20cm cook’s knife. Too small and it’ll just get stuck and be a pain!

To serve up your delicious vegetarian lentil soup, you’ll also need a ladle.

Variations and substitutions

I love a good variation, don’t you? Being able to tinker with something so it’s just perfect for you. Here are a few ideas to get you started…

Instead of sweet potato, you could try pumpkin (yum!) or substitute the green lentils for red lentils.

Want to add some greens? Try adding some shredded kale just before serving, or a scatter of fresh herbs like coriander or mint to finish.

Turn it into a main dish… Beef it up with a can of cooked (and drained) chickpeas or white beans for a meatier (yet still vegetarian) hearty winter meal. A piece of warm pita, a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt, and some finely chopped mint will round it out!

Cook’s Notes

This Persian lentil soup lasts in the fridge for 3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze it for up to 6 weeks in an airtight container.

Batch cook this baby!

Soup (like most slow-cooked stews) always tastes better the next day (and the day after!). This is a great recipe to make a big batch for the week’s lunches. I pop individual servings into reusable soup pouches and take them to work. They’re easy to heat up in the microwave and I just pour the contents into a mug to sip on. Be sure to add a slice of sourdough for dunking.

Do you have a favorite soup? Let me know in the comments (I’d struggle to pick just one!)

x

How about a few more Sunday suppers …

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A enamel saucepan full of Persian lentil sweet potato soup with a spoon in it.

Persian Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

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  • Author: Emma Lee
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hours 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 serves 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: One-pan
  • Cuisine: Persian

Description

A vegetarian heart warmer for these cooler days. Full of spice, vegetables, and green lentils, this easy soup is great for batch cooking and makes a delicious lunch in a mug.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 leek, washed and sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 carrots peeled and cut into a rough 1cm sq dice
  • 2 celery stalks leaves removed and sliced
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder (I used Keen’s curry powder)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1L water
  • 1 x 400g can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup green lentils washed 
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cut into a rough 1cm sq dice
  • Salt & Pepper for seasoning

Instructions

  1. Pop the oil into a cast-iron casserole. Heat the pot up on top of the stove and add leeks and saute for a couple of minutes until translucent.
  2. Add the garlic, carrot, and celery. Stir through and cook for 30 seconds. Add turmeric, cumin, cinnamon and curry powder. Stir through and again cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  3. Add the stock, and canned tomatoes. Give a good stir, and bring to a simmer. Pop on the lid and let simmer on low heat for 1.5 hours.
  4. Skim off any of the scum that forms on top.  Add the lentils and sweet potato. Pop the lid back on back and cook for a further 30 minutes.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve in a big mug

Notes

I cooked this soup in a 26cm enamel cast iron French oven.

Keep in the fridge for up to three days or freeze to eat later for up to six weeks.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 217
  • Sugar: 8.3 g
  • Sodium: 786.6 mg
  • Fat: 3.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39.4 g
  • Protein: 10.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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2 Comments

    1. Hi Mike. It sure is! However I like to cook most my soups for that longs to help develop flavors/reduce to the consistency I want. If you are short on time you could definitely reduce the time. Hope this helps 🙂

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