Curried Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup

I am really enjoying this winter weather! I look forward to eating nice, warm, comforting meals. Of course soup is on the top of that list! If you are a fan of sweet potatoes, lentils, and curry, then you are going to LOVE this soup! This soup has just the right amount of kick from the curry but the sweetness from the potatoes balances it out nicely. Did you know that lentils are a stellar source of folate and fiber? They are an excellent energy source and they keep you full, which makes them perfect for winter meals! Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, minerals and healthy starch. I love to serve this soup with homemade bread…talk about pure comfort! This soup stores well, so you can make a batch and eat it for several meals during the week. I think the flavors develop better after the first day of making it. YAY for cooking once and eating like 4 times!

1 Tbsp grape seed oil (optional)
1/2 large onion, diced
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
4 celery stalks, rinsed and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (NOT yams)
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
6 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup green lentils, thoroughly rinsed and drained
1/2 cup red lentils, thoroughly rinsed and drained
Sea Salt & freshly ground Black Pepper

Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, onion, ginger, carrots and celery (alternately, you can dry saute the onion, ginger, carrots and celery adding in a bit of vegetable broth so veggies don’t stick). Season with a pinch each sea salt and black pepper and stir. Cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onions are soft and fragrant.
Add garlic and sweet potatoes and stir. Cook for 3-4 minutes to brown slightly, and then add curry powder. Stir to coat. Cook 2 minutes more.
Add 6 cups vegetable broth and increase heat to medium-high. Once at a low boil, add lentils, stir, and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, uncovered, or until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender.
Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. Note: if you don’t like the flavor of curry, omit and add 1 teaspoon dried thyme instead.
Serve immediately with cilantro and a fresh squeeze of lemon juice. Store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 4 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. (Adapted slightly from Recipe Source: Minimalist Baker)

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