Enjoy this recipe for a red curry lentil soup with sweet potatoes and spinach

Photo by Linda Xiao/The New York Times / Red curry lentil soup with sweet potatoes and spinach
Photo by Linda Xiao/The New York Times / Red curry lentil soup with sweet potatoes and spinach

As Chattanooga welcomes the cooler months, warm up (and spice up) this season with a sweet potato soup featuring an interesting twist. Lidey Heuck's recipe combines a classic taste of fall with vibrant Thai flavors, making this soup perfect for a cold and cozy night.

Though unhealthy foods are tempting with the holiday season approaching, this vegetarian soup is guilt-free. Vitamin- and mineral-rich sweet potatoes, lentils and spinach create the backbone of the dish. The list of spices offers several potential health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory properties from ginger and antioxidant benefits from turmeric and chile peppers.

In just an hour, you can whip up this pot of soup for any fall gathering. Or, make a pot for yourself and have leftovers to enjoy for days to come.

Red Curry Lentil Soup With Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total time: 1 hour


3 tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. sweet potatoes (about 2 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

3 tbsp. Thai red curry paste

3 garlic cloves, minced (about 1 tbsp.)

1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 tbsp.)

1 red chile, such as Fresno or serrano, halved, with seeds and ribs removed, then minced

1 tsp. ground turmeric

1 cup red lentils, rinsed

4 cups low-sodium vegetable stock

2 tsp. kosher salt (add more to taste, if desired)

1 (13-ounce) can full-fat coconut milk

1 (4- to 5-ounce) bag baby spinach

1/2 lime, juiced

Fresh cilantro leaves, for serving

Toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, for serving (optional)


1. In a Dutch oven or pot, warm 2 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over (5 to 7 minutes). Transfer the browned sweet potatoes to a plate and set aside.

2. Add the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil to the pot and set the heat to medium-low. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent — 4 to 6 minutes. Add the curry paste, garlic, ginger, chile and turmeric, and cook until fragrant — about 1 minute.

3. Add the lentils, stock, salt and browned sweet potatoes to the pot and bring to a boil over high. Lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are just tender (20 to 25 minutes).

4. Add the coconut milk and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has reduced and the lentils are creamy and falling apart — 15 to 20 minutes.

5. Add the spinach and stir until just wilted (2 to 3 minutes). Off the heat, stir in the lime juice and season with salt to taste.

6. Divide among shallow bowls and (optional) top with cilantro and coconut flakes. Serve with rice or toasted bread.

— Lidey Heuck

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