Monday, September 26, 2011

Curried Lentil and Yam Soup

This one is SPICY! 
But no worries... 
You can make it less spicy or not spicy at all, if that is your preference. 
Just reduce the amount of jalapeño used.

Originally intended to be a yellow split pea and sweet potato soup, my plans changed slightly once I discovered that my "yellow peas" were really red lentils... and that my "sweet potato" was actually a yam, instead. And it was smaller than I had remembered, so I added a few small red potatoes into the pot as well.

And that's how we do it... 
We work with what we've got, making sure the basics are covered.
The lentils and yam will serve as my protein and complex carbohydrates. 
The onion, peppers, ginger and spice "dress it up" a bit, and the coconut milk and cilantro act as "accessories". You could use cashew cream and fresh basil, if you want, instead.

Loaded with b vitamins and potassium, yams help regulate blood sugar and weight, ward off menopausal symptoms, and eliminate hypertension. Red lentils are quick cooking, packed with folate, fiber and magnesium, and are chocked full of iron. Many of the added spices to this dish are anti-inflammatory, and help aid in easing joint tension and pain associated with Arthritis, Tendonitis, Fibromyalgia, Diverticulitis and Crohns. Turmeric, in particular, is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent and is exceptionally beneficial in treating everything from cancer to Alzheimer's disease.

But I digress... Mmmm... delicious Curried Lentil and Yam Soup... :)

Here's what I had on hand:

1-2 TB olive, peanut or coconut oil
½ large onion, chopped
1 dried or fresh jalapeño pepper, minced
1 TB fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp curry
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
7 cups water 
1 medium jewel or garnet yam, peeled and diced
8 small red potatoes, skins left on and diced
1 small orange bell pepper
1 1/2 cups dried red lentils
½ cup of light coconut milk
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Here’s what I did:

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium high heat.
Add onion, peppers and jalapeno…
Saute until tender, about 3 minutes.

Stir in ginger and spices, stirring for 1 minute.
Mix in 7 cups water, sweet potatoes and split peas.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat 
and simmer with cover “ajar” for about an hour,
stirring occasionally.

Blend soup for a smoother texture,
 thin with additional water if needed.  
(I tend to leave my soup chunky.)
Season with salt and pepper.
When the desired consistency had been reached,
Add coconut milk, and stir.
Top each serving with some cilantro,
and a dollop of cashew cream or yogurt,
if you’ve got some.

For more information on the health benefits of red lentils, click on this link:

For more information on the health benefits of yams, click on this link:

For more information on the health benefits of turmeric, click on this link:


  1. Good combination of curried and soup. i think that it is too interesting to enjoy white rice with this curried.
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