Monday, November 29, 2010

Crockpot (or Stovetop) Recipe for Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk

This Crockpot Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk is just spicy enough to be interesting!

Lately I've been making soup like crazy, because when it snows for days on end nothing sounds as warming as a big bowl of soup.  I love to make soup as much as I love to eat soup, even if I don't especially care for the weather that inspires all this soup-making.  This Crockpot Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk was my version of a Thai Coconut Curry Soup I spotted on Jeanette's Healthy Living.

I changed the Thai curry paste to curry powder which I thought would hold up better in the slow cooker, and also changed the proportions of the recipe a bit for a slightly different riff on Jeannete's soup.  I enjoyed this with a generous dollop of fat-free Greek yogurt, which didn't make it into the photo, and this is a soup I'll definitely be making again.

I used crushed ginger and garlic puree in this soup, but if you're using freshly minced ginger or garlic I'd reduce the amount a little.

Heat olive oil in a heavy pan, then saute chopped onion for 3-4 minutes.  Add crushed ginger and garlic puree and saute 1-2 minutes more, then add curry powder and saute another minute.  Put the sauteed onion and spice into the crockpot.

Chop up one very large sweet potato into 1/2 inch dice and add to crockpot.  (These are sometimes called yams or sweet yams in U.S. grocery stores, but they're really sweet potatoes.)

Add the red lentils to the crockpot.

Deglaze the pan with about 1 cup of the chicken stock and add it to the crockpot.

Then add the other 5 cups of stock, and stir to distribute the ingredients.

Cook on high for about 4 hours, or until lentils are starting to dissolve and the sweet potatoes are very soft.  (If you want a completely smooth soup you can puree it at this point, but I left mine slightly chunky.

Add 1 can light coconut milk and cook about 20 minutes more.  Season with sea salt to taste and serve hot, with a generous dollop of fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream if desired.

Crockpot (or Stovetop)  Recipe for Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Curry and Coconut Milk
(Makes about 6 servings, recipe adapted from Thai Coconut Curry Soup at Jeanette's Healthy Living.)

1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup chopped onion)
2 tsp. crushed ginger or ginger puree (or use a slightly smaller amount of finely minced ginger)
2 tsp. garlic puree (or use a slightly smaller amount of finely minced fresh garlic)
1 T curry powder (I used Penzeys sweet curry powder)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1 1/2 cup red lentils
6 cups homemade chicken stock (or use 4 cans chicken broth)
1 can light coconut milk
sea salt to taste
fat-free Greek yogurt or light sour cream, for serving (optional)

Heat olive oil in heavy frying pan; add the chopped onion and saute 3-4 minutes or until onion starts to soften.  Add the ginger and garlic and saute 1-2 minutes more; then add the curry powder and saute one more minute.  Add the onion mixture to the crockpot.

Add the chopped sweet potato and red lentils to the crockpot.  Deglaze the pan with 1 cup of the chicken stock and add to crockpot along with the rest of the stock.

Cook on high for 4 hours, or until lentils are starting to dissolve and sweet potato is very soft.  (At this point you can mash or puree with an immersion blender if you want, but I left my soup fairly chunky.)  Add 1 can light coconut milk and cook about 20 minutes more.  Season to taste with sea salt and serve hot, with fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream if desired.

Stovetop Recipe Instructions
Heat olive oil in a heavy soup pot, then saute onions, ginger, garlic, and curry powder as described above.  Add chopped sweet potato, red lentils, and stock, bring to a low simmer and let cook until lentils are starting to dissolve and sweet potatoes are very soft, about 1 hour.  (At this point you can mash or puree with an immersion blender if desired.)

Add coconut milk and cook soup at the barest possible simmer for about 10 minutes, taking care not to let the mixture boil after the coconut milk has been added.  Season with sea salt to taste and serve hot, with a dollop or fat free Greek yogurt or light sour cream if desired.

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South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Sweet potatoes and red lentils are both great low-glycemic ingredients, and using light coconut milk makes this soup suitable for phase 2 or 3 of the  South Beach Diet.  Limit portion sizes for phase 2, since dried beans are limited to 1/3 to 1/2 cup serving.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Soups with Coconut Milk:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Spicy Pumpkin Soup with Coconut Milk from Gluten Free Goddess

Coconut Lime Turkey (or Chicken) and Rice Soup from Kalyn's Kitchen

Creamy Zucchini and Coconut Milk Soup from Cookin' Canuck

Thai Chicken Soup from Kalyn's Kitchen

Green Lentil Soup with Coconut Milk from Lisa's Kitchen

(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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More to Chew On:


  1. This sounds delicious! Just found your blog and really like it. I'm always looking for healthy recipes, and you have some great sounding ones on your blog.

  2. Welcome! Hope you'll enjoy the recipes.

  3. YUUUM! Lentils and coconut milk... sounds incredible and perfect for the cold winter!

  4. First of all I love the new layout Kalyn! It looks soooo good.

    Second of all - YUM. I am an addict of anything that involves thai curry and when you throw in sweet potatoes as well? I'm basically in heaven.

  5. Hmm... I know next to nothing about cooking... would I add more or less if using dried powdered ginger? (whatever comes in the one with the other spice bottles)

  6. Hi Kalyn, thanks for putting a twist on my recipe for this soup. I can't wait to try your crockpot version, such a great idea for the winter. Love your new blog look!

  7. I like the header for the blog - very elegant! the soup sounds delicious - I have a great recipe for lentils and coconut milk soup but it's by a chef of a famous local fancy spa-hotel and has way too many ingredients.
    I have at home everything that is in your recipe so I might make it this week instead of the pea & leek soup I was planning on making.
    Thanks for the recipe!

  8. Glad people are liking the sound of this. Thanks for the nice feedback on the new look of the blog too.

    I wouldn't recommend using dried ginger powder as a substitute for the ginger in this recipe. The flavor of dried ginger is very different and much stronger. If you don't want to buy a jar of ginger like I used, just buy a small piece of fresh ginger root and chop or grate it.

  9. Again, I love the new look! I could use a bowl of this soup today too!

  10. first time here, and it looks like you have a great site! I'm a soup-addict too, and since my sister-in-law is coming over for a day of sewing, and the snow is flying, I think I'm stickin' this in the crockpot for lunch, considering i think i have all the ingredients on hand.....awesome! thanks for sharing!
    cathy b. @ brightbakes

  11. Kalyn,

    This soup sounds wonderful, I've been reading your blog for over a year and you certainly send out winners.

    TJ's brand of Crush Ginger was the only one that I could find that didn't have sugar added and it's been discontinued at the Albuquerque stores. Are you able to purchase it in SLC?

    Would Ginger Juice from The Ginger People work as well or would fresh ginger be the best substitute?

    Thanks, Sara

  12. Looks amazing. I love the idea of starting parts of soups destined for the crock pot in a skillet. Taking the time to brown ingredients in a skillet really helps to make sure you can get the most of your crock pot recipe.

  13. Thanks Maria and Cathy!

    Sara, I buy that TJ's ginger when I'm visiting my brother in California. In Salt Lake I buy Spice World ground ginger that doesn't have sugar. I think the juice would work, but I wouldn't saute it with the onions, just add to the soup.

  14. Looks a really tasty soup.
    I am a school friend of Christine Cooks

  15. Hi Anne, and welcome! I love Christine, just wish I got to see her more often.

  16. Love your blog and this soup sounds delicious. The combo of it all sounds very pleasing and I've been wanting to do lentils but not a traditional lentil soup. Gonna try it!

  17. I just love lentil soup and this one sounds fabulous!

  18. What would you all think about freezing this? I want to make some for a friend whose baby is in the NICU, but I also want to give her the option of freezing the meal in the case of leftovers or too much food for that day (we're doing a meal train which sometimes results in lots of extras :).

    I'm unsure mainly for the sweet potato part since I know white potatoes don't generally freeze well.

  19. I actually froze half of the batch I made but I haven't eaten it from the freezer yet. Truly I think it will be okay, because the sweet potatoes are cooked until they're kind of falling apart anyway. Obviously, don't add the yogurt or sour cream until right when you serve it if you use those.

    That's such a nice thing to do!

  20. What a lovely soup! Warm and hearty indeed. Really like the new look of your blog!

  21. LimeCake, thank you! I am thrilled with it.

  22. My husband used to have some success in cooking by combining ingredients based on color, and this soup certainly reminds me that foods of like colors like to be together! I'm bookmarking this one.

  23. Thank you Kalyn. I made this tonight using fresh ginger and garlic. Your directions were very clear and the dish is delicious. I added green peas (3/4c) and a handful of green beans when I added the coconut milk.

  24. Great idea to add some veggies. So glad you liked it.

  25. I made this tonight on the stove-top. Delish. I used half garam masala and half yellow curry powder (both from Penzey's -- love that place!) I also added one bunch of kale, chopped, to get some hard-hitting veggie nutrition in there. It was a perfect one-pot meal for a cold night. My husband loved it. Thanks!

  26. I love all the ideas people are coming up with for additions to the soup! Kale! Now why didn't I think of that?

  27. I made this two weeks ago and backtracked back to this page to tell you that it was wonderful and perfect for a wintry day in Pennsylvania. I loved the addition of the lentils especially; it seems like I always have an open bag of lentils somewhere that I need to use up. I also threw in some Thai red curry paste. Unorthodox, I know, but I love curry and am trying to clean out my fridge before moving!

  28. Kristin, so glad you liked it.

  29. Looks delicious! I love the ingredients, bookmarking this!

  30. recently read that low fat coconut milk is now allowed in phase 1 of SBD.. so i guess this recipe will work in all phases.

    have lost 3 kg in 2 weeks (did not do phase 1 yet, starting next week)
    would not have been able to do it without this blog! its amazing!!

  31. Anette, I believe that light coconut milk has been allowed for quite a while, but this would be phase 2 or 3 due to the sweet potatoes. Glad you are enjoying the blog!


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