A healthy new year’s reset recipe (I need it!), this Thai Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup with Red Lentils comes together in just 30 minutes.
The new year means I’m cutting back on my food budget after overspending, as I always do, in December. And with the new year, comes cravings for fresh, exciting flavours that reach beyond “meat and potatoes” kind of meals. Writing about food and developing recipes is my day job, but I still have moments where I’m scratching my head, wondering what to make for dinner. We are in this together!
I tried meal planning dinners for five nights of the week, but there’s only two of us and I felt like we couldn’t keep up with the leftovers, even when enjoying them for lunch the next day. So, I’m cooking what I feel like now with what I have on hand, gleaning inspiration from Instagram and food blogs and food magazines, and it’s going really well. There is, of course, a rough meal plan in the back of my mind, because dinner on a budget doesn’t come to pass without a bit of pre-shopping. I’m turning to more plant-based, vegan, and vegetarian staples in January, which are naturally more affordable. There are a lot of eggs, beans, lentils, tofu, and yogurt on the menu lately, which suits me just fine, as these are some of the most versatile ingredients to work with.
Soup is very budget-friendly, but can be special, crowd-pleasing, and dinner-worthy, too, and we eat a lot of it around here, especially in the winter months. And, soup is easy to take to the next level with a few flavourful add-ins. Here, simple sweet potatoes are perked up with lime, ginger, curry powder, and fiery red chili is smoothed out with creamy canned coconut milk. I cooked everything with red lentils, which provide protein, iron, fibre, and magic thickening powers, making this soup feel quite substantial on its own.
This creamy, hearty yet healthy soup is the answer to “what should I cook for dinner tonight?” If it’s easy dinner ideas for two you’re looking for, this makes a big pot for lunch leftovers for two (even three) tomorrow. Or, if it’s easy dinner ideas for tonight you’re looking for, this meal comes together in 30 minutes or less. If you have an Instant Pot, I imagine this soup recipe can be made in that, coming together even faster.
Easy on the wallet, real life-friendly, quick, and wholesome.
Thai Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup with Red Lentils Recipe
A creamy, vegan Thai sweet potato soup with coconut milk and ginger, lime, and chili. This soup gets a boost of protein from red lentils, and ingredient that also adds body and thickness. Look for a Thai curry powder or Cambodian amok curry powder with lemongrass and kefir lime. Top your soup with pan-fried tofu cubes or a pile of poached and shredded chicken breast, if desired.
Serves 4 to 6
3 cups water
1.5 lbs (4 medium-small) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into rough chunks
1 onion, peeled and cut into rough chunks
1/2 cup red lentils
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped (optional)
1/2 to 1 fresh red Thai chili, roughly chopped, to taste, more for serving
2 tsp vegetable bouillon powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk, more for serving if desired
1 Tbsp Thai or Cambodian amok curry powder or Thai curry paste (red or yellow)
1 Tbsp lime juice, more for serving
roughly chopped fresh cilantro, for serving
- In a large pot, add water, sweet potatoes, onion, red lentils, garlic, ginger, chili, bouillon, and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes and red lentils are very tender and falling apart. Puree with an immersion blender or transfer to a blender or food processor to puree until smooth (if your blender or food processor are small, puree in two batches).
- Transfer pureed soup back to pot if pureeing in a blender or food processor, and then stir in coconut milk, curry powder or curry paste, and lime juice. Warm soup over medium heat until steaming hot. Finely chop or thinly slice additional chili. Ladle into bowls, garnish with additional coconut milk, if using, chili, lime, and cilantro. Serve.
– If you have time, start things off by sautéing the onions, garlic, ginger, and chili in a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil to add even more flavour.