'Creamy' Red Lentil, Sweet Potato, and Tomato Soup

This delicately spiced vegan soup is perfect for a brisk autumn afternoon.

Cooking tomatoes in olive oil helps your body to better absorb all their great nutrients, including antioxidants like vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and lycopene.

Total Time:
Level: Moderate
Yield: 10 to 12 servings


  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground (see NOTE below)
  • 1 lb. red lentils (2.5 cups), picked over for stoned, rinsed and drained
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes (about 1 lb.), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 14-oz. can coconut milk


  1. Melt the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender but not browned, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the cumin and stir well.
  3. Add 8 cups water with the lentils, tomatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Stir in the sweet potatoes, being sure they are submerged. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender, about 45 minutes. While the soup cooks, add hot water as needed to keep the sweet potatoes covered and prevent the soup from becoming too thick.
  5. During the last few minutes, stir in the coconut milk and heat it without boiling.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.

NOTE: To toast cumin seeds, heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cumin is toasted and fragrant (you may see a whiff of smoke), about 2 minutes. Transfer the seeds to a plate and let cool completely before grinding in a coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. The seeds can also be crushed under a heavy skillet or saucepan on a work surface.

Reprinted from The Oz Family Kitchen. Copyright © 2015 by Lisa Oz. Published by Harmony Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

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