Recipe: A vegetarian bowl of Thai-spiced sweet potato soup is packed with flavor

Thai-spiced sweet potato soup with red lentils.
Thai-spiced sweet potato soup with red lentils.(Sheryl Julian for The Boston Globe)

Serves 8

With curry powder, fresh ginger, lime, red lentils, and fresh cilantro, this vegetarian soup is packed with flavor. It begins with softened onions and fresh ginger, then sweet potatoes and red-curry paste are stirred in until everything is coated. The mixture is simmered with the lentils and water until the sweet potatoes are tender and the red lentils dissolve seamlessly into the broth to thicken it. The bright orange color and silky pureed texture make it look similar to butternut squash soup.

2tablespoons vegetable oil
1medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1piece (1 inch) fresh ginger, chopped
2large sweet potatoes (2 pounds total) peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
1tablespoon red curry paste
½cup red lentils
6cups water
Juice of 1 lime
2tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (for garnish)

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, heat the oil and cook the onion, salt, and pepper, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until softened.  Add the ginger and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.


2. Add the sweet potatoes and red curry paste and cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes.

3. Add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are tender.

4. In a blender, working in batches, puree the soup until it is smooth, or puree soup with an immersion blender directly in the pot.

5. Return the soup to the pot and bring it to a boil. Add the lime juice and taste for seasoning. Add more salt and pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and garnish with cilantro. Jill Gibson

Jill Gibson can be reached at