A bowl of soup might be a universal language: hot or cold, vegetarian or meat-based, soup is often the answer to all of our problems.

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Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Black Lentils

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Black Lentils

I’m partial to soup. “Bowl food” as Sara dubbed it, is my kind of food and this, among other things such as our husbands’ bordering-on-obsessive love of coffee, makes Sara the sort of person I trust when it comes to eating and living. Her first book is in frequent rotation and her second, appropriately titled Bowl + Spoon, will soon become dog-eared, too.

A bowl of soup might be a universal language: hot or cold, vegetarian or meat-based, soup is often the answer to all of our problems. Sure, we may wallow in a glass of wine, or medicate with a cup of tea, but I’ve found that soup can lift my mood and improve my physical well-being in ways that no other food simply could. A bowl of soup doesn’t have to be boring, either. Soup can be dressed up or down with a variety of toppings, sauces, herbs, and spices. Smooth, chunky, or a little bit of both, it is humanity’s way of pleasing everyone at the table and letting you know that through its ups and downs, life will be all right.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Black Lentils

It’s no surprise that this Curried Sweet Potato soup, topped with crispy black lentils, toasted cashews, yogurt, and chopped cilantro, was one of the recipes that jumped out from Sara’s book. It seemed both humble and complex — a complete, nutritious meal in a bowl (Sara’s specialty). And indeed, the results were tremendous. The soup itself came together quickly and while the toppings took a little extra effort, they were well-worth it.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Black Lentils

Since Bowl + Spoon arrived on my doorstep, I’ve flipped through it at least a dozen times, mentally bookmarking Sara’s breakfast bowls and dessert bowls (how incredible does this look?), not to mention the entire section devoted to sauces and dressings.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Black Lentils

In the literary world, successful authors are famous for the sophomore slump but this second book is no wallflower and I would argue, has already impressed me as much as the first.

Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Black Lentils

adapted from Bowl + Spoon

2 1/2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
3 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger
2 teaspoons of sweet curry powder
2 pounds of sweet potatoes (2 large), peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 cups of vegetable stock
1/2 cup of orange juice (I used blood orange)
1 to 2 tablespoons of Sriracha
1 cup of light coconut milk
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot
1 1/4 cup of cooked black lentils* (I used beluga)
yogurt
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
handful of cashews, toasted and chopped

*Sara recommends thoroughly drying out the lentils before frying (don’t use the canned kind) to ensure the crispiest results.

1. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and saute for about 2 minutes, or until translucent. Stir in the turmeric, ginger, and curry powder. Cook for another minute or two. Then, add the sweet potatoes and broth.
2. Bring broth to a boil, then dial back to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through.
3. Stir in the orange juice and use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth (add more broth if the soup is too thick for your taste). Stir in the Sriracha and the coconut milk. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning. Cover and keep warm while you prep the lentils.
4. Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a medium skillet over medium high. Mince the shallot and add it, along with the lentils, to the skillet. Fry for about 2 minutes, or until crispy.
5. To serve soup: ladle soup into bowls. Add a swirl of yogurt, spoonful of lentils, cilantro, and chopped cashews.

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • I’m so excited to get my copy of Sara’s book when it comes out here. The first one has been such an inspiration to my cooking and this one sounds like it’s going to win an immediate place in my heart. The pictures are just too pretty in this post too!

  • I think you’ll really enjoy it, Kathryn. I feel like Sara really stayed true to herself but the addition of her experiences as a mother really add something. Let me know what you think when you get it!

  • sara forte

    My greatest fear with this has been the sophomore slump. It is SO hard to work knowing there is an expectation to land above or below. I am so glad you like it and this soup is one of my favorites too. Your photos are so beautiful! We found this a little hard to shoot but all your toppings on there look just stunning. Thanks, Kasey. Excited to see you next week!

  • I can imagine. But it is SO great, Sara! And the new dimension you have as a mother really adds something special to your writing and your cooking. It is work worth celebrating 🙂 xo

  • Beautiful photos! And I’m so excited for this book – I’ve heard so much good stuff online but in the UK they don’t ship til a little later so am hanging onto gorgeous posts like this for my Sprouted Kitchen fix! x

  • chezus

    Kasey, this looks great. We are huge soup fans, probably eat more than the average home, and I have to say this one is right up our alley. Almost all of our favorite things in one delicious bowl.

  • Katie

    Looking forward to getting my hands on that book. This looks amazing. I don’t konw if the photos are yours or theirs, but they are beautiful, too.

  • Thanks, Katie! The photos are all mine 🙂

  • Soup’s the best! x

  • Man, I could so use a bowl of this right now!

  • Kasey, I’m definitely part of the I-could-eat-everything-from-a-bowl-and-be-happy club and I’m digging the combo of curried sweet potatoes and black lentils. I need to check out Sara’s book!
    Hope you guys are well.
    xoxo
    E

  • It’s great, Erin! You should definitely get your hands on it. Hope you’re well, too! xo

  • Rachel

    Just made this yesterday and it was so delicious – perfect comfort food! I haven’t cooked with beluga lentils before but will definitely be using them again. I am already looking to pick up a copy of Sara’s book! Also your photos of this recipe are so beautiful with all those toppings 🙂

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