Red lentils, sweet potato, coconut milk and spinach soup

by Paula Casimiro
If I used adjectives in the name of my recipes, this would definitely be a glowing red lentils, sweet potato, coconut milk and spinach soup. It has everything you want from a soup on a cold autumn night, is warm, creamy and fragrant. But what immediately catches the eye, just looking at it, is its yellow and vibrant color, as if the sun itself shone from a plate.

The red lentils, sweet potato and spinach soup is one of my favorites for the fall and winter and I was only waiting for the colder and gray weather to cook it once again. However, it’s not the lentils nor the sweet potatoes that give it its bright color, but turmeric. A spice that, like King Midas, tints in golden everything it touches.

If turmeric gives the color, ground cumin gives a very distinctive and somehow spicy flavor. The first time I used cumin in the soup was a few years ago, my daughters were little, and it was a red bean and kale soup. They liked the taste but they also realized that I had used a different ingredient to which they were not used to, so they wanted to know what it was. I joked and told them that the soup was good because I made it with love, which is the secret ingredient that all mothers use and abuse in the kitchen. Of course, they were not satisfied with the answer and I admited that I also added cumin, a special little powder. This became a joke of ours for a long time. Whenever they really liked the food they would say it was because it was made with a lot of love and cumin.

Forget the dark and gray weather or the rain that may be falling outside. One of the good things of autumn is to return to the warm, fragrant and comforting soups; and this red lentils, sweet potato, coconut milk and spinach soup meets all these requirements.

If you like lentils then I suggest you check these lentil meatballs, an healthy and tasty dish that you can alternate with the usual meat version. Have a nice week and see you soon.
Red lentils, sweet potato, coconut milk and spinach soup
Red lentils, sweet potato, coconut milk and spinach soup
Red lentils, sweet potato, coconut milk and spinach soup

Red lentils, sweet potato, coconut milk and spinach soup

Red lentils, sweet potato and spinach soup is one of my favorites and I was just waiting for the colder weather to cook it again. Its bright color doesn’t come from the lentils or sweet potato, it is given by a spice, turmeric.

serves 4-6

Prep time:

Cook time:


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 300g sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 can (400g) tomato
  • 180g (1 cup) red lentils, washed
  • 750ml vegetable stock (or water)
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 120g baby spinach
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste



  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onion and garlic. Cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, without burning the garlic and stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the cumin and turmeric and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Then add the sweet potato and tomatoes, including their juice. Mash the tomatoes slightly with a wooden spoon. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the lentils, vegetable stock or water, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and then cook over low heat for 20 minutes.
  4. Use a hand blender to puree the soup. Taste it, rectify the salt and season with freshly ground black pepper. Add the spinach and let it rest, with the lid on, until wilted. Serve hot.



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1 comment

DG 11 March, 2019 - 3:54

I liked the recipe. Thank you for sharing, Paula. I forgot to add the spinach and served it with garlic naan. Since I made a double batch, I was able to enjoy it with and without spinach.


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