Members' Recipes Archive

December 2005
Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup with Mint
Sophie Grigson

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup with Mint

By: Sophie Grigson

Serves: 6

The recent cold weather has made soups more appealing than ever. This is one I've been making lately, and the whole family love it. If you don't want to add the cream, that's fine, but don't be tempted to leave out the lime or the mint leaves. They give a last-minute blast of uplifting freshness that makes all the difference.
This recipe is taken from Sophie's Country Kitchen.


1 onion, chopped
600 g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
3 cloves garlic, chopped
4 cm piece of root ginger, peeled and chopped
1 whole star anise
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 heaped teaspoon ground cinnamon
150 g (5 oz) red lentils
1.5 litres (3 pints) water or vegetable stock
juice of 1–2 limes
150 ml tub soured cream
leaves from a small bunch of mint
salt and pepper


1. Put the onion, sweet potato, garlic, ginger, star anise and sunflower oil into a roomy pan and stir around. Place over a low heat, cover tightly and leave to sweat for 10 minutes.
2. Add the tomato puree, cinnamon, lentils and water. Bring up to the boil, then reduce heat and leave to simmer until red lentils and sweet potato are very tender. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Remove the star anise, then liquidise the soup or pass through a mouli-legumes. Stir in as much lime juice as you like. Taste and adjust seasoning.
4. Reheat when needed, and spoon into bowls. Finish each one with a little soured cream and a small handful of mint leaves on top.

© Recipe copyright 2005 Sophie Grigson


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