A soul-warming Moroccan sweet potato lentil soup recipe. This soup is made in the slow cooker and requires hardly any work at all. Plus, it makes the whole house smell warm and cozy!
It about that time again!
SOUP TIME. Which, in my very humble opinion is the best kind of time there is. Unless it’s chocolate chip cookie time, which, goes without saying, is obviously better. And which obviously this is NOT. Ahem, what? Where were we? Detoxing. That’s right. Bringing you this moroccan-style detox lentil soup loaded with all the goodness straight from your refrigerator plus pantry with tons of soul-warming spices to brighten up these cold, cold winter days.
Now that’s what i’m talkin’ about.
So January. We’re already half a week into 2017 guys. How? But also – I don’t know if it’s just me – but is anyone else just now officially starting the detox from all the holiday eats and treats? Anees’ birthday is the day after New Years Day so we tend to get a slow start with the whole January cleanse thing.
But with all of the birthdays and parties finally out of the way, i’m just itching to get another pot of this warm lentil soup on and am ready to hit the clean-eating reset button now.
Of course, lentil soup isn’t just limited to those of us that are desperate for a reset either. In fact, it’s even more delicious if you decide to serve it with pan-fried pita wedges and a healthy dollop of whipped greek yogurt or sour cream to just mellow out all those glorious spices.
I kept this lentil soup completely vegan/vegetarian friendly so everyone can enjoy this. Know that it’s easy to make this a more protein packed meal though. Just sauté ground turkey, chicken, beef or lamb or any other kind of ground protein you like and add it straight into the crockpot with all the other ingredients. You’ve instantly got the perfect bagged lunch for the week. This lentil soup would also work well over a mound of fragrant basmati rice incase you like the whole Indian ‘daal’ scene. Lentil-anything was made to be paired with rice.
One of the best things about having a blog is getting to name all the recipes. I say that now. If you rewind back to a few years ago, you’d see this definitely was not the case. I realize it’s important to be clear and precise when naming a recipe. With that said, this is a detox lentil soup recipe that comes loaded with all those wonderful cleansing ingredients that are like a toothbrush for our insides. And, yeah that’s totally weird, but go with it, will ya?
Added bonus : under 250 calories per serving.
It all starts with the trinity – onions, carrots, celery. Then of course, tons of pressed garlic, which is a completely normal thing around here and it totally caught me by surprise that garlic has all these detoxing properties which NO BIG DEAL – but only it is. It’s HUGE. Love these kinds of happy coincidences. But, HOLD THE PHONE there’s more, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon. We all know about that turmeric trend of 2016 right? Let’s carry all the good things into ’17 with us now. Loaded with anti-inflammatory properties and perfect for when you’re a leeetle under-the-weather to boost your immune system.
Now here’s how simple this lentil soup recipe is. Grab all your ingredients, add them to a slow cooker and let them hang out of low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. One the lentils has softened all the way through, puree ½ of the soup in your blender and pop it back into the slow cooker along with tons of chopped baby spinach and just let it wilt. Pro tip: make this one day ahead for even more flavor. So pop it into the slow cooker when you get home from work tonight and into the fridge before you head to bed. Puree it when you get home from work tomorrow, add the spinach and just heat it through. Squeeze ¼ cup of lemon juice right into the slow cooker or serve lemon wedges on the side. It’s seriously the perfect spicy, tangy, veggieful soup ever.
The hardest part about the whole thing is that it requires a bit of prepping, but if you buy store-bought mirepoix mix (ze onions, carrots, and ze celery) then all that really requires your attention is the sweet potatoes. And let me just say when it comes to customizing this lentil soup, you can easily swap the sweet potatoes for pre-diced butternut squash chunks and swap the brown lentils for greens or even use chickpeas along with all the other good stuff in this soup.
But here’s the thing – even with all it’s simplicity, it’s a warm, FEEL GOOD food. Kinda perfect for those of us that have decided to pack more lunches this year and make smarter choices.
It’s quick to throw together, completely straightforward, and easily adaptable to your dietary preferences.
It’s gotta go with you to lunch this week!
- 1 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into small pieces
- 1 cup carrots, chopped
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 1 cup celery, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 ½ cups green or brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 1 ½ teaspoon EACH coriander AND cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (or more to taste)
- ½ teaspoon EACH smoked paprika, ground cinnamon, AND turmeric
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 6-7 cups low sodium broth (vegetable or chicken)
- 2 ½ cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup lemon juice or lemon wedges for serving
- Place the sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, celery, red bell pepper, garlic, lentils, spices, and 6 cups of broth into a slow cooker. Cover and cook on the low setting for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-6 hours. Check the lentils for doneness. If you're lentils have been in the pantry for a while, note that they'll take a bit longer to cook through.
- Place half the soup into a blender along with a little additional broth (½ cup or so) and blend till smoothish. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender directly in the slow cooker but be sure to not blend all of the soup if you want it to have a chunkier texture. Add the puree back into the slow cooker. Stir in the baby spinach and lemon juice. Cover the slow cooker, unplug it, and allow the ingredients to just hang out for 30 minutes or so until the spinach wilts down.
- Season with salt, pepper and curry powder to taste as desired. Thin with additional broth to desired consistency. Serve warm with whipped greek yogurt, fried pita bread, and tons of fresh herbs (parsley or cilantro) on top!
- MORE PROTEIN: You can sauté 1 pound of ground lamb, beef, chicken, or turkey and add it in with all the other ingredients to the slow cooker for a more protein-filled meal - note that you may need a little bit more of each of the seasonings to balance flavors when adding protein.
Is this a good choice for you?
Based on 8 servings.