This soup is a product of St. Louis weather being…well…crazy.
Last week it snowed (I think? It’s been a blur), and this week it’s 60-70 degrees and sunny. I guess I should expect this, as I’ve lived in St. Louis off and on my entire life. But for some reason, it always takes me by surprise.
Which brings me to this kale sweet potato lentil soup. I started craving it during the snowstorm last week and so I bought all the ingredients to make it this weekend. Then the weather took a turn and I suddenly had no desire to eat anything that reminds me of winter.
However, this soup is so good that you’ll want to eat it year-round. Maybe not in 100 degree weather, but any other time. It’s full of good for you ingredients including sweet potatoes, kale, lentils, ginger, and onion, and it has a dash of coconut milk to liven things up.
A critical part of this stew is putting in chili flakes. If you use really good chili flakes, it will take things up a notch. I was lucky that I still had some chili flakes from Sofra that I got as a gift a couple Christmases ago. They added a little kick.
The flavors in the stew improve on day two, so if you save some for lunch or dinner the next day, it will be even better. I had some for lunch today with the window open, enjoying the first of hopefully many spring breezes.
Here’s a song to get you started on your kale sweet potato lentil stew journey.
Kale Sweet Potato Lentil Stew
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 medium yellow onion, small dice
1/2 tsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup red lentils
5 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1/2 can full fat coconut milk
1 small bunch of kale, leaves removed and chopped
Heat the coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat until it melts. Add the onion and sauté for five minutes until it’s soft and slightly brown. Add the chili flakes, coriander, cumin, and turmeric, and stir until the spices are fragrant, about one minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook the mixture for another minute. Add a healthy pinch of salt and pepper.
Add the sweet potatoes and stir so they’re coated with the spices. Add the lentils and stir. Season everything with a couple healthy pinches of salt and pepper. Add the vegetable stock and stir. Place a lid over the pot and bring the mixture to a boil. Then reduce it to a simmer and tilt the lid so some steam can escape.
Cook the mixture for about 30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are very tender and the liquid has reduced. Stir in the coconut milk and kale. Place the lid on the pot and cook for about three minutes. Stir and serve hot. Enjoy!