So apparently I am a little stuck on lentils lately! Could be worse. Pretty sure it has been. But this post is going to be short and sweet and packed with protein, so hang in there!
We had people over for dinner on Saturday night and yesterday I had an (uncooked) peeled and cubed sweet potato that was waiting to be used up, and this shiny new bag of black lentils just staring at me from the cupboard, so I figured let’s give these babies a chance to have a starring role!
For some reason, I totally overlook black lentils. I use green and brown (both of which hold their shape well after cooking) and red (great for soups and sauces), but somehow have been pretty much neglecting black lentils. They are definitely the most beautiful of the bunch and look like perfectly shaped tiny black stones. And just like their brown, green, and red cousins, they are high in protein (clocking in at 13g per ¼ cup dry), fiber, folate, B vitamins, iron and zinc.
So the soup! It came together pretty quickly since I had already peeled and cubed the potato the day before. (Today in our Target’s grocery section I noticed that Archer Farms sells bags of peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, and I have seen them pre-cut in plastic containers at other local groceries as well, so there’s always that option too.)
We topped it with crumbled queso fresco and chopped cilantro (mainly because we had them handy as leftovers AND because my cilantro obsession continues), which was so good. You’ll notice the soup will thicken as it stands after cooking, so add as much extra water or broth as you want to get the desired consistency.
Black Lentil Sweet Potato Soup (serves 4 – 6)
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, diced
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup canned or boxed diced tomatoes
1 cup dried black lentils, rinsed
3 cups broth (I use Better than Bouillon No Chicken) – plus additional for thinning as needed
Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium. Add the diced onion and saute for about 3 minutes, stirring. Then add the cubed sweet potato and saute for another 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for one minute.
Add the tomato, lentils, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover with lid tilted and cook for 25 – 30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Puree with an immersion blender (or let cool slightly and transfer to a blender) until desired consistency is reached. (I left it slightly chunky for some texture.) Topping suggestions: queso fresco, cilantro, cilantro sauce, shredded cheese, brown rice, sriracha, etc.