This is a soup recipe adapted from BHG. The original recipe called for pumpkin, red lentils and chickpeas, but with sweet potatoes, green lentils (french puy lentils) and chickpeas in my pantry, I decided to improvise. The sweet potatoes and green lentils turned out to be a great substitute for the pumpkin and red lentils.
I also had sage in stock. Since I am a sucker for sage with sweet potatoes, I decided to fry the sage in butter first and then start the soup with the sage infused butter. The crispy butter fried sage also makes a great garnish.
I was quite pleased that I could make enough and share with friends at work. It turned out to be a great lunch perfect for that rainy day!
4 medium sweet potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed
1 32 oz can chickpeas
3 cups green lentils, dried ( I prefer using dried and cooking it in stock, rather than using pre cooked lentils)
1″ piece ginger, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
3 medium carrots, peeled and diced
3 large tomatoes, chopped
6-8 fresh sage leaves
3 tbsp fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 dried bay leaf (optional)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander powder
3/4 tsp cumin powder
4 tbsp butter
12 cups vegetable stock
2 tsp salt ( split into four 1/2 tsp quantities to be added in layers)
juice from 1 lemon
Melt butter over medium heat until it turns golden brown. Add sage leaves which will start becoming crispy after some spluttering. Remove sage and set aside.
In the sage infused butter left behind in the pan, add garlic, ginger and onions. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the onions are cooked translucent.
Add chopped carrots, 1/2 tsp salt and sauté for 5 minutes until the carrots just start getting tender. Add cubed sweet potatoes, chickpeas, 1 tsp salt, turmeric, cumin and coriander powders. Cook for 10 minutes until the sweet potatoes just start cooking.
Add chopped tomatoes, remaining 1/2 tsp salt and the sage leaves. Cook for 2 minutes and add the lentils, bay leaf and measured vegetable stock. Cover and let cook over medium heat for 40-45 minutes.
Uncover and check for doneness. The lentils should be perfectly tender (but not mushy), the sweet potato, chickpeas and carrots should also be tender yet hold their shape but will melt in your mouth into an explosion of flavors. Add chopped cilantro and lemon juice, turn off the heat and serve hot with any fresh baked bread of your choice.
I served the soup with pumpernickel bread and loved the combination of the smoky earthy soup with the deep and intense pumpernickel bread. The combination was perfect.