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Warm up from the inside out with this hearty, comforting, satisfying crockpot or stovetop lentil and sweet potato soup. It’s flavor-packed, filling, and loaded with good-for-you fiber and protein! + It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian & vegan!

completed Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup on a white surface
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Nourishing and Cozy Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup

Every time the weather becomes even a little chilly, you’ll find us happily cycling through a rotation of crowd-pleasing, cozy, comforting vegan mains like baked mac n cheese, shepherd’s pie, and this lentil and sweet potato soup for warm and satisfied tummies around the table.

Honestly, this lentil and vegetable soup hits the spot in every way. It’s made with only simple, inexpensive plant-based ingredients that somehow create BIG flavors with the contrast of earthy lentils, the sweetness of sweet potatoes, and full-bodied savoriness of other veg. All while being loaded with fiber, plant-based protein, antioxidants, and LOTS of nutrients.

It’s also really simple to make in just one pot, on the stove, or in a crockpot in as little as 50 minutes. The resulting soup is so cozy and satisfying the entire family will enjoy it. Plus, if you manage to have leftovers (highly recommended), then you’ll be happy to hear it’s meal-prep and freezer-friendly, too.

Looking for more cozy vegan soup ideas? Check out our split pea soup, carrot lentil soup, peanut butter soup, or chickpea noodle soup.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup in a storage container
  • Lentils: We used dried brown lentils, but green lentils will also work. We don’t recommend using red lentils unless you want a mushier consistency.
  • Mirepoix: Make a full-bodied vegetable lentil soup recipe with red onion, carrot, and celery. To save time, use a pre-prepared mirepoix mix.
  • Sweet potatoes: We use fresh sweet potatoes, but frozen and pre-chopped sweet potatoes should work well, too. For substitutes, refer to the FAQs.
  • Other vegetables: (Optional) Bulk up the recipe and make heartier vegetable and lentil soup with the addition of spinach/kale and red/green bell pepper.
  • Garlic: Fresh garlic cloves are best, but powdered garlic works in a pinch.
  • Tomatoes: Use high-quality, canned crushed or diced tomatoes (regular or fire-roasted).
  • Water: Or vegetable broth (regular or reduced sodium) for more flavor.
  • Oil: Use any neutral cooking oil, like olive oil or avocado oil.
  • Seasonings: All you need is cumin, paprika, sea salt (or soy sauce for umami-rich saltiness), and black pepper. We also highly recommend dried thyme and coriander.
  • Lemon juice: To brighten and add depth (or try lime juice or apple cider vinegar).
  • Parsley: To garnish for a hint of freshness and color.

What Could I Add to Vegetable Lentil Soup?

  • Moroccan sweet potato lentil soup: Add some cinnamon and turmeric.
  • Other seasonings: Change the flavor of this vegetable and lentil soup with spices like cayenne or chili powder, ginger powder, or curry powder. You could also experiment with other herbs — fresh or dried — like rosemary or sage.
  • Nutritional yeast: For a subtle, umami-rich, nutty, ‘cheesy’ flavor.
  • More vegetables: Bulk up this recipe for lentil soup with vegetables like peas, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.
  • Protein: Boost the protein even more with tofu, vegan sausage, or beans (chickpeas, kidney beans, cannellini, etc.).
  • Grains: Make a super hearty soup with cooked quinoa, rice, barley, etc.
  • Creamy lentil soup: Add some full-fat canned coconut milk or dairy-free cream.

How to Make Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

  • First, sort through (to remove debris) and rinse the lentils. Then, finely dice the onion, carrot, and celery, peel and dice the sweet potato into ½-inch pieces, and mince the garlic.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large, heavy-based Dutch oven/saucepan over medium-high.
  • Once hot, sauté the onion, garlic, carrot, celery, and (if using) bell pepper for 3 minutes. Then, add all the seasonings and sauté for a further minute.

Blooming the spices increases and elevates their flavor, so don’t skip this step.

  • Add the diced tomatoes and stir. Then add the sweet potatoes, lentils, and water (or broth), stir, and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover with a lid, and cook for 25 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
process shot of stirring soup

The sweet potato should be tender but not so soft that it’s beginning to disintegrate. If they’re a little firm, cook for a further 5 minutes.

  • When ready, turn off the heat, stir in the spinach or kale (if using), cover with a lid, and leave to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Finally, taste and adjust the seasonings if desired, then squeeze in the lemon juice, sprinkle in the parsley, stir, and enjoy!

Slow Cooker Lentil Soup

Prefer a set-it-and-forget-it dish? Try making this brown lentil soup in a slow cooker instead. Get it going in the morning, and it’ll be ready to serve come dinner time.

  1. Complete bullet points 1 to 3 as written above, then for bullet point 4, transfer everything (except the spinach/kale, parsley, and lemon) to a crockpot.
  2. Cover and cook over LOW for 7-9 hours (check on it occasionally, and add more broth/water if necessary) or on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  3. Stir in the spinach/kale and leave it for several minutes for the spinach to wilt, then add the parsley and lemon – enjoy!

FAQs

Could I make sweet potato red lentil soup?

Yes, but red lentils take less time to soften and become mushier for a naturally thicker soup. Red lentil and sweet potato soup also works particularly well if you plan to blend the soup.

Could I replace the sweet potato?

Use a similar ingredient, like butternut squash or pumpkin (which are both also on the sweeter side). Regular potatoes would also work.

Can I use canned lentils?

Yes, but they won’t soak up as much of the soupy flavor. You’ll also need to reduce the amount of water added by about 2 cups, then simmer until the sweet potatoes and other veg are tender.

Pro Recipe Tips

  • For a soupier consistency: Add more water/vegetable broth.
  • To adjust consistency: Blend just a portion (for thickness) or all the soup (for a smooth lentil & sweet potato soup) with an immersion blender or jug blender.
  • Experiment with veggies: Bulk up the soup and empty your produce drawer for this soup recipe based on what’s available/in season.
  • To make it oilfree: Replace the oil with ¼ cup water/broth instead.
  • It will taste even better on day two! So we highly recommend making enough for leftovers. The time really gives the flavors a chance to meld.
completed Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup on a white surface

Serving Suggestions

This lentil soup with sweet potato and vegetables is loaded with nutrients, hearty, and satisfying – making it great to enjoy alone or in smaller portions with:

Storage Instructions

Leave the lentils sweet potato soup to cool, then store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days. It’ll taste even better on day two.

You can also freeze it in Ziplock/Stasher bags (spread flat), a silicone muffin tray, or freezer-safe containers for 3-4 months. Leave it to thaw in the fridge overnight.

Reheat the brown lentil soup either in a microwave (1-2 minutes) or on the stovetop over medium-low heat until warmed through. If needed, add a little more broth/water.

completed Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup in a storage container

More Lentil Soup Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

5 from 27 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Total: 50 minutes
Servings: 4 to 6
Warm up from the inside out with this hearty, comforting, satisfying crockpot or stovetop lentil and sweet potato soup. It’s flavor-packed, filling, and loaded with good-for-you fiber and protein! + It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian & vegan!

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs chopped
  • 1 large red or green bell pepper (optional)
  • 5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 tablespoon of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of coriander (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons of dry thyme (optional)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, in their juices
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cubed (6 cups)
  • 1 cup of dry brown lentils
  • 8 cups of water
  • 3 cups of spinach or kale, chopped (optional)
  • 1 lemon
  • ½ cup of parsley, chopped

Instructions 

  • In a large pot with a lid, over medium high heat, heat the oil.
  • Add the onion, carrots, celery, bell pepper, and garlic. Sautee for 3 minutes.
  • Add the paprika, cumin, coriander (if using), thyme (if using), salt and pepper. Mix for 1 minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and mix. Add the sweet potatoes, lentils, and water. Gently mix well, and bring to a boil. Cover with a lid and lower the heat to a simmer.
  • Cook for 25 minutes. Check the sweet potatoes by poking them with a fork. Do not overcook the sweet potatoes or they will disintegrate in the stew. If they are still slightly hard, cook for 5 more minutes.
  • When the sweet potatoes are ready, turn off the heat and add the spinach or kale (if using) to the pot. Cover with a lid and allow it to sit for 5 minutes.
  • Uncover, squeeze the lemon juice and add the parsley. Mix and serve.

Notes

  • To adjust consistency: Blend just a portion (for thickness) or all the soup (for a smooth lentil & sweet potato soup) with an immersion blender or jug blender.
  • Experiment with veggies: Bulk up the soup and empty your produce drawer for this soup recipe based on what’s available/in season.
  • To make it oilfree: Replace the oil with ¼ cup water/broth instead.
  • It will taste even better on day two! So we highly recommend making enough for leftovers. The time really gives the flavors a chance to meld.

Nutrition

Calories: 537kcalCarbohydrates: 99gProtein: 20gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 243mgPotassium: 2038mgFiber: 28gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 45802IUVitamin C: 89mgCalcium: 248mgIron: 9mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Method: Stovetop
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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