sweet potato red lentil soupWhether you use an Instant Pot, a slow cooker, or a saucepan on the stove, this sweet potato and red lentil soup is super easy to make!

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup Recipe

I didn’t realize that lentils came in color and flavors other than basic brown-green until a few years ago when I grabbed a bag of lentil at my favorite bulk food store and forgot to read the label. Instead of buying 20 pounds of regular lentils, I became the proud owner of a bag of red lentils.

Honestly, red lentils look more yellowish-orange than red, and when they’re cooked they turn a buttery color. But they taste delicious and have all the nutritious stuff that regular lentils and other pulses have. You can make this soup with any kind of sweet potato.

Just a word on sweet potatoes and yams. Despite calling the red tuber-looking vegetable a ‘yam,’ yams don’t grow in the United States. According to one source, yams are hairy and ugly on the outside. We do, however, have a variety of sweet potatoes available to us in the United States. They range in color from deep orange to almost white. Each one has a unique flavor and consistency. Our family prefers the ones with the whiter skin and flesh.

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sweet potato red lentil soup

Sweet Potato and Red Lentil Soup

  • Author: Anita Ojeda
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 10 1x


1 Tbs. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 white onion, diced small
2 jalapeños, chopped fine
4 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1/2 tsp. ginger powder
1/2 tsp. turmeric
2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
2 cups orange lentils (picked over and rinsed)
2 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks.
4 1/2 cups water
1 can of coconut milk
1 Tbs. chopped cilantro


Instant Pot Method:

Turn the Instant Pot to [Sauté] and add the oil.

Chop the onions, jalapeños, and garlic while the oil heats.

Add the cumin seeds when the oil is hot and peel the sweet potatoes while the cumin seeds cook (they should pop a little).

Add the rest of the spices to the oil and cumin seeds and stir. Allow them to fry for a minute before adding the onions, jalapeños, and garlic. Sauté until the onions are limp. While this mixture fries, cut the sweet potatoes into large chunks.

Cancel the [Sauté] command.

Add the lentils, sweet potatoes, lemon juice, salt, and water. Lock the Instant Pot lid. Choose [Manual Pressure Cook] and use the + and – buttons to set the time for 14 minutes.

When the machine stops, allow it to go to the [Stay Warm] cycle for 10 minutes. Release the vent to allow the steam to escape. Open the lid and add the can of coconut milk and chopped cilantro. Stir well and serve hot.

Slow Cooker Method: Turn the crock pot on high and add the oil and cumin seeds. Start chopping the the onions, garlic and jalapeños. Add each one to the crock pot in the order listed, and then add the spices. Cover with the lid and prepare the sweet potatoes (you can cut them into pretty big chunks (1″-2″). Add the lentil and sweet potatoes and water (you may need slightly more water–make sure the lentil and sweet potatoes are covered). Cook on high for at least three hours.

  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Sweet Potato Ren Lentil Soup, Pulses, Soup, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, GF

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sweet potato red lentil soup

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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