Warm Winter Soup

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

2 leeks, the white part, diced finely

2 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 cup lentils

2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes

2 carrots cut into equal size pieces

1/2 small hot pepper, chopped

2 cups green beans, cut into 1 inch pieces

around 50 – 60 oz vegetable broth

1 teaspoon curry powder, or more to taste

½ teaspoon cumin powder

salt, pepper to taste

I’m a big salad fan, but once temperatures drop into the 30’s, I don’t always find myself ready to eat a raw plate of cold veggies. Soups and stews are a really great way to get lots of important vegetables in the winter months.  They’re also wonderful time savers…I make, store and eat soup for several days. I started making my own soup a few years ago, and usually don’t use a recipe anymore. They’re hard to mess up if you use a simple formula! I created this recipe to highlight the seasonal winter sweet potatoes…it’s a lovely, warm, orange soup! You can use red lentils to continue the orange trend, or opt for brown/green lentils as I used.

Start by heating two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a large pot. Once it’s warm add the diced leeks and let them sweat until they’re almost transparent, usually several minutes, over medium heat. Then add the chopped garlic and sauté for a few minutes. Make sure to stir so that the garlic doesn’t burn. Add the cup of lentils, mix and cook over medium heat for several minutes. I usually drizzle a little extra oil in as well. Add the spices, 1 or more teaspoon of curry powder, and about ½ teaspoon cumin powder, salt and pepper, you can always add more to taste, or any other spices or fresh herbs that you like. Add the chopped hot pepper, I called for ½ of a small hot pepper, but you can use more, or less depending on your spiciness!

After a few minutes add the sweet potatoes and carrots, stir and simmer. Add half of the broth and let it come to a gentle boil for around 10 minutes. Add the cut green beans and the rest of the broth, cover and simmer/gently boil for 20 minutes.

To check if the sweet potatoes are fully cooked, insert a fork into one and make sure it slides in easily. I like to make my soups thicker and chunky, like a stew. To do so use less broth and larger chunks of veggies. If you prefer a more liquid style, add more broth and chop the veggies smaller. This recipe makes around 5 – 8 servings.