One-Pot Wonders

Vegan Lentil Soup With Sweet Potatoes & Kale

January 26, 2021
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom. Prop Stylist: Megan Hedgpeth. Food Stylist: Sam Seneviratne.
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 40 minutes
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

This vegan lentil soup is a comforting bowl of goodness, perfect for the cooler seasons. With sweet potatoes and kale, it's quite the nourishing meal and can keep you full for hours—super easy to make and only requires one pot.

Here’s the process: Prep your ingredients first. Rinsing and chopping ingredients before you get started allows you to be organized and reduces the mess factor. Sauté all of your veggies in a large Dutch oven for a little caramelization, then add your liquids and remaining ingredients. Slightly blend everything together, until the soup thickens with a few chunks remaining. Season again, let it simmer, and voila. It’s magic!

Thickening vegan soup can be done in various ways. Many recipes use non-dairy yogurt, potatoes, arrowroot starch, or other starches. For this soup, I chose to use the lentils and sweet potatoes as my thickeners, which add a nice, not-too-thick texture. You could add canned coconut milk to taste as well.

How to store extra soup? You can always refrigerate any leftovers in a tightly sealed container for up to three days. You can also freeze the soup for four to six months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight (or at room-temperature for a few hours) before reheating on the stovetop.

Enjoy with garlic bread or crackers. —Shanika Graham-White

What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes, halved
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups brown lentils
  • 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  1. Add the olive oil to a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, tomatoes, and garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant and slightly tender.
  2. Add the vegetable broth, 3 cups of water, the nutritional yeast, basil, oregano, turmeric, bay leaf, black pepper, pepper flakes, salt, lemon juice, and cumin. Stir in the lentils and sweet potatoes until well combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the lentils and vegetables are tender.
  3. Remove and discard the bay leaf. Using an immersion blender, slightly blend everything until the soup begins to thicken but there are chunks of veggies still left. If you don’t have a hand blender, carefully add 1 to 2 cups of the cooked veggies, along with 1 cup of the liquid from the pot, to a high-powered blender; blend until smooth and creamy, then return this puree to the pot. (Add more water to the soup if needed to reach the desired consistency.)
  4. Stir in the kale and simmer for another 10 minutes or so. Serve with additional nutritional yeast if you’d like.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Doug
  • howdy.doody
  • CarlyEE
Content Creator and Recipe Developer, Shanika, is part kitchen ninja and connoisseur of interior decorating, hence her passion for beautifully staged food photos and videos. On her site, Orchids and Sweet Tea, you will find traditional dishes using organic ingredients as well as dairy free, gluten free, and vegan versions of your old and new favorites!

3 Reviews

Doug December 16, 2023
Great soup. Very complex flavor: I thought maybe the spices would be over the top, but
the result is tasty. (didn't have any red pepper flakes) Thanks for the recipe!
howdy.doody March 18, 2023
Ok I also created an account just to leave a review lol. This recipe was great! Very easy to make yet very flavorful. As soon as I read her list of spices I knew it would be good. I made it exactly as written plus was a little generous with the olive oil to make sure it was nice and rich. Very satisfying, perfect for winter.
CarlyEE March 17, 2022
YUM! I just created an account so that I could leave a review. How is it possible that this recipe has no reviews???

I'm very comfortable in the kitchen, specifically making more experimental dishes, and this one really took me by surprise. It is so flavorful; there was a party in my mouth. Because I used what I had, I substituted butternut squash for the sweet potato and a 12 oz can of fire-roasted tomatoes for the grape tomatoes.

I just sent this recipe to a friend, and I know I'll be making it again and again. Yum-O-Rama. Also, I went to the site,, and there are a lot of interesting tasty-looking recipes there. Shanika is super creative and has developed many vegan and non-vegan recipes. I'm looking forward to discovering more of her creations.