© 2013 Green Kitchen Stories Sweet_potato_soup_1

Sweet Potato, Carrot & Red Lentil Soup

She woke me up and crawled up close to me. Lift my arm and put it around her. She was silent for 10 seconds, completely still, but I could hear her thinking. We were looking at the window and how the sun was shining through the curtains. Then she asked me: “Daddy, explain why you like me so much?”.

Her voice didn’t reflect any doubt. It was more out of curiosity that she asked. Completely unprepared, I pinched myself to wake up and tried to give her the best explanation and love declaration that I could possibly think of.

I told her that she was the kindest little person I knew. That I loved how she always shared a piece of her bread or cookie without hesitation, and how she often made sure that there was something left for me or her mom if we weren’t home. I told her that from the moment she was born she had climbed into our hearts and that she would be there for the rest of our lives, no matter how much we argued about brushing teeth, choosing clothes or watching cartoons. I told her that I couldn’t not like her, even if I tried. I hugged her closely.

I was quiet, curious to hear her reaction, if she was satisfied with my response. I could hear her thinking again.

“Daddy, I think my favorite color is pink!” She crawled out from my arms, jumped up from the bed and ran out of the room screaming: “Good morning horses, heeeeeere I come!”.


Later that day we all made soup. The kind that is thick, sweet, comforting and perfect for chilly days. It was filled with sweet potato, carrots and red lentils and had the brightest orange yellow color. Even though it was delicious on its own, Luise created a tasty aubergine and kale topping that gave the soup an extra dimension. You should give this soup a try on a cold day. It’s a love declaration to winter that will warm your hearts.


Sweet Potato & Red Lentil Soup with Aubergine & Kale Topping
Serves 4

1 tbsp ghee, coconut oil or olive oil
1 large onion
2 sweet potatoes
4 carrots
4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
1 cup / 250 ml uncooked red lentils
4 cups / 1 liter water
sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Aubergine & Kale Topping

1 tbsp ghee, coconut oil or olive oil
1 aubergine/eggplant
4-5 stems fresh kale or thawed frozen
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cumin
sea salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste

Heat oil in a pot. Add onions and sauté until fragrant. Add sweet potatoes, carrots and thyme and cook for a minute or so, while stirring. Now add rinsed lentils, water, sea salt and pepper, cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes until the vegetables and lentils are soft.

Meanwhile make the topping. Heat oil in a large skillet, add aubergine/eggplant and kale and all the spices. Sauté for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the aubergine/eggplant are completely soft.

Use an immersion (hand) blender to puree the soup. Taste and adjust the flavors. Serve the soup in bowls with a couple of spoonfuls topping, a good drizzle of olive oil and a few leaves of fresh thyme.


  1. Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 20:18 | #

    All this Thanksgiving cooking makes me in the mood for cooking one big pot of soup and living off of it for a few days. Plus it is so cold here! Can’t wait to try this delicious recipe! Thank you!

  2. Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 20:22 | #

    Such a beautiful post – Savoring every word of it! And the Soup looks absolutely delicious and vibrant. Love the kale and aubergine topping with touch of cumin. Gorgeous pictures as always!

  3. Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 20:32 | #

    What a lovely love declaration to your daughter! And food is certainly a love declaration in its own way. The soup looks delicious and I will definitely try it on a cold day. I also really love toppings like that – it can turn a soup into a feast. Like this one.

  4. Lisa
    Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 20:54 | #

    You made my boyfriend cry. So beautiful.

  5. Jess
    Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 20:57 | #

    I was just looking for a recipe using sweet potato, kale and carrots; then I saw this scrumptious soup in my facebook feed. Definitely making it for dinner! Xo

  6. Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 21:10 | #

    This warmed my heart. Just as I’m sure the soup will. Thanks for lighting up the dark november.

  7. Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 21:24 | #

    Perfect love! and a perfect soup to go with it. All the love from our home to yours xx

  8. Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 21:24 | #

    This soup is totally calling my name. Delicious!

  9. Caroline
    Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 21:54 | #

    I had tears in my eyes reading this. And what a lovely recipe.

  10. Candela
    Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 22:06 | #

    Sweet,tender,lovely post… ^_^ & the soup sounds delicious!

  11. Kasia
    Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 23:09 | #

    Magical…. :-)

  12. Posted 27 Nov ’13 at 23:17 | #

    This soup looks absolutely gorgeous, and thank you for sharing such a heartwarming story! It’s brought the biggest smile to my face.

  13. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 00:01 | #

    Feels like a very deep, nourishing and smooth soup x

  14. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 00:37 | #

    Beautiful! Sounds perfect for this chilly winter :)

  15. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 01:33 | #

    Beautiful soup, colour and ingredients :) It contains many of my husbands favorite things. We make a similar version without carrots but I will definitely try this rendition of a winter comfort food here in Toronto!

  16. Haley
    Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 01:45 | #

    Ahhh! This soup is calling my name – all my favorites! I can down a massive sweet potato in under 10 minutes… this looks like a good way to moderate. Your daughter is so sweet – looks like she’s been raised by great people.

  17. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 05:12 | #

    That’s totally my kind of feel good soup and I cannot wait to make it once we return home after all the Thanksgiving festivities.
    I enjoyed reading your heartwarming story about Elsa, it’s unconditional love – true, pure and simple! David, you certainly made the right decision by following your new path because your work is shining through even more beautifully via your poetic words and gorgeous photography and the creativity is way up there!!!
    Hug to your three.

  18. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 07:49 | #

    You guys! Beautiful everytime. Soak it all in. x

  19. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 07:58 | #

    That’s such a sweet story! And the soup is gorgeous, I can never get enough sweet potatoes this time of year. And the kale and aubergine topping is so unique and I can tell is perfect for the soup.

  20. adele
    Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 08:25 | #

    its getting warmer here is Australia but this soup looks delicious, so i guess I’ll just have to sweat it out, but i think it will be totally worth it

  21. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 08:36 | #

    Yum yum, you can’t beat a nice soup in the cold weather :)

  22. Monika
    Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 09:26 | #

    Thank you so much for these warm words! After reading it I hugged my little babyboy and thought the same… By the way the recipe sounds yum-yum. :-)

  23. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 09:40 | #

    Amazing blog and beautiful photos. Congratulations! This sweet potato soup looks very delicious. I will definitely make it. Greetings from Slovenia.

  24. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 10:10 | #

    Looks delicious! Beautiful colors and gorgeous pictures! Congratulations!

  25. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 10:27 | #

    Merci !
    I love your book and your posts.

  26. Jen
    Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 12:16 | #

    Just made this as part of Thanksgiving Dinner for tonight. It is absolutely delicious! Love it. Thanks for the inspiration!

  27. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 15:57 | #

    What a beautifully written post. I had tears in my eyes… And this soup? Eye candy.

  28. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 17:35 | #

    I adore carrot soup, but had never thought to add lentils and sweet potato – sounds like a heavenly combination

  29. Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 19:04 | #

    This is beautiful, the amazing sweet adorable little story.. and of course the soup. I just love you three!

  30. Mariana
    Posted 28 Nov ’13 at 21:17 | #

    I looooove the story of your little girl and you, and your love conversation. Really. I follow your blog and since I am from Argentina, I bought your book when I went to the US. Congrats on your inspiring journey! Best, Mariana

  31. Posted 29 Nov ’13 at 09:55 | #

    Love this! I have been making this (almost) exact soup for year! I’ve never added the thyme but will do,love your blog!

  32. Posted 29 Nov ’13 at 10:40 | #

    This might be one of the most beautiful posts present on your blog!
    What I love the most about you guys is the care you put in preparing food for your daughter. I keep seeing countless parents around me who feed their kids whatever they can find – which includes, of course, foods straight out of frozen bags (and I’m not even talking about veggies). Most of these kids only eat pizza, some cold cuts and very little else. Needless to say, they lack energy and look pale and small for their age.

    I am sure your blog inspires many parents to cook better food for their kids. I firmly believe that nourishing your kids properly is the best thing you can do for them when they’re small, and, of course, an amazing way to show them love.

    Thank you for everything!

  33. Posted 29 Nov ’13 at 17:08 | #

    This story could very well have happened in our house, as our three and a half year old daughter is sooo in love with her dad (and vice versa). I can almost hear them having the exact same conversation (to the very pink end :-)
    Thanks for sharing! Also the recipe. I LOVE all kind of red lentil soups, this one here will be the next to try.

  34. Posted 30 Nov ’13 at 16:55 | #

    I love this post! The soups looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  35. Posted 1 Dec ’13 at 04:03 | #

    Just gorgeous :) what a darling family you are. Thank you for the soup inspiration! It’s Summer in Aus but I will absolutely be making a similar lentil soup soon.
    Heidi xo

  36. Ariela Rose
    Posted 2 Dec ’13 at 01:07 | #

    Lovely. Thank you for sharing your heart, and a soul satisfying soup.

  37. Posted 2 Dec ’13 at 03:29 | #

    I just happened to have all of the ingredients to make this delicious soup today! Made the soup as written, then just braised some kale with tumeric, garlic powder, cinnamon and a touch of cider vinegar to top it with. Wonderful cozy meal! :)

  38. Lynette
    Posted 2 Dec ’13 at 18:50 | #

    what a beautiful and touching post for Thanksgiving.
    Thank you for sharing this, so authentically, with all of us.
    Grateful to you and your family for sharing so many wonderful healthy delicious inspiring vegetarian meals with us :-) Happy Thanksgiving.

  39. Posted 3 Dec ’13 at 06:36 | #

    Mmmmmm, I just made this and it was amazing! I also added a tablespoon of coconut milk to my bowl and it was so delicious!

  40. Posted 3 Dec ’13 at 17:06 | #

    Absolutely stunning soup.

  41. Posted 3 Dec ’13 at 19:54 | #

    What a beautiful story and how incredibly real – it is crazy how children can go from asking the most profound questions we adults at times struggle to answer or struggle to answer in a way that gives justice to the question and yet, a mere 30 seconds later the same kid can turn to the most seemingly profane distraction.

    Love the look and the sound of the soup too – I feel like the photos on the blog and the styling are getting better and better with every post (and they were amazing to start with).

  42. Posted 3 Dec ’13 at 21:56 | #

    This soup is wonderful, I made it last night and it turned out wonderfully! Thanks!

  43. Posted 4 Dec ’13 at 08:20 | #

    beautiful story. it healed my heart this rainy morning. thank you.

  44. Annie
    Posted 4 Dec ’13 at 14:13 | #

    Just made this, it is indeed delicious and filling! With some garlic bread on the side, such a simple and satisfying week night dinner!

    Gave us 6 servings more than 4 on our side, so I’ll try and freeze 2 of them to see if it works out well.

    Added more water to make it clearer!

    Thanks a lot for this great recipe, no doubt we’ll make it again!

  45. Posted 6 Dec ’13 at 01:14 | #

    Three of my favorite ingredients! This looks DIVINE. Thank you!

  46. Alice
    Posted 6 Dec ’13 at 18:26 | #

    I don’t know which is the cutest love declaration: the one to your daughter or the one to winter with this marvelous soup, loooove both of them.
    The topping is a great idea; it brings the meal to a higher dimension! ;) But I was a bit annoyed because of the eggplant which now comes mostly from the South and grew up in a green house and is not organic (I live in Switzerland). I didn’t really find a local alternative (I bought a zucchini, this is not much better I agree ^^). Does anyone have an idea of a winter vegetable of more or less same texture? I would be glad if anyone has any tip(s) :)

  47. Posted 7 Dec ’13 at 02:27 | #

    We had this colorful soup tonight and I topped it with sautéed delicata squash & kale because I forgot to pick up the aubergine! It was easy to make, creamy, and delicious to the last spoonful. Thanks again!

  48. Mary
    Posted 8 Dec ’13 at 23:04 | #

    I made a double batch of this and am eating it every day. Really tasty. I blended 2/3 of it, and added the blended soup back into the 1/3 unblended soup for a more rustic look.

  49. Emma
    Posted 17 Dec ’13 at 08:38 | #

    This looks delicious! Just wondering how to prepare the vegies, though, both for the soup and the topping – roughly how big should everything be chopped so that it cooks evenly and well? Thanks!

  50. Eva
    Posted 18 Dec ’13 at 20:00 | #

    Hi David, Luise and Elsa,
    Thank you for sharing your utterly warming love declarations. Here’s one of my own.
    I’m so happy I came across your book at my favourite bookshop this morning! I read it cover to cover and carefully poured over the recipes all morning, deciding what to make (which was so hard with all these fabulous dishes to choose from!)
    By the afternoon, I had joyfully made (and even more joyfully devoured) your Fennel & Coconut Tarts – which were absolutely divine. Now it is evening and somehow I’ve become completely hooked on your gorgeous recipes and warmhearted blog and it makes me wonder how on earth one could ever be interested in meat again with all that bountiful variety of veggies around. I made your soul-warming soup here to accompany the last little fennel tart I reserved for the occasion. It was just perfect. Thank you for all you do and share, you’ve gained another enthusiastic foodie from Belgium!
    Much love to the three of you,

  51. Posted 23 Dec ’13 at 08:00 | #

    Excellent post!!!! And the recipe also looks quite brilliant..Thanks for the post i will surely try this recipe at home and will enjoy it..

  52. Jo
    Posted 3 Jan ’14 at 20:25 | #

    This soup is absolutely delicious! I haven’t yet tried it with the aubergine and kale topping, but having found the recipe 3 weeks ago I’ve already made it 3 times. My husband is not a big vegetable lover but he keeps asking me to make this for him, so it must be good. I add a clove of garlic and use salt free vegetable bouillon as stock- perfect! Thank you and I look forward to trying lots more of your recipes.

  53. Carm
    Posted 4 Jan ’14 at 23:39 | #

    Oh my god! That was so delicious! I added garlic and a few red pepper flakes for zing…Wooster. Will be one of my faves…thanks for the Yuma for Southern California :))

  54. Posted 16 Jan ’14 at 08:02 | #

    Your blog, David and Luise,
    is one of my little comfort zones in a bad gloomy English day! When I cook your recipes it often feels like I am inviting a good fairy into my home and this gives me reassurance that everything is going to be alright! Thank you so much for sharing pieces from your life in to the giant void. It means a lot. Love Dani Balkanska x

  55. Nina
    Posted 20 Jan ’14 at 16:28 | #

    Thank you for this lovely recipe! My sister had told me about it a while back and I recalled it in a hunger-induced stupor last night. Half an hour later, I was eating this lovely concoction! I don’t have the blender necessary to puree it but eating it in its chunky state was such a delight, I’m sure I’d prefer it that way. Anyways, great job on being so creative with such lovely flavors!

  56. Bonnie
    Posted 20 Jan ’14 at 21:42 | #

    This looks delicious! Is it made with sweet potatoes or yams? The coloring of it looks like yams, but could be because of the red lentils.

  57. Posted 24 Jan ’14 at 21:24 | #

    Unconditional love. Such beautiful heartfelt wrIting

  58. Tammy
    Posted 26 Jan ’14 at 15:12 | #

    I love this soup recipe! I’ve made it almost every week since it was posted. Sometimes substituting butternut squash or pumpkin depending on what was in my CSA box that week, sometimes adding bay leaf, harissa and cumin for a change of pace. But, it always turns out delicious! Thanks

  59. pricca
    Posted 4 Feb ’14 at 16:43 | #

    Looks great!

    Don’t lentils need to be soaked overnight??


  60. Hannah
    Posted 14 Feb ’14 at 15:54 | #

    Tried it.Loved it.
    That simple – like this soups <3
    Just the coulour haven't been that exstatic ;)

  61. Posted 18 Feb ’14 at 22:57 | #

    I absolutely adore this recipe and my Fiancé asks me to make it all the time!

  62. Yonna
    Posted 13 Mar ’14 at 12:07 | #

    You think I could make the soup, as well as the topping, in advance? I would like to make this as an entrance to a 3 course menu for 8 people (maybe adjust the portions too?). Thanks for your reply!

  63. kate
    Posted 14 Mar ’14 at 21:50 | #

    One thing that I do with red lentils is soak them, usually just overnight, or for 5 or 6 hours. Be sure to rinse the heck out of them before soaking, as it gets all the starch out. Drain and rinse again.
    Then sprout them, it won’t take long, a day and a half or so. And when you see the little tails appear, time to make the soup!!! So much nicer that just cooking the lentils straight out of the bag….

  64. Giulia
    Posted 21 Mar ’14 at 22:48 | #

    What a lovely recipe – I tried and loved it. So nutritious! Thank you.

    A (mexican) variation of this soup replaces the topping and thyme with honey (1 tbsp), the juice of 1 lime and adds coconut milk / or yogurt and fresh cilantro.

  65. Carolina
    Posted 12 Jul ’14 at 23:34 | #

    Just made this soup…amazing!!!!
    Thanks for sharing :)

  66. Hilary
    Posted 21 Sep ’14 at 04:39 | #

    Has anyone made this in the crockpot? Just wondering how it might turn out. Sounds delicious!!

  67. Daniel
    Posted 28 Sep ’14 at 20:40 | #

    Hi! I am buying sweet potatoes tomorrow so that I can do it, looks awesome! I had one question, when you say simmer, do you mean you put the pot to the highest setting, and when its boiling you take it to the lowest setting and cover it letting it simmer???

    Thank you loads!


    • Posted 28 Sep ’14 at 22:42 | #

      Hi Daniel, we rarely set the stove on the highest setting as it is more difficult to control the heat. But yes, we put it to a boil and then lower the settings so it cooks slowly.Hope you will like it!

      • Daniel
        Posted 29 Sep ’14 at 16:23 | #

        Thanks for the quick answer! Would the water not take ages to start to boil though?? Can I boil the water in a kettle and then put it in the saucepan with the rest of the ingredients?

        Thank you!

  68. Daniel
    Posted 1 Oct ’14 at 15:54 | #

    I made the soup and it is absolutely delicious, as I am a student I made the whole batch to save money, and ended up eating more than half of the whole batch!!!

    Absolutely delicious, not even know how to explain it!

    Thank you so much!!


  69. Olivia Boe M.
    Posted 19 Nov ’14 at 09:25 | #

    Such a beautiful post!
    I am gonna make this beautiful soup for my birthday, so i have a question: Can i make it the day before and then just warm it? Thank you.
    Love to you and your family
    Olivia /Denmark

  70. Stephanie
    Posted 23 Jan ’15 at 15:24 | #

    I made the soup the other night, and my husband and 16 month old boy absolutely LOVED it!!! I did too of course and am planning on making it again this week!! thanks for another great recipe!

  71. Posted 26 Jan ’15 at 08:29 | #

    I can across your post because I had carrots, sweet potatoes and lentils I wanted to make into soup! We live in the Med so the weather opportunities for soup seem sometimes limited :-) Your beautifully presented blog caught my eye.
    The soup is now on the stove cooking (Thankyou) and I am looking forward to the best bit about soup – sharing it with those you love. I look forward to more inspiring foodie posts.

  72. Posted 23 Apr ’15 at 11:01 | #

    This looks awesome! I was tempted by your asparagus, fennel and spinach soup and then I got distracted by this one! Can’t wait to give both of them a go. The ingredients and topping ideas sound perfect :)

  73. Posted 14 May ’15 at 13:27 | #

    This sounds lovely. Going to give this a go. thanks for sharing this recipe.


  74. Louise
    Posted 28 Sep ’15 at 07:52 | #

    What a BEAUTIFUL, heartfelt tribute to your daughter. You have a lovely way with words. The soup looks beautiful too, going to make it in a minute :) Thank you for brightening up my day!

  75. Nancy Belz
    Posted 4 Oct ’15 at 07:17 | #

    Thank you for this beautiful recipe. I made it yesterday on a 32° hot day here in Australia. As you can tell I’m a huge lover of soups to cook in this heat. My only additions that were a little different, were three cloves of sliced garlic, chilli flakes to taste, and freshly chopped parsley to finish. I have frozen some for future meals. I can’t wait to have another served tonight of this tasty soup!

  76. Janna
    Posted 11 Oct ’15 at 20:15 | #

    Hi David, Luise and Elsa

    Today was the first fairly cold day in the Netherlands… I’m so very glad that I made this soup, it is very, very delicious and indeed hart-warming, just like your stories about your family :)
    Very good combination with the kale and eggplant! I also made the Decadent Beet and chocolate cake today, tomorrow i’m going to try it, realy looking forward to it. Thank you ever so much for your recipies!

  77. Michelle Johnson
    Posted 21 Feb ’16 at 02:25 | #

    Hi, I am new to vegetarianism and a friend put me onto your blog – thank goodness for her and you guys!!! I have just made the broccoli bread, humus and the kumera. carrot and lentil soup! all a great success. I am looking forward to this journey now – with your help and insight fullness x

  78. GG
    Posted 7 Apr ’16 at 22:48 | #

    I will look for changes to recipe. Not giving up yet. I tried making red lentil soup and today I am trying to fix it. It would have helped me to have had directions to follow. And so I messed it up. I am going to try to resurrect it with curry and zucchini squash. Thanks.

  79. GG
    Posted 9 Apr ’16 at 18:46 | #

    It took two days to get the soup right and was it good. The best soup I have ever made. I added chopped red bell peppers, fresh sliced garlic and one zucchini. I halved it lengthwise and then sliced into half moons. I removed a lot of the carrots a next time will only use one small carrot. I used garnet sweet potatoes. The first day I added one Turkish bay leaf and one cube chicken bouillon. But what took this pot of soup to the top was adding hot madras curry. Thank you so much for the recipe. It was divine. I bottled it and will eat it all weekend. It’s supposed to snow. And I’m going to make sweet potato biscuits to go with. I didn’t need to use my burr. The texture was perfect. Thanks again. xoxo

  80. sarah
    Posted 20 Apr ’16 at 20:54 | #

    Love this soup, I have made it a few times now, and always just hits the spot. Though i have to confess i didn’t bother making the topping. I loved the fact there were only a few ingredients. If i was serving this to friends I would try making the topping, and maybe some homemade bread – do you have an easy home made bread recipe? thanks :)

  81. Casey
    Posted 20 Sep ’16 at 19:42 | #

    Made this for dinner last night and it really hit the spot! I was worried it would be too sweet but the lentils balanced it out nicely and I also added some nutritional yeast which was delish. Instead of the recommended topping I sautéed kale with chili flakes! I recommend this for a simple, creamy, warm and comforting meal.

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