sweet potato & lentil soup (vegan, oil-free)

2009-01-19 17.49.37The first vegan cookbook I ever purchased was Vegan Planet by Robin Robertson*. It was during the season in my life that my oldest son likes to refer to as “the time when we weren’t eating healthy.” I refer to it as the time when I didn’t realize the benefits of eating a plant-based diet.

But the Lord knew He would bring me to this place, so He gradually encouraged me to go meat-free on more than just Monday. I started by exploring vegan and vegetarian cookbooks in our local library until I stumbled upon Vegan Planet*.

One of my favorite recipes from the book is Robin’s “Indian-spiced Lentil Soup” on page 78.

Although soups are most often thought of in the fall and winter, I make them year round. Especially when spring shows its chillier side.



100_1757And I think this soup is especially spring-like with the bright addition of cilantro, an herb that flourishes in cooler temperatures.

2009-01-19 17.12.30Spring, summer, fall, winter, here is my version of this sweet potato lentil soup.

swplentilsoup CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the sweet potato lentil soup recipe

sweet potato lentil soup

Prep Time: 10-15 minutes

Cook Time: 60-70 minutes

Ingredients (6-8)

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 celery rib, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled & diced
  • 1-14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ½ cups dried brown lentils
  • 6 cups water
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves, minced
  • ½-3/4 tsp. salt
  • Dashes of pepper


In a stock pot, sauté onions, celery and garlic in a little water until onion is translucent (about 5 minutes)

Add sweet potatoes and sauté 5 minutes more.

Add water, tomatoes and seasonings except the cilantro. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 50 to 55 minutes until the lentils and sweet potato are cooked through.

Add cilantro and cook 10 minutes more.

Recipe Notes

As with most soups, this one tastes even better the second day when the flavors have fully developed.

This soup freezes well, so make some extra and keep on hand when you need a meal in a pinch.

 *I am an Amazon associate. If you purchase the cookbook through this link, it will provide a small credit to my account.

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oh-lay early spring salad

2009-01-08 14.07.00It’s funny how much we talk about the weather, at least around these parts. Perhaps it’s because we’re all in it together, this waiting for spring to be spring.

I check weather updates repeatedly as if somehow my multiple visits per day to our local weather station’s website will translate to warmer temperatures in the forecast. Even now my fingers are itching to check it once again. The calendar says it’s spring, but the temperatures seem reluctant to leave winter behind. I need to remind myself as I remind my children that it is the Lord who controls the weather and, thankfully, He is not bound by a calendar.

spring inside
lavender for our door :: wheatgrass courtesy of my youngest who bought it for my oldest :: a nod to another favorite past time

At least I can bring spring inside our home and to our table. For our home, I’m switching out winter photographs, prints and decorations. (And if you’re looking for spring printables, here are a few free ones I found around the web: (Hello Spring by On Sutton Place; Hello Spring by Sandy Toes and Popsicles; Bicycles by Oh So Lovely blog)

And for our table, I looking to grace it with recipes that incorporate springtime vegetables and my favorite minneola oranges which are only available for a short time in the stores where we live .

early spring saladSo I was excited a few weeks back to have this recipe arrive in my inbox from Minimalist Baker.  I tried it out, but didn’t like the combination of the beans and quinoa with the lettuce, though I might have liked it better with kale (it’s a texture thing). So I made a few modifications to come up with the Oh-lay! Early Spring Salad featuring a pumpkin seed parmesan.

CLICK HERE TO PRINT A PDF of the Oh-lay Early Spring Salad recipe

oh-lay early spring salad

Prep Time: 20-30 minutes

Cook Time: 1-2 minutes

Serves: 4 people


    For the Salad

    • Spring greens mix
    • Asparagus, roughly chopped
    • ½ – 1 cup minced cilantro
    • Oranges, diced
    • Avocado, diced
    • Pumpkin seed parmesan
    • Optional toppings:
    • Cucumber, diced
    • Roasted red pepper, sliced (organic is best)
    • Corn (organic is best)
    • Plantain chips, crumbled

    For the Pumpkin Seed Parmesan

    • ½ c. pumpkin seeds, raw or toasted
    • 3 tsp. nutritional yeast
    • 1 ½ tsp. olive oil
    • 1/8 tsp. salt
    • ¼ tsp. (heaping) cumin

    For the Orange-Lime Dressing

    • ¼ c. lime juice
    • 1 T orange juice concentrate + 1 T water
    • 3 T olive or avocado oil
    • ½ scoop 100% pure stevia
    • ½ tsp. cumin
    • ¼ tsp. chili powder
    • 1/8 tsp. salt
    • Dash pepper
    • 1 T cilantro, minced


    1. If toasting pumpkin seeds, place in a pot over high heat and toast until you hear the seeds begin to “pop”, about 1-2 minutes.

    2. Combine all pumpkin seed parmesan ingredients in a small food processor and pulse until roughly crumbled.

    3. Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well until emulsified.

    4. Prepare all salad ingredients, combine with dressing and parmesan and serve.

    Recipe Notes

    Use about one large handful of salad greens per person.

    If serving to a crowd, combine the greens, asparagus and cilantro in a large salad bowl, but serve the remaining toppings and dressing on the side for guests to add as desired. That way if you have leftovers, the greens will remain fresh.

    Pumpkin seed parmesan will keep for at least one week if refrigerated in a jar.

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