Red Lentil Soup-Stew

Let’s talk about arms.

How long are yours?  I heard this thing about how your arms, from fingertip to fingertip, aka your wingspan, is supposed to be about equal to your height.

Go.  Measure.  Stat.  Report back.

Are your arms like that?  Mine are not.  They’re freakishly long.  Like, Gumby proportions.  As in, my cousin used to call me a gorilla when I was little.  I.e. I’m 5’6″ and my wingspan is 6 feet.   That’s a legit wingspan.

Anyone who knows me in real life who is now reading this is saying, “Omg STOP TALKING ABOUT YOUR ARMS HANNAH.”  I’m obsessed because they’re so WEIRD.  It’s horrible.  Sometimes in pictures when I try to put my hand on my hip, my whole arm bend angle thing doesn’t even fit in the frame.  And people are all, “What is that thing sticking into the…?  Ohhhh.  Sorry Hannah.”  And I’m all, “WhatEVER can you even reach that thing way up there?  Because I can.”

(Sadly I keep befriending tall people, so they can also reach that thing way up there most of the time.)

Sleeves are often too short, which is supposed to be something that only happens to tall people.  I should start a clothing line with extra long sleeves but normal size everywhere else.  I would buy it.  Me and all the other long-armers.  Yes.  I’ll do that right after I learn how to sew a button back on a shirt.  Which I’ll do right after I eat some applesauce for a midnight snackies.

But before the applesauce, we should talk about this soup-stew-business.  I made it on Tuesday, when it was cold.  This was after Monday when it was hot, and before today, which was warm as well.  So…the soup was perfect on Tuesday.  But I figure most of the country is actually experiencing winter, so you could probs benefit from this.

Also!  If you’re eating healthy/cleansing/gluten-free/dairy-free, you know, those sorts of things…you can eat this soup!  Major win.  You should also eat it if you’re none of the above because it’s just that good.  Red lentils.  Sweet potatoes.  Cumin, turmeric (what a weird word), and red chile flakes.  Yes.  Eat ittttt!

Red Lentil Soup…Stew…Stuff

Makes about 6-8 servings, depending on how much of a soup hoarder you are (I am a soup fanatic)

2 TBS olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp red chile flakes (you can adjust this for heat level)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced (bite-size cubes here)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes or crushed jarred tomatoes  (I FINALLY found “canned” tomatoes in jars at Whole Foods)
1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed thoroughly and picked over
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups water (you could also do 6 cups water if you want)
a few handfuls of spinach leaves, roughly chopped

optional stir-ins: hot sauce, almond or coconut milk (unsweetened, unflavored), plain greek yogurt if you’re going dairy style, chopped fresh parsley

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add diced onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until slightly softened.  Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, and chile flakes.  Cook for another 2 minutes until fragrant.
2. Add sweet potato, tomatoes, and lentils.  Cook for 2 minutes while stirring.  Add 6 cups of liquid (broth and/or water).  Increase heat to high and bring soup to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes, until lentils are cooked and sweet potato is tender.  Stir in chopped spinach, just until wilted.
3. Salt soup to taste (will depend on how much/what kind of broth you used).  If desired, serve with various add-ins.  (Almond/coconut milk or yogurt will spike up the richness and cool it down if you’ve made it spicy; parsley will freshen it up a bit.)  Soup can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 days.  I’m not sure about freezing it, but I don’t see why it can’t be done!

Recipe adapted from Whole Living

I ate this stuff for dins last night and lunch today.  It is awesome.  So easy and so flavorful!  Oh my I forgot something!  The Weatherman gave me that fabulous engraved cutting board for my birthday.  Jealous much?

Thanks for reading, happy cooking/baking!



    1. It feels like summer (ok, late spring) here in Texas. I’ve still eaten this stuff 3 days in a row. It works, I swear!
      ~ Hannah

  1. I made a this for our chilly days this past week. It is delish and I’ll be making it again! Thanks for the recipe. Oh yeah, my wingspan is an inch longer than my height…

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