Recipe for Red Lentil Soup with Japanese Yam and Carrots Love Soup by Anna Thomas

Love Soup Red Lentil

Love Soup Red Lentil
Photo credit Cindy Pitou Burton

I came across this cookbook at our local and well supported independent book store a few weeks ago. It’s sprightly cover was hard to miss. The fact that this was a strictly vegetarian resource, and won a James Beard award, we knew that many of our followers would want it. I reached out to Anna Thomas on her informative Facebook page and she was gracious in sharing some of her finest soupiness with her “fellow citizens of Soupistan.” Love Soup stocks 160 soup recipes, a plethora of goodness. It is called “the most influential cookbooks in the history of modern vegetarian cuisine” (Chicago Sun-Times).

Red Lentil Soup with Japanese Yam and Carrots

Serves 6-8
Meal type Cumin, Garlic, Lentil, Yams
Season Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter


  • 2 cups red lentils,12 oz.
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 medium Japanese yam, 10 oz. (or sweet potato)
  • 2 medium carrots, 5 oz.

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. cumin seeds, toasted and ground
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
pinch of cayenne
  • 1 tsp. salt, more to taste
  • 1 Tbs. fresh squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
  • optional: 1 cup coconut milk
  • garnish: extra virgin olive oil
chopped pistachio nuts
chopped cilantro


1 Rinse the lentils under running water in a large sieve. Put them in a soup pot with 4 cups water and 4 cups vegetable broth.
2 Peel and dice the yam and carrots and add them to the lentils.
3 Bring the broth to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer about 30 minutes.
4 Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon olive oil in a pan and sauté the onion, with a dash of salt, stirring over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes.
5 Lower the heat and cook onion gently for 20 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until it is golden and soft. Push the onion to the sides of the pan, add the remaining oil and the chopped garlic in the center, and stir for a minute or two.
6 Add the onion and garlic to the soup and simmer everything together for about five minutes.
7 Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and salt to soup. Puree the soup with immersion blender, taste it, and add a pinch of salt if needed.
8 Stir in the lemon juice. If you want a slightly richer soup, stir in the coconut milk – and reserve a few spoonfuls to swirl into the top of the soup when it is served.
9 Garnish the soup with the coconut milk, or with a drizzle of oil, and with a scattering of chopped pistachio nuts or a few cilantro leaves, or any combination.
10 Pass harissa at the table for those who like it hot.

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