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The Perfect Sweet Potato Soup For Grandma

As we age, our taste buds and sense of smell lose some of the range they used to have. This recipe, made with seniors in mind, helps add complex flavors without any overpowering spiciness. Great for the young, and young at heart. This soup is perfect for the crisp weather of fall, with sweet potato and hearty lentils to help keep you warm. 

 

Sweet Potato Lentil Soup

 

This senior friendly recipe for Sweet Potato, Lentil and Turkey Soup requires some prep work, but can be made from start to finish in about an hour. It’s a satisfying, vegetable-centered one-pot meal that produces enough leftovers for additional lunches or dinners throughout the week. Another bonus? It freezes well, making it a great alternative to sodium-packed canned soups.

Healthy and Inexpensive

Family cooking together

The ingredients in the soup are budget friendly and easy to find all year round. Red split lentils, which cook quickly and absorb a ton of flavor, supply a great source of protein, folate, iron and dietary fiber. A small amount of lean ground turkey provides texture and meatiness, but can be omitted for vegetarians. A variety of vegetables—including antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory sweet potatoes—contribute substance and nutritional value. Ground cumin and smoked paprika hint at a Spanish profile and give the dish some personality.

As our loved ones age, helping them to eat well—that is, ingesting nutritious foods that also taste great and are enjoyable to eat—should rise to the top of the priority list. Cooking on a regular basis isn’t always possible for many seniors. Food delivery programs for the elderly and free or low-fee meals at community senior centers can help on this front. What can make an even bigger difference is preparing home-cooked dinners for your aging parents or grandparents and joining them for the meal.  

Ready to get cooking? Go pick up some groceries and surprise your family member with a simple, delicious meal that will hopefully be the start of many to come.

Sweet Potato, Lentil and Turkey Soup

 

This delicious vegetable-packed soup makes fantastic leftovers —freeze extras in serving-sized portions for convenience, or keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The lentils continue to absorb liquid as they sit, so you may need to add a little extra water when reheating.

To make this dish vegetarian, feel free to omit the turkey, bump up the lentils by 1/4 cup, and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. 

 

Ingredients

celery

 

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 lb. ground turkey

1 large yellow onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs. tomato paste

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

2 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, about 12 oz. total, peeled and diced

1 cup red split lentils, picked over, rinsed and drained

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth

6 oz. baby spinach

 

Cooking Instructions

onion in saucepan
  1. Warm 1 Tbs. olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the turkey and cook until browned, about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add 2 Tbs. oil to the saucepan and return over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, carrot and bell pepper and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the garlic, tomato paste, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Return the turkey to the pan, add the sweet potato, lentils and chicken broth, stir and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils and sweet potato are tender, about 20 minutes.
  6. Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 to 2 minutes longer.
  7. Ladle into individual serving bowls.

Serves 6