TWiP Kitchen


Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup

By Riyam Kafri AbuLaban

e are a fusion of our experiences, the places we’ve lived and the cuisines we’ve been exposed to. I often imagine myself like a jigsaw puzzle with a piece from every place, every experience, every celebration, and every loss. This recipe brings together my Palestinian lentil-soup inner child, with my Southern sweet-potato-loving adult. The discovery of the sweet potato came late in my life, when I was living in Tennessee where I attended graduate school. The merging of both flavors only came to be when I was searching for a cross between the density of lentil soup and the sweetness of potato, and I add ginger to give your tastebuds a sharp bite with each mouthful.

3 medium-to-large sweet potatoes, cubed
2 medium-to-large regular potatoes, cubed
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups lentils
A piece of ginger (2 inches long)
1 chicken-bouillon cube in 2 liters of boiled water (or 2 liters of chicken broth)
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste


  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan.
  2. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they become clear.
  3. Add the sweet and regular cubed potatoes and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Stir the mixture a bit, then lower the heat and cover the pot for a few minutes to allow the potatoes to steam cook and become tender.
  5. Add the washed lentils and stir.
  6. Add the water and chicken bouillon, bring to a roaring boil, then let simmer until everything is cooked (around 30 minutes).
  7. Turn off the heat, allow the soup to cool, then purée using a blender.
  8. Pour the puréed soup into a pot; grate the ginger into the soup.
  9. Heat before serving.
  10. Serve with lemons and a dash of ground cumin..

On weekends, Riyam Kafri AbuLaban’s kitchen smells of za’atar, cinnamon, lemon, and honey. She writes her own food story on and can be found on Instagram @riyamoskitchentable.

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