I think of January as soup month. After all the abundance of the holidays, soup feels virtuous yet hearty and comforting enough for one of the coldest months of the year. This Sweet Potato Soup with Thai Curry & Coconut is one of my favorites. It’s thick and creamy, and packed with warming flavors thanks to red curry paste, ginger, garlic, sweet potatoes, and coconut milk. Most of my friends who have tried it were surprised to find out it’s totally vegan- perfect for everyone’s various New Years resolution diets.
And while I love this soup on its own, my favorite part of the recipe is the toppings. I top each bowl with toasted coconut flakes, lightly salted peanuts, a squeeze of lime juice, and fresh herbs. Disclaimer: cilantro would be the natural choice here, but like Ina, I am cilantro averse. Thankfully, basil is also delicious with Thai flavors. I’ll leave it up to you to decide. Finally, I recommend a shake of red pepper flakes for anyone who wants a more distinct kick.
In a large (11-inch) Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the coconut oil over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until translucent. If the onions begin to brown, lower the heat. Add the garlic, ginger, and curry paste, and cook for one more minute. Add the sweet potatoes, apples, vegetable stock, and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are very tender when pierced with a fork.
Meanwhile, in a medium (10-inch) sauté pan, toast the coconut over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown at the edges. Begin stirring almost constantly and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes, until the coconut is golden brown. (Be careful, coconut burns quickly!) Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
When the sweet potatoes are tender, stir in the coconut milk, and using an immersion blender (or in batches using a food processor or blender), blend until smooth.
Serve hot, with a squeeze of lime juice, and a sprinkling of toasted coconut, chopped cilantro or basil, peanuts, and crushed red pepper flakes, if using.
Note: The soup will thicken as it sits; you may need to add a splash of water or stock to thin it when reheating.
I do recipe testing and social media for Ina and love to cook for my friends on the weekend. Ina has given me lots of tips for easy cooking and entertaining, and I'm excited to share them with you here!