As much as I enjoy the warm, sunny days of summer and all that the fun and festivities that come with it, I'm always thrilled when the calendar flips to September. There are a zillion things I love about autumn but I must say, close to the top of the list is .......
Soup! I do sneak in a pot every now and then in the summer but somehow it just doesn't feel quite right.
Despite the fact that it still feels like summer here in North Carolina (90˚F today) I'm confident that it is finally quite legal to whip up a pot of soup. Just to prove my theory, I cut up some of my favorite fall veggies; sweet potatoes, yellow potatoes, carrots and onions. I simmered them with garlic, ginger, lemongrass, curry, coriander, brown sugar and chicken stock till everything was super tender then threw in a can of light coconut milk. All that was left was a whirl with my stick (immersion) blender. The soup turned out fantastic and no one has knocked on my door to arrest me. See what I mean? It's legal!
Although Scott and I enjoyed a bowlful of this Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup for breakfast (taste-testers have a weird lifestyle), I'm serving it today to guests for lunch with a big fresh salad and warm pita bread. It would also make a beautiful appetizer soup and, with a scoop of rice and some pan-seared shrimp or pulled rotisserie chicken, this would be a great dinner entree.
I tried several different toppings but in the end decided that just a bit of Greek yogurt (thinned with a little milk) was a perfect compliment to the delicious, silky smooth soup. I also used a few cilantro leaves to garnish but basil, parsley or thinly sliced chives would also be lovely.
Ready to embrace the new season? This Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup is a perfect way to start - no matter what the thermometer is reading!
- Ingredients for the soup:
- 2 tablepoons coconut oil
- 1 medium onion diced
- 4 medium cloves garlic minced
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger
- 4 teaspoons finely chopped lemongrass*
- 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- 2 medium yellow potatoes** peeled and cut into 1 ½-inch pieces
- 3 large carrots peeled and cut in one inch slices
- 2 tablepoons dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1-2 teaspoons curry powder add 2 if you like your soup a bit more spicy
- 1 teaspoon sea salt more to taste
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
- Ingredients for the topping:
- ¼ cup greek yogurt (I like to use whole milk yogurt)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- fresh basil cilantro leaves or thinly sliced chives, for garnish, if desired
Melt coconut oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add onions and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and ginger. Stir for another minute.
Add chicken broth and remaining ingredients up to the coconut milk. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and cook for 25 minutes or until all veggies are very tender.
Add coconut milk and stir. Blend until very smooth using an immersion blender or regular blender. If using a regular blender, allow soup to cool for 15 minutes before blending. Blend in two batches, covering the top of the blender with a clean kitchen towel while processing. If the liquid is too hot when using a regular blender, it could cause an explosion.
For the topping, combine Greek yogurt, milk and a pinch of salt. Stir until smooth.
To serve, ladle soup into serving bowls. Drizzle with a bit of the yogurt mixture. To swirl, run a toothpick or thin skewer through the yogurt in a random pattern. Garnish with herbs and more freshly ground black pepper, if desired.
*Lemongrass comes in thin stalks. To use, trim off the base with a sharp knife. Cut off the lower 3-4 inches and discard the rest. Peel off any tough outer layers then finely chop the inner stalk that remains.
You can also substitute lemongrass paste, which is available in the produce department of many larger grocery stores. Don't use ground dried lemongrass. There is no comparison in flavor.
** Probably the most familiar yellow potato is Yucon Gold. There are lots of other varieties. I often see the smaller ones called Baby Dutch but the common denominator is a yellow hued skin vs. brown or red. Don't run out and buy yellow potatoes. If you don't have any, regular russet potatoes will work as well.