Once upon a time, I didn't need a scorecard to remember my family's culinary preferences. Now that I'm firmly entrenched in middle age, I forget who loves olives, who hates mushrooms, who likes tomatoes on their pizza and who won't eat anything green. So, it was inevitable that, when I cooked a big holiday dinner for my stepson and grandkids, I would get something wrong, and I came home with three pounds of leftover mashed sweet potatoes that none of the kids would touch. Lucky me: I turned those already-mashed potatoes into this rich and creamy Indian-spiced sweet potato soup. It's vegan and gluten-free, and you can make it even if you don't have leftovers. Top each individual bowl with traditional curry garnishes (cashews, raisins, chopped apple or shredded coconut) to create a hearty one-dish meal.
Creamy Indian-spiced vegan sweet potato soup
Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a first course.
2 large sweet potatoes (or 3-4 cups leftover mashed sweet potatoes)
1 medium onion, diced
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tsp curry powder (hot or sweet; I use hot, of course)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
1 tsp agave nectar (or honey), or more to taste
6 oz coconut milk, or more to taste
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
A few teaspoons of chopped apple and cashews, for garnish
Pierce the sweet potatoes in a few places, and cook in the microwave on full power for 9 minutes, or until the potatoes are quite soft. When they're cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh into a bowl, and discard the skins. (Skip this step if you're using leftover mashed potatoes.)
In a Dutch oven, sauté the onions in the oil over low heat for 2-3 minutes, until translucent. Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric and cumin, and cook for 20 seconds until just slightly fragrant. Add the sweet potato plus 1 cup of water, and stir to combine all ingredients.
Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer. Stir in the lemon juice and honey. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed.
Then, add the coconut milk. Stir to incorporate, and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the stove, and use an immersion blender to purée the soup to the texture you like (I like mine slightly "rustic"). If you don't have an immersion blender, let the soup cool for a few minutes, and purée in batches in a food processor or blender.
If the soup is too thick, add more coconut milk and/or water. Taste the soup, and adjust seasonings with more lemon, honey, salt and pepper, to your liking.
Serve hot, garnished with chopped apples and cashews.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Squash, sweet potato and carrot soup
Curried squash, apple and pear soup
Rosemary-parmesan sweet potato waffles
Sweet potato, lentil and raisin stew
Mashed garlic sweet potatoes
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Sweet potato hummus with olive oil and sumac, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sweet potato and purple cabbage soup, from Gluten-free Goddess
Black bean and sweet potato soup, from Two Peas & Their Pod
Indian-style red lentil and sweet potato curry, from Lisa's Kitchen
Sweet potato coconut curry with chicken and bacon, from Family Fresh Cooking
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