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sweet potato-coconut soup recipe

December 01, 2010

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We are a family of soup lovers, which is great since soup is generally easy to prepare and I can put leftovers into a stainless thermos the next day in the kids’ lunchboxes (ok, just the older girls; my 7-year-old son won’t be caught dead at school with a thermos.  More on him in future posts.)

Given how much soup I make during the school year,  it says a lot that this sweet potato-coconut soup might have been last year’s favorite.  It is silky and sweet with a rush of orange color that gets me emotional.  But the best part is a little kick of cayenne that is just the perfect way to balance the sweet.  I know, I know.  Those look like yams.  At least that’s what the supermarkets would have you believe and it seems everyone these days is using “yams” and “sweet potatoes” interchangeably.  But technically they are sweet potatoes (either Garnet or Jewel, I can’t remember), and furthermore, “Yam Soup” doesn’t sound very sexy.

Before you think this soup is just another pretty bowl of goodness, allow me to toot the horn of the sweet potato.  This delicious root vegetable is outrageously high in Beta-carotene, a phyto-nutrient that has powerful anti-cancer properties, as well as iron, fiber, potassium and Vitamin C.  In addition, sweet potatoes are excellent vanguards against heart disease.  And yeah, the color is so … well, sweet.

For the vegetarians and vegans in the crowd, feel free to use vegetable stock or water in place of the chicken stock.  You might also note the coconut milk in the ingredient list.  There seems to be a lot of controversial information about coconut products.  My opinion is that you would be wise to consume coconut products the way you would any other high fat food – in moderation.  But there is a lot of interesting evidence which supports coconut’s anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties since coconut is super high in Lauric Acid, a fatty acid found in breast milk with immune-boosting properties.  But nutrition aside, the real reason to enjoy this soup is because it’s just like a cozy hug on a cold night!

sweet potato-coconut soup

Serves 6

 

1 Tablespoon unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

1 large onion, diced

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

2 pounds sweet potatoes (often labeled yams –red-skinned Garnet or Jewel), peeled and cubed or roasted and peeled

3 cups chicken stock, vegetable stock, or water

1 teaspoon sea salt

¼ tsp nutmeg

2-3 Tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup

½  13-ounce can coconut milk*

several dashes or more of cayenne or to taste


  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and butter until melted.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the cubed sweet potatoes and toss to coat with the oil, butter and onions.  Pour in the chicken stock or water, sea salt and nutmeg.  Bring to a boil and lower the heat to a simmer.  Cook partially covered until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the maple syrup, coconut milk and cayenne.  Cook until heated through.  Puree soup with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender.  Taste for seasoning.  Serve immediately or allow to sit off the heat to thicken slightly.

*If you prefer to use more coconut milk, use a full can and use 1 cup less chicken stock.

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15 Responses to “sweet potato-coconut soup recipe”

  1. Pia says:

    can u freeze the leftover amt of coconut milk?

  2. Kim C says:

    I can’t believe how delicious this soup is and how EASY it was to make. I made it tonight for dinner and everyone was blown away. Great recipe!! Thanks.

  3. Lisa Messner says:

    I made this soup tonight and it is amazing! So smooth, creamy and warm on a snowy night. Love it. I didn’t have cayenne so I just threw in two dashes of chili powder. Thank you so much for sharing. Last week I made your lentil and brown rice soup, which was the first recipe I tried from your site. Honestly, these two recipes are far above anything I have ever found on the web without having to tweak them.

    • Pamela says:

      Awww, shucks Lisa. So nice to hear! I am a total soup girl so I think you’ll find lots of other good ones on the site :) . Stay warm!

  4. Janice says:

    How do you adapt these recipes to using a Vitamix? With the 20 minute cooking time, I’m not sure. Thanks.

    • Pamela says:

      I’ve never used the soup program on my vitamix, but you have to keep in mind that the veggies need to be cooked and tender BEFORE adding to the vitamix. I would roast the sweet potatoes until tender, peel them and add them to the blender with sauteed onions and the rest of the ingredients and turn on the soup program. That should work fine.

      • Renae says:

        We just finished our soup and practically licked the bowls. I had left over baked sweet potatoes and literally tossed it all together in the Vitamix. I did cook the onion and garlic just a bit in a pan with olive oil before tossing it into the Vitamix. Absolutely delicious and creamy.

        • Pamela says:

          When I came up with this recipe, I didn’t own a Vitamix, but now I do and I can imagine how awesome this would be doing it the way you did. Thanks!!

  5. Rebecca Foster says:

    YUM!!!! Since I made your roasted pumpkin last night, I decided to double this recipe but used 2 lbs. sweet potato and then my fresh pumpkin puree as the base for the the doubling. YUM!!! I have a group of women coming over for a meeting this afternoon. What a perfect rainy, Sunday, November lunch! THANK YOU!

    • Pamela says:

      Rebecca, I’m so glad you chimed in with this adaptation! So good to know that this soup is so versatile. I’m sure it would be amazing with butternut squash/acorn squash, too. Enjoy!

  6. Laura says:

    I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit! I used light coconut milk and added a block of soft tofu to bump up the protein and thickness. It blended right in with no discernible taste, just a slight lightening of colour. Delicious!

  7. jenny says:

    This soup is a favorite of mine. I find that it is slightly sweeter when I use the water instead of the chicken stock. I prefer the chicken stock but both are delicious.

  8. Sandi Gleason says:

    I’ve made this delicious soup quite a few times now. Great for entertaining, but easy and quick enough for a weeknight meal with a big green salad.

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