This is a kind of soup perfect for a cold day - the heat from the spices will warm you up, but at the same time won't burn out a hole in your stomach, as the spices are softened slightly by the creamy coconut milk. I'm a huge fan of Indian spices and the whole cuisine - which is one of the richest and most divers in the world! Yes, I will visit India one day, it IS on my "bucket list" ;)
Back to the soup though. It's quite quick to prepare and if you don't have sweet potatoes at hand feel free to use butternut squash, or any other pumpkin for that matter. You can make this soup as spicy or as mild as you like, you can easily adjust the seasoning to your taste - it's mainly chillies, garlic and ginger that give this soup the heat, that warmth. Garam masala and curry powder (especially if it's mild one) give mostly the taste, that round flavour.
How to make it...
- 2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
- 2 onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of ginger, peeled and grated (you can also use paste or dry one)
- 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, grind
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 3 sweet potatoes (about 700g), peeled and cut into 2 cm dice
- 800 ml vegetable stock
- 400 ml tin coconut milk
- juice of 1–2 limes (a good tablespoonful)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- a small handful of coriander, roughly chopped and a tablespoon of cream/Greek yogurt (optional)
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the onions and "sweat" for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli, garam masala and curry powder, and stir for a minute. Add the sweet potatoes and stir until they’re coated in the spices. Add some salt and pepper and pour in the stock - enough just to cover everything and about 1 cm above the potatoes, not more. It's always easier to thin the soup if it's too thick than to make it thinner once you blended it. Increase the heat and bring to a simmer. Cook gently until the sweet potatoes are very tender – about 15 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat, cool slightly and purée in a blender or food processor, or with a stick blender, until very smooth. Return to the pan, stir in the coconut milk and warm through gently.
Take off the heat and add the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve the soup topped with some croutons, a good dollop of yoghurt, if you like, and scatter over some torn coriander.
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