Feel a little sorry for my dear Ben*. All he wants for dinner is a hefty salad and all I keep giving him is soup. I tell him to think of it as hot liquid salad. He’s not buying it. He craves the cool crunch of a finely chopped carrot throughout the year. Salads are fine in the summer. No one loves the salty freshness of a pale green romaine heart. But I’m constitutionally unable to eat raw salad in the winter. Even the mild winters of Northern California. From November through February, I crave the warmth and comfort that only a steaming bowl of homemade soup can provide.
My latest is a very simple curried sweet potato soup that I made a few nights ago. This soup is loaded with flavor but tastes best when prepared the day before and allowed to rest a day so that all those flavors can incorporate. It’s nice served with pumpkin seeds toasted with curry powder or a dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream (by the way, WayFare makes a great vegan sour cream).
1 tablespoon coconut oil or any neutral tasting oil
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into reasonable hunks (no precision is required)
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped roughly
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 quart homemade or store bought vegetable broth
1 13 ounce tin of coconut milk (regular or lite…I use lite)
1 tablespoon medium curry powder or to taste
1/4 teaspoon asafetida (hing)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Heat the oil
Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Don’t let them brown.
Reduce heat and add the garlic
When the garlic has cooked, add the carrot and then the sweet potato
Cook over medium heat for five or ten minutes, stirring occasionally – don’t let the onion or garlic burn
Add the stock and coconut milk – the liquids should almost cover the tops of the sweet potatoes
Add the curry powder, asafetida and salt
Simmer until the vegetables are soft
Use an immersion blender to puree the soup
Season to taste – add more curry powder, asafetida or salt if needed
Turn heat to low and continue to simmer
This soup is meant to be thick, but if the soup appears too thick for your liking, add more stock or water until you reach the desired consistency
*Don’t feel too sorry for Ben – he’s not suffering salad withdrawal. He cleans his soup bowl every time, then asks for more.