Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

In the last few evenings I’ve noticed that it has been staying lighter just a little bit longer.  These extra few minutes of daylight give me hope that the dark and dreary days of winter are coming closer to an end.  Granted, here in California, our days are not quite as dreary as other parts of the country, but until spring comes, finding ways to bring light and warmth into our days is essential.

A bowl of sweet potato and coconut soup recently supplied us with some of that much-needed warmth.  This soup is like sunshine in a bowl.  After just a few spoonfuls, Graham and I felt like we had been transported to the islands!

Sweet Potatoes and Onions

The original recipe for this soup did in fact come from some islands (the Islands of French Polynesia, that is), but unfortunately we did not acquire it there.  Since neither of us have been there, we had to experience the flavors through a recipe from the World Food Café Cookbook.  This book contains vegetarian recipes from around the world and photos that make my mouth water.

Even though I’ve flipped through this book multiple times, until recently I had never made one of the recipes.  Though all of the dishes look very tasty, some of the recipes are pretty intimidating.  However, the sweet potato and coconut soup was a fairly easy and definitely tasty introduction to this book.

The creamy soup was dominated by the rich flavors of sweet potato and spices and the heat from the cayenne pepper.  These strong flavors masked the coconut flavor for Graham, but the sweet aroma and delicate flavor of the coconut definitely came through for me.  Please try out the recipe and let us know what you think…

Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

Adapted from the World Food Café Cookbook 2

  • 2 large sweet potatoes (about 1.5 lbs)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • cilantro, for garnishing (optional)

Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes.  Chop onions and garlic.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions begin to soften.  Add sweet potato cubes to the pot and cook until potatoes just begin to soften (roughly 10 minutes).  Mix in spices and cook for 1 more minute.

Add the vegetable stock and bring soup to a boil.  Once boiling, cover pot and reduce the heat.  Soup should simmer until sweet potatoes are soft and can be pierced easily with a fork.  Add coconut milk to the soup and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Remove the soup from heat and use an immersion blender or countertop blender to puree the soup.  Once blended, the soup should be smooth and creamy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish soup with cilantro leaves.

Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

This soup, as I mentioned previously, is like sunshine in a bowl. Brightly colored with rich warm flavors.

Easy Rating


Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)

Pretty straightforward recipe. An immersion blender makes pureeing this soup a snap. I can imagine that it might be a little bit of a task to puree the soup in a countertop blender though.

Healthy Rating


Four Apples (Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)

On the whole a pretty healthy, vegetable based soup. The coconut milk does add some fat and calories to the recipe, but I used a light coconut milk to cut some of that down.

Green Rating


Three Leaves (Average Environmental Friendliness)

Most of the ingredients were organic, but the coconut milk was not organic and was pretty far from being local.
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