I like potato chowders, but a lot of the time I feel like I’m drinking a bowl of warm milk trying to get it down. Then if go in a lighter direction, like your pumpkin or winter squash soups, you don’t get enough heft, so they lose their heat and substance by about the third spoonful.
This one hits the soup sweet spot. Enough substance so that it feels like you’re eating a real meal, and hot to the last bite. And yet, you don’t have to take a nap afterwards to digest it.
Best part: crazy quick to make. There’s about 5 minutes of hands-on, followed by 20 minutes of simmering, and then another 5 minutes of work before you’re done.
Second best part: pretty darn healthy. Lots of protein and fiber. Also lots of saturated fat, but it’s all vegetable fat (from the coconut milk), and there’s still a lot of debate about whether that’s a good or bad thing. More than likely good.
One note: According to food science Harold McGhee, one mistake frequently made is adding the spices too early. Heat is the enemy of many spices, so it’s a balancing act between getting full flavor and melding the spice flavors with the main ingredients. I haven’t really thought about the science of this much, so I’m not going to say this always works, but for this recipe, I measured out the spices, then took out a pinch and saved it for end.
Without further ado …
Indian-Spiced Sweet Potato Soup (adapted from Sunflower Markets)
- 2-3 Tbs olive oil
- 1 yellow or sweet onion, chopped
- 1.5 – 2 lbs sweet potatoes (2-3 medium), peeled, 1 inch cubes
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 Tbs curry powder
- ¼ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- optional: a dash of coriander, cardamom, or white pepper
- 2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
- 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas
- 2 cups spinach leaves
Mix all of your spices in a small bowl, then remove a quarter teaspoon of the mixture. Add the rest to the sweet potato and stir gently to coat, cooking for about a minute.
Add the coconut milk and stir for a second. With an immersion blender, mix the soup until smooth. (Or, mix in batches in a food processor or blender.)
Stir in the chickpeas and the dash of spice that you saved back in the beginning, and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the spinach and cook for 2-3 more minutes, until the spinach starts to wilt.
Serve with warm pita bread or a side salad. Or, top with shredded carrots and yogurt