Every day around four in the afternoon Matthew starts roaming the kitchen looking to see what is on the menu for dinner. It makes sense then to include him in the preparation and soups are something he is likes to help make. This is a good recipe to have kids help with.
Yesterday we forayed outside our normal routine and tried a new soup: curried sweet potato. The soup turned out so delicious I’m sharing it with you.
The idea of curry, especially to my meat and potatoes husband, was a little scary. Some people have warned us that curried foods were hot and spicy. But we are brave souls and there’s always McDonald’s just down the road if the soup was too inedible.
What prompted me to make the soup was that I discovered in our local Sprouts grocery store, a whole shelf of bulk spices. I’ve been shopping there for years and never seen it but I’m sure it’s not new. Anyway, I was able to measure out just enough of the spices and not buy whole bottles that could potentially be tossed if we didn’t like them. Here is the recipe from which I based our soup: Curried Sweet Potato Soup.
This soup is naturally gluten free and can be dairy free if you use just oil for the sauteing and a milk substitute. (If you want to cut down on the fat, don’t use so much :), you can also find light coconut milk at the Asian market or in larger grocery stores. You’re smart, you know what to do.) I used large yams in the recipe and it made enough soup for six…and that’s at two bowls apiece for the boys.
- 3 large sweet potatoes (or yams)
- 2 Tbsp butter or margarine
- 2 Tbsp of olive oil
- 2 brown onions, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 1 Tbsp of garam masala
- 1 tsp of curry powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 cans of chicken or vegetable stock (I used low salt)
- 1 lb silken tofu firm cut into chunks
- 1 cup of coconut milk or regular milk
Things I did different from the original recipe:
· I have since read several recipes and they all say use sweet potatoes not yams. I can’t tell the difference and yams were on sale so that’s what we used. I also read that you are supposed to roast the sweet potatoes ‘to caramelize and enhance the flavor, well maybe… but I just cut them into big chunks and boiled them. Peel after they are cooked-it’s lots easier.
· I didn’t use whole celery stalks; I just cut the leafy tops off a bunch and chopped them up. Celery stalks were eaten later, with peanut butter…
· One thing I did not try but am sure would taste good is some bell peppers.
· I have seen recipes that talk about choosing a spicy or mild curry. What I found at Sprouts just said curry powder. But, and this may be important…I neglected to write curry and garam masala on the bags so when it came time to make I took a guess that the curry powder was the more yellow one and the brownish one was garam masala. Since you use a tablespoon of one it might make a difference in the spiciness. The original recipe says that if you can’t find the garam masala you can just add more curry powder—just taste it before you go to crazy.
· I also added tofu for protein. Husband did not know it was there until I told him. I think it adds a nice smoothness to the soup.
· We did not use coconut milk. We drink almond/coconut milk so I just used this…I think you could add regular milk with the same effect. If your soup is too thick add a little more milk or add some water.
- Slice the sweet potato into large pieces. Boil in water until tender. Let cool, then peel.
- Cut up the onion, garlic and celery. Saute in your large cooking pot in margarine and olive oil until tender.
- Add spices and heat through (if you think it might be too spicy add half and then taste-ours was not at all hot). Add your cut up tofu now. Remove from heat and let the tofu absorb some flavor for twenty minutes or so.
- Cut up the sweet potatoes and add to your sauce pan, stirring to coat.
- Add stock, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until potatoes are very soft.
- Use your hand masher and beaters or blender to blend until smooth. (I used a hand blender with great results.)
- Add milk and stir to combine. Heat through.
- Ladle into bowls. Add a dollop of sour cream if desired and serve with garlic toast.
Trust me. You will like this.