As soon as that first nip of cold air hit I couldn't think of anything I wanted more than a hot steaming bowl of sweet potato soup! I love sweet potatoes cooked in any shape or form and when you add to that all the health benefits they contain, I'm completely hooked!
Fortunately for me they are an integral part of Southern Cuisine and I've learnt quite a few ways to cook them since I've been living on the Gulf Coast (as I like to refer to the beautiful South Mississippi town I live in).
Great For Meal Prep
This recipe is not only quick and easy to make, it stores very well (3-4 days in the refrigerator and 6 months in the freezer) making it a great item for your weekend meal prep during the fall and winter months. I usually double this recipe and freeze the leftover soup (not that there's usually much leftover) in portions, ready to take out and heat up as needed.
The most amazing thing about this soup is it's smooth and silky texture without the addition of any cream. In all honesty you can omit the coconut milk and you would still have an amazing texture, but I just happen to think the flavors I've put together here fuse really well so I would highly recommend keeping all the ingredients as they are presented to get the full flavor of the soup.
A little about the nutritional aspects of the soup; apart from their high fibre content sweet potatoes have an extraordinarily high amount of Vitamin A. This amongst other things supports a healthy immune system which we all need as the 2020 COVID/FLU season approaches.
This was also a consideration when using chicken stock as the base for the soup. Of course, if you are a vegetarian then you can substitute with vegetable stock.
In addition to all of the above mentioned benefits, both sweet potatoes and Granny Smith apples have a very low glycemic index, making it a great option if you're watching your weight. Similarly, coconut milk is supposed to be excellent for reducing blood pressure and cholesterol and is also known to assist with weight loss.
The lemongrass, while not edible, releases essential oils as it cooks in the soup (This is why it's important to cut it lengthwise so we get the maximum benefit of these oils). These oils are said to contain antioxidants and help reduce pain and inflammation.
As numerous as the health benefits are, I'm sure you want to know more about the taste of the soup! Trust me, this doesn't taste like diet food, that's just the icing on the cake! While I love the intensely sweet taste of the sweet potato this is a soup we're making, so I wanted to tone the sweetness down just a notch. Hence, I added the Granny Smith apples, which are both sweet and sour, thus staying with the primarily sweet tone of the soup but adding a slightly more mellow touch to it.
I opted for leeks versus regular onions as an ingredient due to their mild and delicate taste. They are generally much better in soups than their stronger counterparts for this reason. The leeks and garlic, along with a small quantity of pepper and cayenne help enhance the flavor of the sweet potatoes through the sheer contrast in taste and the lemongrass adds a beautifully fragrant smell, with the coconut milk bringing the soup to velvety perfection.
The garnish, while not necessary, makes for beautiful presentation. The beautiful autumn color of the soup, with a swirl of white coconut milk, a sprinkle of green pumpkin seeds and a dash of orange cayenne is a feast for the eyes.
Sweet Potato Soup
- 2 cups diced sweet potatoes 2 large potatoes
- 1 cup diced granny smith apples
- 2 chopped leeks
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 4 cloves garlic
- 16 oz chicken broth (or vegetable)
- 4 cups water
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp roasted salted pumpkin seeds
- 4 tbsps coconut milk
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- Chop the sweet potatoes, apples and leeks and add to your cooking pot.
- Cut the lemongrass stalk into 3 long pieces and slice each piece lengthwise to release the oil and essence and add to the pot along with the garlic cloves.
- Add the broth, water, salt, pepper and cayenne and bring to a boil.
- Let simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Take the lemongrass out (It's too stringy too eat) and puree the rest of the ingredients in a blender.
- Add the puree back to the pot and add the 1 cup of coconut milk and adjust the seasoning to your taste if needed.
- Garnish with a swirl of coconut milk, a few pumpkin seeds and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper before serving.