Sunday, October 7, 2012

Spicy Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup for an Orange #SundaySupper

I'll admit (as I likely have before somewhere on this blog) that I'm not a huge fan of Thai food. Don't get me wrong - I love the whole Thai culture and the food is undoubtedly flavourful, rich and wholesome (for the most part). I just don't like it myself. It's probably thanks to the whole allergy to coconut / most nuts and my intense dislike of cilantro thing.

That said, my mom loves Thai food. She's not as into the tradition and culture as I am (my house, when I get one, is going to likely wind up half Thai and half African tribal decorated), but give her the choice between Thai, Chinese-American, seafood, pizza or burgers for dinner and you have a good chance of hitting the local tom yam and pad thai joint. In fact, when she came home from her business trip to the country, mention of the food was made as often as that of the beauty of the temples, hotels and people.

It should come as no surprise that when I found a soup that smacked of Thai cuisine in my copy of Home-Grown Harvest, I had to try it out. The rather exotic Sweet Potato & Coconut Soup with Thai Pesto by Ross Dobson was essentially everything you could ever want in a soup, and the perfect example of what most Asian cuisine is about - balance. The marriage of flavour, texture and heat was ideal - the pureed base is made with sweet potatoes, red onion and coconut milk, and is mild and sweet enough for even children to enjoy. The famous heat of Thai cuisine comes through in the pesto though. It comes packed with Thai green chillies, peanuts, cilantro and a hint of lime, and if eaten alone (especially without prior warning) can be a rather painful experience. The original recipe calls for dolloping the pesto on top of the finished soup, (the benefit of which is that everyone can then adjust the spice level to their own preference), but I knew it would only be packed for my mom’s lunches during the week so I stirred it in. Together, the sweet and spicy aspects of the recipe, paired with a delicate sourness from the pesto’s lime, meld into a stick-to-your-ribs whole that is neither too sugary not mind-blowingly hot.

This week's #SundaySupper is all about All Things Orange. The #SundaySupper family is using the spirit of the season to inspire you and will be sharing some fabulous dishes at the #SundaySupper table this week, and we do hope that you’ll join us!

Just look at all of the fabulous dishes being offered up this week:

Sunrise  (Breakfast and Brunch)

High Noon (Soups, Salads and Sandwiches)

Sunset (Dinner and Main Dishes)

By The Bonfire (Sweets, Snacks and Sips)
Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day during #SundaySupper... we’ll be meeting up at 7:00 pm (EDT) for our weekly #SundaySupper  live chat where we’ll talk about our favorite recipes featuring our favorite fall color. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag or through TweetChat! We’d also love to feature your easy go to recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers, too.

Also submitted to Gluten-Free Monday and Gluten Free Fridays

Spicy Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup
Serves 6 

4 oz unsalted peanuts, lightly toasted
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 Serrano or Thai chiles, minced (seed if less heat is desired)
1 cup chopped cilantro
¼ cup fresh mint
2 tbsp low-sodium tamari
1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tbsp lime juice
Zest of 1 lime
1 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups GF vegetable stock
1 2/3 cups coconut milk (one 13.5 oz can)
1 2/3 cups water (use the can to measure)
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup cauliflower florets
1 ½ lbs sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped and roasted
  1. In a food processor, combine peanuts, garlic, ginger, chiles, cilantro, mint, soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice and zest and brown sugar and process until mostly smooth. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot, heat the oils over medium heat and add the onion.
  3. Cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to turn golden - about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the vegetable stock, coconut milk, coconut, cauliflower and sweet potatoes.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the cauliflower is very soft.
  6. Let cool slightly, then pour into a food processor or blender, add the peanut mixture and puree smooth.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 346.8
Total Fat: 19.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 522.5 mg
Total Carbs: 39.8 g
Dietary Fiber: 6.3 g
Protein: 8.5 g


  1. This sounds so good, and very unique. I have to say I have never tried a sweet potato soup before. And since I love Thai food the twist makes it just that much more intriguing to me.

  2. This soup sounds fabulous! Thank you so much for joining in this week!

  3. Coconut & sweet potatoes, what a delicious combination!!!

  4. A very complex and amazing sounding soup! I´m not a cilantro person either, but used in moderation brings a lot of interesting flavor. Have a great sunday!

  5. I love Thai food and sweet potatoes too. No allergy worries so I can make and enjoy this soup for sure.

  6. I'm sure this is loaded with flavors and I love the addition of the cauliflower!

  7. Sweet and spicy? YUM! Thanks for sharing!

  8. The way you describe the flavors has me drooling! Now I'll have to try it!

  9. I love Thai food and this looks amazing. Thanks for sharing!!

  10. I love Thai recipes, mainly because it's something I don't eat often. In fact, I don't know if I've ever been to a Thai restaurant!! Pinning to make someday :)

  11. Love Sweet Potato Soup adding coconut sounds yummy, Sarah!

  12. Yum! I love Thai food. This soup looks very tasty and healthy. Thanks for sharing.

  13. This sounds like a wonderful soup! I love Thai flavors and combining them with the flavors of fall sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Never had sweet potatoes with coconut milk before,but I love Thai food!!This looks like something I would surely enjoy :)Thanks for a lovely recipe Sarah!

  15. I am a huge fan of all these flavors, as may I can sit next to your mom for lunch!? Sounds like seriously good soup to me!

  16. Sweet Potato and Coconut seriously sound like a wonderfully imaginable combination that is to die for.

  17. This soup is a huge party all by itself! And they sound perfect with the sweet potatoes.

  18. Looks like a nice hearty soup! A must try in my book.

  19. Such a flavourful soup!!! Jam packed with goodness! :-)

  20. Thai food is one of my favorites, using pumpkin to give it a fusion touch is a great idea

  21. I want to travel with your Mom. We'd get along well :) Your soup sounds like an amazing combination of flavors - can't wait to try it!

  22. So many great soups this week! And with coconut? Sounds heavenly!

  23. I love Thai food and this soup sounds so aromatic, creamy, and packed with unique flavours. I'm really loving all the soup posts this week - you all make me want to whip out the stock pot and go buy an immersion blender!

  24. Girl, your soup is bursting with everything good !!!!! Love all the ingredients ! Will be making this :)

  25. Mmmmm, Sarah, this sound sounds fantastic! I love the kick from the pesto :)

  26. I personally love Thai food. This soup looks so full of great flavors!

  27. I love Thai food but my husband is like you... I can't wait to try this fabulous recipe.

  28. Sweet potatoes with coconut - great combination! Love you add in some spice too, sounds like Tom Yam!

  29. Sweet potato and coconut? Love it!

  30. Did you eat the soup? I was wondering how you would have substituted the nut and the coconut for your allergies. I see you substituted the nut with tamari. Just curious. The combination of flavors sound fantastic. I love Thai food too. I can eat Thai food everyday. Yummy!

  31. Cauliflower! Sounds amazing. I love Thai flavor but mostly find it too spicy. I bet I could adjust this to make it yummy!

  32. Love the color! This sounds like an awesome soup! :) Thanks for linking up at our Gluten Free Fridays party last week! I have tweeted and pinned your entry to our Gluten Free Fridays board on Pinterest! :) I hope that you'll join us this week to share more yummies! Also, be sure to stop back by to see who the winner of the Planet Rice will be! The winner will be announced at GFF #9 Cindy from

  33. One of my favorite sweet potato casseroles has coconut in it... I think this would feel like I was drinking dessert (and that's a good thing!)

    Jamie @

  34. Your blog title sure fits your recipes! Thank you so much for linking up at Gluten-Free Monday on


Thanks for the feedback!