Hello and Happy Holidays!
I’ve spent the past six months or so in Washington, DC, interning with the Institute for Women’s Policy Research for the summer, and working at GovLoop as a graduate fellow. I’ve been back in Minnesota for about two weeks now, and have had ample time to do the things I enjoy but have had little time for, including cooking. There’s this awesome little bakery/cafe in Columbia Heights called Sticky Fingers that has delicious food. Their vegan chili cheese dog and desserts are SO GOOD. And everything they make is vegan, which is great for those of us (myself included) who have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. I stopped in recently after a few hours of shopping with my housemate, and we both enjoyed the Sweet Potato Leek Curried Coconut Soup. I decided to try to replicate the deliciousness and here’s what I came up with…
Sweet Potato Leek Coconut Curry Soup
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 4 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 of a small to medium white onion, chopped
- 2 leeks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- a bit of chopped, fresh cilantro to top the soup
- Cut the roots and green leafy part off the leeks, and slice them in half length-wise. Peel back the outermost layers and rinse well to ensure that the leeks are thoroughly washed. Chop ’em up.
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the sweet potatoes into fairly equal sized pieces. Place the sweet potato pieces on the baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until tender, then remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- While potatoes are roasting, spread the coconut flakes on another baking sheet. Bake until the flakes are goden brown, then remove from the oven and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and leeks and cook, stirring often, until the leeks and onions soften (about 4 or 5 minutes). Add the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the garam masala and curry powder to the onion/leek/garlic mixture and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Peel the sweet potato pieces and discard the skins. Place the potatoes in the saucepan with the onion/leek/garlic mix and break them up a little. Stir well, ensuring that everything is coated in spices. Add the vegetable stock and about half of the toasted coconut and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover. Simmer soup for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and cool.
- Ladle the soup into a blender or food processor and blend in batches until smooth and creamy. Place the soup back into saucepan on medium heat.
- Add the coconut milk and water and stir well to combine. Simmer the soup over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Divide soup into bowls and top with toasted coconut and cilantro, if desired.
A few notes:
- I used sweetened coconut in my first batch, and found the soup a bit too sweet for my taste.
- Feel free to add as much coconut as you like – I’m not a huge fan of chewing every spoonful of soup, so next time I will likely be adding less coconut.
I will soon be embarking on an epic journey home from DC, stopping in Ohio and Illinois to visit friends along the way. Safe travels and happy New Year to all!
Source: Adapted from About.com