I don’t know why but curry has always scared me. Where do I buy it? How do I use it? What does it taste like? Is it going to spice my face off?
Sadly, these questions were all too accurate. That is, until I tried a few curry dishes and started doing some down and dirty curry research. I quickly discovered there’s nothing to be scared of with this colorful spice. And I now plan to use it abundantly.
Curry is typically a blend of spices that comes in a variety of colors and flavors and even consistencies. You can buy curry paste, curry powder, red, yellow and green curry, just to name a few. And each seems to be best suited for a certain type of dish. Yellow tends to be the mildest of the curries and green the spiciest. Yellow curries get their bright yellow hue from turmeric, green from cilantro and coriander rot, and red from red chilis.
With all of these considerations, curries can be made more spicy or mild, depending on the curry base and how much heat is added in the form of chilies and peppers.
Now that we have a basic understanding of what curry is, how do we use it?
Curries are most heavily employed in Thai and Indian cooking, and this soup is a fusion of the two, relying on yellow curry powder (Indian influence) and coconut milk (Thai influence. I prefer spicy dishes, so I added some cayenne pepper to this soup.
Let’s talk soup.
This soup is luxuriously creamy.
Comes together in about 35-40 minutes, and requires just 1 pot ( + 1 bowl and baking sheet is making chickpeas).
Is naturally sweet from the sweet potatoes and coconut milk.
Spicy from the garlic and cayenne pepper.
And surprisingly filling, thanks to the addition of crunchy, spicy baked chickpeas.
The flavor also comes in waves, first savory, then sweet, then “whoa, this is spicy.” If you prefer it less spicy, simply add less cayenne, or omit it entirely. I just felt that it needed some heat to balance out the sweet potato and coconut milk.
Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut or olive oil
- 1 medium white onion (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large sweet potato (peeled & cubed)
- 2 Tbsp yellow curry powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (omit for less heat)
- 3/4 tsp sea salt , plus more to taste
- 3 cups light coconut milk (canned is best)
SPICY BAKED CHICKPEAS
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas (1 can yields ~1 1/2 cups)
- 3 Tbsp avocado or coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp yellow curry powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp ginger powder
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
- In the meantime, start the soup by sweating the onions in a large pot over medium heat in 1/2 Tbsp coconut (or olive/avocado) oil (amount as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Cook for a few minutes and then add garlic and stir.
- Season with 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and stir (amount salt/pepper as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Add sweet potatoes, curry powder, and cayenne pepper (reduce or omit for less heat).
- Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add 1/4 tsp more salt and the coconut milk (amount salt/pepper as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Then cover.
- Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25 minutes more.
- In the meantime, prep your baked chickpeas by rinsing, draining, and toweling off until dry. Then toss in oil and spices and spreading evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until crispy on the outside and slightly soft on the inside. Remove and set aside for serving.
- At the end of 25 minutes, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. I added about 1/4 tsp more salt and a pinch more cayenne pepper. Then puree using an immersion blender or blender. Transfer back to the pot if needed and keep heat on low until ready to serve. Garnish with baked chickpeas.
- Will keep in the fridge for several days and the freezer for a month or so.
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