Given that it is late April, it really pains me to be posting another soup recipe when all that I want to talk about is fresh fruit and home-made lemonade and beautifully crisp salads. The weather is usually a little bit more predictable by this time, not so chilly and demanding of such warm and cozy meals. However, after a morning at the park (still bundled by hats and mitts), chilled to the bone from the humid frosty air, River and I are still desperate for a hot bowl of soup to thaw us out.
This Sweet Potato Coconut and Ginger Soup is one of my go to recipes. I probably make this once a month and freeze half of it in small batches so that we can use it for quick lunches or dinners whenever we are in a pinch. The taste is lovely and has a wonderful freshness from the ginger and cilantro. Those vibrant flavors give this recipe the versatility to be served hot or as a gazpacho inspired soup. So, for those of you, who are lucky enough to be enjoying the sun and warmer temperatures, try it chilled!
The shopping list for this soup is simple; dried lentils, spices, vegetable stock, canned coconut milk, onion, garlic, ginger root, sweet potato. These are things you can easily have on hand all of the time. A quick trip to the local market or grocery store will supply you with the cilantro you need. I love it for that reason alone. Simple, doesn`t require a lot of running around for ingredients and its quick as a bunny to whip together.
Nutritionally, this soup can hold its own as a meal. Sweet potatoes provide a fantastic amount of dietary fiber beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin B6, manganese and potassium. While the lentils offer up 30% of their calories in the form of protein and are a really fabulous source of iron. They also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and some minerals. Not to mention the antioxidants from the coriander and cilantro, the anti-inflammatory effects of the ginger and the natural antibiotic and antibacterial properties of the garlic.
If you don’t find a bowl of soup entirely satiating, try pouring it over rice or gluten free couscous to give it more substance and a stick to your bones feeling. You can also reduce the soup slightly, add a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast and create a delicious pasta sauce.
Sweet Potato Coconut and Ginger Soup
4 cups of low sodium or no sodium vegetable broth
2 medium sized sweet potatoes (peeled and chopped)
1 onion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (chopped)
2 tbsp. of chopped fresh ginger
½ cup of dried red lentils (washed and drained)
1 can of coconut milk
½ cup of fresh cilantro
½ tsp. of coriander
½ tsp. of cumin
pepper to taste
Pour the vegetable stock into a large stock pot over medium high heat. Add the sweet potato, onion, garlic, red lentils, coriander, cumin and pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer, uncovered for about 20 minutes (at which point the sweet potato should be soft). Transfer the cooked soup into a food processor and add the coconut milk and fresh chopped cilantro. Puree until smooth.
This recipe yields about 6-8 large bowls of soup.