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
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