If you love the bold flavors and spices in Indian dishes, this Sweet Potato, Coconut, and Chili Soup is for you. Rich and creamy. Spicy and sweet. You’ll be coming back for seconds.
It starts with cooking the aromatics–onion, garlic, paprika, curry powder, and curry paste–then sweet potatoes are simmered in the aromatic broth with chilies, giving a nice bit of heat to the soup.
Lastly, rich coconut milk is added and the mixture is pureed, resulting in a velvety smooth, incredibly flavorful dish.
This soup is delicious on its own, dressed up with vegetables, beans, or meat, or served as a side dish.
What You’ll Need
Sweet potatoes: If you don’t have a food scale at home, try to remember to weigh your potatoes at the grocery store to make sure that you end up with just the right amount. In most recipes with sweet potato, I just keep the peel on for extra nutrients and less work, however, in this recipe I definitely recommend peeling the potatoes so that your soup is completely smooth once pureed at the end.
Olive oil, aromatics, and spices: This soup would not be the same without the curry powder, red curry paste, garlic, onion, and paprika. Sautéing these in olive oil develops amazing depth of flavor and gives beautiful color to the dish.
Chilies: Chilies de Arbol give this sweet potato soup some zip! The spice complements the sweet and rich flavors in the sweet potato and coconut milk so well. You can find these dried chilies in the Hispanic section of your grocery store. Here is the specific kind I used: Dried Chili De Arbol. See recipe notes for how to adjust to your spice level preference.
Coconut milk: Coconut milk offers rich flavor and helps lend a creamy texture to this soup. For best results, use full-fat coconut milk.
Chicken broth: Aside from coconut milk, chicken broth is used as the liquid in this soup. I like to use Orrington Farms Chicken Broth Base and mix up my own chicken broth.
How to Make Sweet Potato, Coconut, & Chili Soup
- Sauté the aromatics and spices. Once the curry powder, red curry paste, paprika, and garlic hit the shimmering onions and olive oil, the flavors begin to blend together and it starts to smell so good. Sautéing these together first creates deeper, richer flavors.
- Cook the sweet potatoes. Chicken broth is added to the pot with the aromatics, then the sweet potatoes are cooked until soft in this mixture. The chilies are also added at this step to develop the spice.
- Add the coconut milk. Next, coconut milk and lime juice are added for delicious flavor and a rich, creamy texture.
- Puree the soup. Before this step you’ll want to remove as many of the chilies as you like, depending on spice preference. Finally, the soup gets pureed by an immersion blender and is ready to serve.
Notes & Tips
- This soup can alternatively be made in a slow cooker. Simply add all ingredients to the slow cooker and set to high for 6 hours or low for 10 hours. Before pureeing, remove the chilies (if desired).
- If you do not have an immersion blender, I highly recommend investing in one. This one is similar to the one I have: KitchenAid 2-Speed Hand Blender. They are relatively inexpensive. I love mine and use it ALL the time for soups, sauces, and smoothies. It’s way easier to clean than a blender and takes up less space, too. However, if you do not have an immersion blender, you could let this soup cool slightly, then transfer to a large blender and puree that way.
- SPICY CHILI PEPPER DISCLAIMER! These tiny little peppers pack quite a bit of heat. Even keeping just one in the soup before pureeing gives enough heat for me, and I enjoy pretty spicy food. So, if you can not tolerate very spicy food, I’d recommend reducing the number of chilies that you either include initially or end up blending into the soup (also see recipe notes).
- This Sweet Potato, Coconut, and Chili Soup is delicious on its own with chopped cilantro garnish. However, if you’re looking to dress it up, once pureed and ready to serve, you could add peas, chopped spinach, crispy chickpeas, finely chopped and cooked broccoli, rotisserie chicken, or shrimp. Don’t forget to toast some naan bread for dipping, too!
- This soup works as a great side dish for sandwiches and salads as well. Try these Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Naan or this Indian Chopped Salad.
Storage & Reheating
This soup can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months. To reheat, add a splash of coconut milk (or any other milk) and heat in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds.
Other Recipes You Might Like…
Sweet Potato, Coconut, & Chili Soup
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 tbsp red curry paste
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and diced ~1 inch cubes
- 3 small chili peppers (chile de arbol)
- 1 13.5 oz can full fat coconut milk
- 2 tsp lime juice
- cilantro (for garnish) optional
- In a large pot or dutch oven, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sauté for 3-4 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
- Add the curry paste, curry powder, paprika, garlic, and salt and stir until the mixture begins to darken in color slightly and become fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the chicken broth and stir well, scraping the bottom of the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high.
- Then, add the diced sweet potatoes and chilies and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat back to medium, cover, and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
- Add the coconut milk and lime juice, and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Take the chilies out and remove their stems. Depending on spice level preference, place back into the pot one, two, all three chilies, or none (see note below).
- Using an immersion blender, carefully puree the soup until smooth and creamy. Serve with cilantro if desired.
- Note about chilies and spice level: I like to keep one chili in the pot of soup. This gives a good amount of spice, but not unbearably so. If you do not like a lot of spice, I recommend removing all three chilies before pureeing.
- If desired, this soup can be made in a slow cooker. Simply add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 10 hours. Remove desired number of chilies and puree with immersion blender before serving.
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