Sweet Potato-Coconut Soup

When I posted about my illness on Facebook yesterday, someone suggested chicken soup.  Not a bad suggestion at all, really – many people may believe Grandma’s claim that chicken soup will help a cold (or in my case, bronchitis) is just an old wives tale, but there’s actually some scientific evidence backing her up.

Chicken soup has been touted for it’s curative properties for centuries, especially for respiratory illnesses, but why is that?  First, it acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils — immune system cells that participate in the body’s inflammatory response.   Second, it temporarily speeds up the movement of mucus, possibly helping relieve congestion and limiting the amount of time viruses are in contact with the mucus membranes.  It is also incredibly nourishing, especially when made with bones as well as meat and vegetables, as well as being easy to digest.

I certainly wasn’t up to making any kind of chicken soup from scratch, but that was okay because we made chicken stock not too long ago and I have quite a few jars of it tucked away in the basement.  So I sent The Young One (who considerately ordered pizza and took it upstairs for his own dinner) down to fetch me a couple of pint jars.  I could have just heated it up as it was and enjoyed it – there’s nothing quite like homemade chicken stock; the stuff in the stores simply doesn’t compare – but,well, you know me; if I’m able to stand and face the stove, there will be cooking.

I’ve pretty much been using Japanese sweet potatoes exclusively for the last few months, but recently I bought some of the ordinary, red-skinned variety and hadn’t used them yet.  I decided to cook them up in the chicken stock, and if I’d stopped there it would have been marvelous, but I got a bit carried away.  I was out of ghee, so I decided to sauté onion, celery and garlic in coconut oil, then added the chicken stock and potatoes.  Since there were sweet potatoes in the pot, next went in a touch of cinnamon and nutmeg.  After it all cooked down and the potatoes were soft, I used my stick blender – the best invention EVAR, in my humble opinion, to pureé it all directly in the pot.  It was all lovely, but still needed something else, so I added a can of coconut milk to make it creamy (and compliment the coconut oil), and added salt, pepper and a touch of cayenne just give it a little heat.

Oh. My. Gawd.  It turned out marvelously, and was the first thing I’ve had any appetite for in days.  It was so good, in fact, I ate two bowls of it and when I gave a taste to The Young One, who normally turns his nose up at sweet potatoes as well as coconut, he said, “That’s pretty good, actually,” and looked as if he regretted his pizza.  Beloved, who was out of town on business last night, also seemed bummed that he missed out on the soup, so I suppose I’ll be making it again very soon.  The addition of some andouille sausage would just knock it out of the ballpark.

As for it’s curative properties, well…I woke up this morning feeling quite a bit better and my cough, instead of being dry and hacking, has actually become productive.

I’m a convert.

Note:  The soup is Whole30 compliant and can be made vegetarian/vegan if you use vegetable stock.

Sweet Potato-Coconut Soup
Sweet Potato-Coconut Soup
Sweet Potato-Coconut Soup
Serves: 6
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 small celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly-grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk (13.5 ounce can)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute.
  2. Add sweet potatoes, chicken stock, cinnamon and nutmeg; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Working in batches, puree soup in blender or food processor until smooth; return to pot. Or use an immersion blender to puree directly in the soup pot.
  4. Add coconut milk and stir over medium-low heat to heat through. Season soup to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne, if using. Ladle into bowls and garnish with unsweetened coconut flakes, if desired.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 320 calories, 18.6g total fat, 4.8mg cholesterol, 304.3mg sodium, 733.4mg potassium, 33.3g carbohydrates, 4.1g fiber, 8.5g sugar, 7.4g protein.


19 thoughts on “Sweet Potato-Coconut Soup”

    1. It is pretty good, I have to admit – I’m having the leftovers for lunch. I may be turning cartwheels by tomorrow. :^P

  1. You had me at sweet potatoes. And coconut. And just about everything else. And since it helped make you feel better, it’s definitely going to be my ‘go-to’ cure-all. Or just because it looks and sounds delicious. 🙂

  2. I keep forgetting to rate your recipe…all fixed now. 😉 Oh, and the hubby usually turns his nose up at sweet potatoes, too – but he likes coconut…and Princess Nagger has the opposite nose-turning mode for coconut vs. sweet potato. I’m SO going to have to make this and see if they’ll keep their noses down like the Young One. 😉

  3. This sounds yummy! I can’t eat anything but homemade chicken stock … I’m pretty adamant about my chicken stock. I like to make soups so …! I also agree … I love using an immersion blender when making soups. This sounds delicious!

  4. I’m not sick (I hardly am) but this sounds like a great weekend recipe. Sweet potatoes and coconut are two of our favorite things.

  5. Thank you for this recipe. I was headed to a desert retreat where a potluck offering was required. I had this instinct to make a soup made with sweet potatoes and coconut milk, I was in the car en route to the destination, quickly googled “sweet potato coconut milk soup” on my iphone and found this. I’m so glad I did! I want to say that even making this on the fly – e.g. with store-bought chicken stock (albeit organic, all-natural, store-bought stock – also should mention I found a great health food store with freshly grounded spices) – this turned out delicious. I added a good dose of cayenne to give it some real heat, and finished each bowl with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. But it is really serendipitous because I happen to be paleo – so, not only have I found a great recipe, but a whole site dedicated to the paleo(ish) way of eating. It is so hard to find quality paleo blogs/sites – so few people have an understanding of actual good food. Your site seems in sharp contrast to this phenomenon. So looking forward to diving in. Thanks again!

  6. This made great use of all the things lurking in my frig from other cooking forays and turned out great! Thanks, Jan, for posting. I added some curry powder to give it a different sort of kick.

  7. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this soup! I love it so much I reblogged it (and linked back to you of course!) I love it so much I just had it for breakfast. Thanks for the great recipe. It is going into my normal rotation!

  8. I love, love those stick blenders. They really reduce the effort in soup making. Always hated slopping a big saucepan of soup into a blender. Plus you can blend a little to make the soup thicker, and leave some veggie pieces behind. Thanks for the yummy recipe.

  9. I found this recipe a few months ago and have loved it from first bite! I add in some kind of meat (Hubby doesn’t believe a meal is complete without meat in it), so usually some ground turkey or something like that. I swear I could eat this every week! And it does usually find its way onto my weekly menu! Absolutely my favorite soup out of every soup I’ve ever tried! 🙂

  10. OMG-AMAZING! I didn’t have enough sweet potatoes so I used 1 lb of them and then made up the balance with baby carrots. I also used Trader Joe’s organic vegetable broth in place of the chicken stock (though I bet it would be even better with the chicken stock). I’m definitely going to be sharing this on my blog. Thank you so much for the delicious recipe! I will be making this often.

Comments are closed.