I've spent the past six months or so in Washington, DC, interning with the Institute for Women's Policy Research for the summer, and working at GovLoop as a graduate fellow. I've been back in Minnesota for about two weeks now, and have had ample time to do the things I enjoy but have had little time for, including cooking. There's this awesome little bakery/cafe in Columbia Heights called Sticky Fingers that has delicious food. Their vegan chili cheese dog and desserts are SO GOOD. And everything they make is vegan, which is great for those of us (myself included) who have food allergies or other dietary restrictions. I stopped in recently after a few hours of shopping with my housemate, and we both enjoyed the Sweet Potato Leek Curried Coconut Soup. I decided to try to replicate the deliciousness and here's what I came up with...
Sweet Potato Leek Coconut Curry Soup**This recipe is adapted from a similar one over at About.com
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 4 Tbsp of olive oil
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1/2 white onion, chopped (I used small/medium onion - the ones that come in the bag)
- 2 leeks, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 5 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup light coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- a bit of chopped, fresh cilantro to top the soup
- Cut the roots and green leafy part off the leeks, and slice in half length-wise. Peel back layers and rinse well to ensure that leeks are thoroughly washed.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F (180C). Slice the sweet potatoes into 2 inch rounds. Place potatoes in a baking tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Bake for about 1 hour or until tender, then remove from oven and allow to cool.
- While potatoes are baking, spread coconut flakes out on cookie sheet. Place in oven and bake until most of the flakes are light to medium brown, then remove from oven and set aside.
- In a large sauce pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and leeks and fry, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add the garam masala and curry powder to the onion/leek/garlic mix. Fry, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, for 30 seconds. Remove the saucepan from the heat.
- Scoop the flesh out of the sweet potato pieces and discard the skins. Place potatoes in the saucepan and stir well to coat in spices. Add the vegetable stock and about half of the toasted coconut and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low and cover. Simmer soup for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.
- Ladle soup into a blender or food processor and blend in batches until smooth and creamy. Place soup back into saucepan on medium heat.
- Add coconut milk and water and stir well to combine. Simmer soup over medium heat for about 5 minutes.
- Divide soup into bowls and top with toasted coconut and cilantro.
A few notes:
- I used sweetened coconut in my first batch, and found the soup a bit too sweet for my taste.
- Feel free to add as much coconut as you like - I'm not a huge fan of chewing every spoonful of soup, so next time I will likely be adding less coconut.
I will soon be embarking on an epic journey home from DC, stopping in Ohio and Illinois to visit friends along the way. Safe travels and happy New Year to all!
Onward and upward,