Peter Berley’s Spicy Coconut Sweet Potato Soup with Spinach

We arrived home from our winter holiday 2 days ago and today is the first day that I attempted to transition from restaurant food to cooking for myself.

The transition worked out well. Extremely well, in fact.

The first audible sound out of EPC’s mouth, after”ummmmm” and various slurping sounds, was “This is the best soup I have had in a long, long, time!” He loved it and so did I.

Thanks to Captious Vegetarian for introducing me to Peter Berley! I picked up his cookbook Fresh Food Fast at the library and have thoroughly enjoyed reading through the recipes. We will certainly be making this soup again and will likely include the accompaniments that the author recommends – rice and Crispy Tempeh Strips (I was so out of practice with putting together a meal that I forgot to make the rice and neither of us had the energy to source out tempeh this morning after grocery shopping). However, the soup was fantastic on its own.

Coconut milk gives such a creamy buttery texture to soup. The yams held their own and added a delicious sweet flavour to the recipe, rounding out the spicy jalapeño and tangy lime juice

Spicy Coconut Sweet Potato Soup with Spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cups diced onion (about 2 medium)
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (I prefer yam to sweet potato)
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 small jalapeño pepper with seeds, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 small bunch of  spinach
1 lime cut into wedges
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
2 cups of water
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk (I use Thai Kitchen Lite Coconut Milk)

  • In a large saucepan heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, a pinch of salt and sauté until softened.
  • Add the sweet potato, garlic, jalapeño, ginger, coriander, and turmeric, and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add 2 cups of water, coconut milk, and 2 teaspoons of salt.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes
  • Add the spinach to the soup and simmer until softened – about 1 minute.
  • Add a bit of water if the soup is too thick.
  • To serve: ladle soup into bowls and top with brown basmati rice (or do as we “did”, and serve with thick slices of fresh bread).
  • Squeeze with lime juice and add cilantro to garnish.

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9 responses to “Peter Berley’s Spicy Coconut Sweet Potato Soup with Spinach

  1. I can’t wait to make this one! Tonight, I make chipotle black bean soup…

  2. That sounds delicious Linda!
    Next time I make this soup I will be trying the Crispy Tempeh Strips (and adding that recipe). I remember you asking before if I had any luck with tempeh, so I will keep you posted

  3. Hi,

    Once your library book is due, I highly recommend that you buy the cookbook, or Berley’s earlier cookbook! I’ve given Fresh Food fast to one friend, and another bought (and Modern Vegetarian Kitchen) it after having the charmoula tempeh at my house. They’re both very happy they own the cookbooks!


  4. Hello Captious,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I never need much convincing when it comes to purchasing another cookbook! I have Modern Vegetarian Cookbook on loan as well. I have not tried anything out of it yet, but I plan to soon.

    I can’t believe I hadn’t come across him until reading your blog!

  5. Pingback: Root Vegetable Risotto with Red Beans from The Modern Vegetarian Kitchen « Cookbook Cooks

  6. I just made this soup, and it is delicious. I think the jalapeno I used was a large one rather than small, because it is SPICY! But quite tasty nevertheless. I also used curry seasonings rather than turmeric and coriander alone. I only used one cup of onions as I find recipes usually overestimate how many cups an onion will produce. Yum!

  7. Pingback: Better late than never: the best recipes of 2010 | Cookbook Cooks

  8. Pingback: Finally! Fresh Food Fast: Marinated Sesame Tofu Steaks, Soba Noodles, Greens and best of all Pea Shoots | Cookbook Cooks

  9. I couldn’t resist including this recipe in my top eight vegetarian comfort food recipe roundup!

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