In winter (if thats what you can call 75 degree weather), I like to start the weekend off by making a large bowl of soup. Its the kinda food that works for both lunch and dinner, and is great to have around when unexpected guests come over (which happens a lot). I started the season with a delicious mushroom and barely soup, moved on next to Jamie Oliver’s perfect Minestrone, and then to our classic chicken soup. And then I had the urge for a sweet potato soup, knowing that my man is a big fan. But with so many recipes online (its a popular soup here in Israel), I got lost.
And I’m a recipe kinda gal. I love a good recipe, love sticking to it, and love making it over and over and over again, in the exact same way, with the exact same taste. Danya on the other hand, is my exact opposite. She likes to take a recipe, change it around, find her own twist, and change it a little bit every time.
So I channeled a bit of Danya and started letting my hands run free and culinary skills wild. And what came to be was a delicious, full-bodied, Asian-inspired soup, that was devoured by the unexpected 3 year olds that came over the next day.
The first time I made it I didn’t add the croutons, but once I was feeling totally confident with the recipe I decided that adding them would be a nice touch. And they were more than a nice touch. The garlic flavor was a great match for the ginger-infused flavor of the soup and the crispiness of the croutons adds great texture to the silkiness of the soup. (Can you tell I’ve been watching a little too much Top-Chef)?
Curried Sweet Potato Soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (from about a 1-inch piece)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
5 cups water/vegetable stock
salt and fresh ground pepper
1 can coconut milk
1 bunch, fresh cilantro (optional)
For the Garlic Challah Croutons: (optional)
2 cups leftover challah, cut into cubes (or any other bread)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onions. Cook for about 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and begin to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and stir until golden.
2. Add the curry, cumin and cardamom, stirring continuously for a minute and then add the carrots and sweet potato. Stir to combine the ingredients and then add the water/vegetable stock. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered for about 20 minutes, until the carrots and sweet potato are soft.
3. Add salt and pepper according to taste, remove from heat and then use a hand blender to blend the soup.
4. Return the pot to the heat and add the coconut milk. Cook on low heat for an additional 15 minutes and then add cilantro and cook uncovered for an additional five minutes.
5. To make the croutons: preheat oven to 350F/180C. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and then spread out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until crisp and golden.
6. Serve soup warm with croutons.