sweet potato soup

March 4, 2016

You know the Albert Camus quotation, “In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer…”?

I’m searching for that invincible summer. I think it might be somewhere that I’m not. Possibly in the Southern Hemisphere. Because here in Kingston, Ontario – it’s the last desolate dregs of winter and I’m feeling dejected, uninspired, and completely fed up.

This is the first year in several that I have not traveled to Mexico and I miss it terribly. I miss feeling completely warmed through. I miss the sunshine on my face and body. I miss sticking my toes in the ocean and eating nachos with Pico de gallo and fish fresh from the ocean. Ceviche. Ripe warm avocados fresh from the trees. Oaxacan string cheese. Tlayudas. Cocktails on the beach. And smiling, singing Mexicans riding past on their bicycles.

I’m sick of the cold. Of mornings where the thermostat reads minus sixteen degrees Celsius. Of wind chill factors in the minus twenties. Of my boots and heavy coat and hat and scarves. Of the dog tracking the salt and gritty brown sand that keeps the roads and sidewalks safe, into the house. On my morning dog walk today – even though the sun was shining and the snow was white – I just could not find my invincible summer. Gripe gripe gripe. For everyone’s sake and for my own sanity – this is my last entire winter in the cold!

My dog Lola

The one good thing about winter, is that it’s easy to spend time in the kitchen, where I can escape into cooking – into the fragrant warmth of a loaf of homemade bread, or a batch of crumb topped banana muffins, or a pot of soup or stew. This week I made a batch of sweet potato soup and even in my misery, I have to admit – I liked it very much. This was an experiment. I usually make a curried butternut squash soup that I absolutely love. But I may just have liked this soup even more. It’s easy and fast – takes about twenty minutes in total and you can do the whole thing in one large saucepan. Plus it’s all those great things – tasty and creamy, filling, economical. Full of nutrients. And to top it all off it’s vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free. So even though I’ve yet to find my invincible summer – I did find a damn fine soup that should help me get through the last remaining oh-so-tedious bits of winter, when all the glory has gone out of the beauty of falling snow.

Creamy sweet potato soup

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced finely
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • black pepper to taste
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups vegetarian stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • optional diced avocado, Sriracha sauce, pesto, and coconut cream to garnish

In a large saucepan, combine the olive oil, onions, and garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. The onion does not need to be cooked and shouldn’t be browned. Add the salt, ground ginger, and black pepper. Then add the sweet potato chunks and vegetarian stock. Bring the whole thing to the boil and boil until the sweet potato is soft – about 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of your potato chunks and how high a boil you keep it at. Turn the heat off and stir in the coconut milk. At this stage you can either mash the soup with a potato masher or transfer it into your blender and pulse until the desired consistency is achieved. Serve with optional toppings in small bowls so that everyone can add what they like.

If you haven’t already discovered it – Aroy-D brand coconut milk from Thailand is amazing. You have to spoon it out of the can, almost like whipped cream. And no, they’re not paying me. They don’t even know that I exist.


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  • Reply aodonovan March 4, 2016 at 4:05 pm

    Lindy…apart from being really yummy, Aroy-D doesn’t add anything yukky to its cans. It’s just pure cocnut and water. Love the stuff, and our local Indian store sells it at $1.99.

    • Reply love in the kitchen March 5, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Amanda!!!! Love hearing from you and yes – isn’t it the best. Beautiful to cook with…
      All best xoxo

  • Reply flippenblog March 4, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    I will save this one for two reasons. One obviously being the recipe and the other one as a reminder of long severe winters when I complain about our unaturally hot summer here. Always good to be reminded that the opposite can be just as bad. I wish you a long balmy summer!

  • Reply mawarre March 4, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    Hi Lindy We am struggling through the end of a truly invincible summer here in Brisbane, Australia – really humid, hot, and with promised storms that never quite deliver! I was remembering yesterday that this time last year I was in New York, where it was the end of another seemingly endless winter, and everyone was fed up with the cold and the snow. I love your soup recipe and will file it away for when the weather cools down here (hopefully in a couple of weeks), and I wish you a warm spring and beautiful summer.

  • Reply Anonymous March 4, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I too tire of the extra fuss and fiddling around that winter necessitates…..soggy boots at the door, fogged glasses upon entry. Spring dangling ahead like a scrawny carrot always out of reach. Cheer up Lindy….summer will get here.

  • Reply chef mimi March 5, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Lovely soup! The top photo is great!!!

  • Reply Karen March 7, 2016 at 10:09 am

    I know exactly how you feel about winter. After the horrible one last year, my husband said he never wanted to be cold again. We packed up everything and moved to Florida…the best thing ever. If you can’t do that then another bowl of your soup will have to do until you can find the invincible summer or another trip to Mexico. 🙂

  • Reply Anonymous March 7, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    Looks amazing!! And my fave photo is obviously the middle one!!

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