purple sweet potato soup – coconut, red chili, toasted cumin

purple sweet potato soup, potato soup

purple sweet potato soup – coconut, red chile, toasted cumin

Color, color, color. This is one intensely hued soup. It is warm and comforting because it is soup, after all. But it is also exotic, spicy, jazzy. Made from purple-fleshed sweet potatoes from the farmers’ market. But what if one was to close the eyes? No “Taste With The Eyes” allowed. Would this soup still hit the mark? Flavor, texture, balance, intrigue…yes, yes, yes.

purple sweet potato soup recipe

  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1″ knob ginger, minced
  • 1/2 t. toasted cumin seed, roughly ground with mortar and pestle, divided
  • 1 red jalapeño, chopped, divided

In a medium soup pot, sauté shallot in olive oil until soft. Add ginger, jalapeño, cumin, and garlic. Reserve a small amount of jalapeño and cumin seed for garnish. Sauté for another minute or so.

  • 2 purple-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 T. brown sugar

Add broth, potatoes and sugar to the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are soft.

  • juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 c. coconut milk, divided
  • sea salt

Remove pot from heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add lime juice, coconut milk, and salt to taste. Reserve a small amount of coconut milk for garnish. Interestingly, the lime juice changes the color of the soup from a deeper purple to a more reddish purple.

okinawan sweet potato soup

 a purple soup needs a flashy garnish

  • coconut milk
  • red jalapeño
  • toasted cumin seed
  • mint

Place a small amount of cocount milk in a squeeze bottle with a small tip to dot the soup. The soup and the coconut milk should be of a similar density. If the soup is too thick, the coconut dots will roll off the top. Oops.

Oops, a Lesson in Polka Dots

I returned the soup to the pot, added a bit more broth, and blended again with the immersion blender to get a smoother, thinner consistency. Not only did this make the coconut milk dots and soup compatible, it made the soup much more elegant. A good lesson, indeed. Ladle soup into warm bowls and garnish with jalapeño, cumin seed, and mint.

potato soup garnish, purple sweet potato soup

now the soup is ready for the coconut dots

Extending another heart-felt thank you to my brother and sister-in-law for this graceful white porcelain bowl designed by Martin Kastner. He is the creator of the breathtaking custom serviceware used at Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago.


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22 thoughts on “purple sweet potato soup – coconut, red chili, toasted cumin”

  1. LL – this is sumptuous! The deep purple just lifts my mood. The ingredients make me debate the wisdom of leaving the house in the freezing rain to get them.

  2. This is stunning! I suspect – based on the ingredients – that it’d be just as stunning to your tastebuds, but I’d rather keep my eyes open!

  3. This is beautiful. I can see it as a first dish for an elegant dinner party…but, then again, all dinners in your home are ‘elegant’!

    I’m intrigued by the spices and flavors you chose to accompany the potato which makes it a bit mysterious and exotic. Well done, LL!

  4. Wow that looks amazing! I just found your site and what a treat for my eyes to see that beautiful soup pop up! And I’m loving the dots with the coconut milk 😀 Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I bought purple sweet potatoes last week just for making soup. Then I found this recipe. I made it today and it is absolutely delicious!!

  6. This is going to be the nicest big bang to my taste. I love sweet potato and coconut milk combo. I never have the coconut milk over the sweet potato soup. What I always have is to cook the sweet potatoes and coconut milk at the same time. You can taste the coconut milk in each bite of sweet potatoes. Should I need to try this recipe? Absolutely YES!

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