Lately I have been into making some ethnic dishes. First, Butter Chicken, and now this Thai Sweet Potato Soup with Shrimp. In addition to these two exotic dishes, I have been into whipping up some curried soups and stir fries in my everyday cooking.
Maybe it’s that I am trying to summon the warm tropical weathers to our part of the cold world. Whatever the reason, Paul’s not complaining, and neither am I.
You guys, spring isn’t too far off; I see the light at the end of the tunnel. The days are gradually getting longer which makes photographing food in natural light a lot easier. Of course I am excited for spring to come; it’s my favorite season. Green begins to make a comeback while snow slowly melts away and animals begin to make their appearance. There is, however, a small part of me that gets sad because I didn’t get the chance to make enough comforting and warming stews and casseroles for you to cozy up to while it was cold. Like I said, there is a SMALL part of me, because I am mostly excited for spring to arrive. Besides there’s always next winter to make more stews and casseroles.
Even though I complain about the cold winter weather, I have learned to truly appreciate living in a place that has four seasons. Having four seasons allows me to relish the ones I enjoy the most. If we didn’t have a cold winter then I wouldn’t appreciate as much the green leaves as they bud from tree branches, or the flowers as they bloom. Same goes for the food. Each season calls for different types of food that help nourish and elevate our moods. A comforting soup, casserole, or hot tea in the winter. During the summer, a refreshing glass of iced tea, a simple fruit salad, or a burger on the grill is what satisfies the soul. And that, my friends, is just another reason why I enjoy food so much.
And you’re thinking, “Geez, she’s already talking about spring while it’s still February! “
I can’t help it; when the days start to get longer there is hope!
Okay, so back to that soup.
Thai Sweet Potato Soup with Shrimp is the perfect segue from hearty, wintertime soups to a more tropical soup that will still help to thaw you out.
This soup is for those times when you want warm-soup-belly, but you just can’t handle one more chili or chicken noodle soup, because you’ve had too many. You need a little cilantro, lime, and lemongrass to brighten your day and help you dream of tropical lands.
Thai Sweet Potato Soup with Shrimp is just that. It’s got plenty of pureed sweet potato to give it a thick, creamy consistency. Plus coconut milk for that silky texture. There is plenty of spicy ginger, garlic, cilantro, lemongrass, and tangy lime to give you that one-of-a-kind tropical taste. Plus earthy mushrooms that magically soak up all of the wonderful flavors.
This soup was inspired from the traditional Tom Kha Gai soup, a delicious Thai soup that I have devoured at many Thai restaurants. It has ingredients like galangal and lime leaves, which might be found at an Asian store, but I didn’t have time to run a half an hour across town to MAYBE find those ingredients, and I’m sure you don’t have time for that either.
So, I created this Thai Sweet Potato Soup with Shrimp to satisfy my craving the best that I could. Is it traditional? Nope. Is it delicious? YES! Did it satisfy my craving? Good enough!
Friends, I hope you enjoy this soup as much as we do!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 2 serrano chilies, minced (can sub jalapenos)*
- 2 inches fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass paste (found in a squeeze-tube in the fresh herb section at most grocery stores)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups chicken broth (can sub vegetable broth; fish stock would be even better, if you have it)
- 2 large sweet potatoes peeled and cubed (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves and stems, roughly chopped
- 10 button mushrooms, washed, and sliced
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (can sub light coconut milk for a lighter version)
- 1½ teaspoons honey
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (found in the Asian section of your grocery store)**
- ½ pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
- Juice of two large limes
- Extra lime wedges for garnish
- Cilantro leaves for garnish
- EXTRA TOPPINGS:
- Sriracha sauce
- Shredded purple cabbage
- Sriracha Honey Roasted Cashews
- Heat a medium-sized stock pot over medium heat. Melt the coconut oil. Saute the chilies for 3 minutes. Add the ginger and lemongrass. Saute for another 5 minutes, or until the lemongrass becomes fragrant and slightly caramelized. Add the garlic and saute for one more minute.
- Add the chicken broth and the sweet potatoes. Turn the heat up to high, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Remove from heat. Stir in the cilantro.
- Puree the soup using an immersion blender. Or transfer it to a blender, but only fill it halfway up to avoid an explosion that can be caused by suction when blending hot liquids. Blend in batches.
- Return the pureed soup back to the soup pot. Turn the heat on high. Add the mushrooms. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.
- Add the coconut milk, honey, and fish sauce.
- Once the coconut milk, honey and fish sauce have been stirred in, turn the heat down to low. Add the shrimp, stirring constantly for 5 minutes, or until the shrimp have turned pink and curled up. Once they are cooked, immediately shut off the heat. Be careful not to overcook the shrimp; otherwise they can get rubbery.
- Stir in the lime juice.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with more cilantro leaves, and lime wedges on the side. Serve with other extra toppings on the side, if desired, as listed above. Serve hot.
- Reheat leftovers gently, being careful not to overcook the shrimp.
**The idea of fish sauce can gross some people out, and to be honest, I do not like the smell of it. But trust me, it adds a lot of salty flavor and depth to this soup that you can't get from plain old salt. It does not make the soup taste fishy at all. If you really don't want to use the fish sauce, then simply omit it and add salt to taste. Or you could try some soy sauce for a much different flavor.
Nutrition info is calculated without any extra toppings.