Sweet Potato Satay Soup

I love a good soup.   This Sweet Potato Satay one is pretty special.  Ok I know it’s not a flavour combo you’d probably expect in a soup but it works.    It’s warm and spicy with the flavours of chilli, garlic and ginger and sweet and earthy with red lentils, carrots and the sweet potatoes themselves.  It’s full of good things that fight both a cold and the cold itself,  and yet it’s satay flavours lend themselves to being eaten in warmer weather when you need a pick up.  It’s “accidentally” vegan, gluten free and if you have a nut allergy works as a spiced sweet potato soup if you don’t add the peanut element.  It’s an all round winner!

Of course the use of the peanut satay flavours in this soup doesn’t make this an authentic Indonesian dish   We are entering the same battlefield as M&S are at the moment with their biryani wrap in terms of authenticity.  To call a soup satay (which historically was essentially a meat kebab) is technically incorrect,  but my use of satay here does give you an extremely good idea of this soups flavour profile which I can’t think of any other way of doing so succinctly.

Depending on the time of year, I like to adjust this soup’s thickness/viscosity.   In the winter I like it thick and almost dhal like.  In the summer, by letting the blended soup down by adding water, I like it looser and more of a traditional soup consistency.  This is all a matter of personal preference of course so do whatever feels right for you.

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

  • 2tbsp oil
  • 1 large (2 medium) onions, sliced
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 5cm fresh root ginger, grated
  • 2 red chillies
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 125g red lentils
  • 500g sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
  • 1.5 litres veg stock (instant stock is fine)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 3 tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp chopped peanuts and a few coriander sprigs to garnish (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan and gently fry the onions and carrots for 5 minutes or until soft
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and one of the red chillies, finely chopped to the pan and cook for a further 2 mins
  3. Stir well, and put tomatoes, lentils, sweet potatoes, stock and lime juice in, and bring to a simmer.   Cook for approximately 20 mins or until sweet potatoes are soft.
  4. Blend until smooth, adding a little extra water to achieve whatever your desired consistency is.
  5. Add peanut butter and season to taste, blitzing until well incorporated
  6. To serve, heat through until hot and garnish with the remaining chilli, thinly sliced together with chopped peanuts and coriander if liked.




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