As I said, I have been really ill. I had a serious bronchial, chesty cough and felt really under the weather and I really do believe that you crave what is good for you. Along with my desperate craving for chocolate, I had a yearning for Thai Spicy Sweet Potato Soup.
I know that it is fairly obvious to long for something hot and warming when are ill and we all know that chillies are great for colds. They are known to act as a decongestant, expectorant and pain reliever all at once. But I think it was the Galangal or Ginger, in my homemade red curry paste, along with the mix of fresh and vibrant other herbs and spices, that I was really craving. I could not believe it when I looked up its health benefits, and along with many other great things, Galangal and Ginger are proven to reduce respiratory problems. They are a natural expectorant, are effective in removing mucus from the throat and lungs and combating various respiratory problems such as colds, coughs, flu, bronchitis, asthma, and shortness of breath.
As for sweet potatoes – super high in vitamins C and A as well as B6, magnesium and potassium they also are packed with anti-oxidants and act as a powerful anti-inflammatory.
So once again, I have effectively self-medicated myself, with nothing more than a delicious bowl of soup.
Spicy Thai Red Curry Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup
This red curry paste is really delicious and you will probably have quite a bit left over. If you love fresh coriander like I do, it may not be so much red, as green. The paste will keep in the fridge for about a week, or freeze it in an ice cube tray and use it as you need.
1-2 tbsp coconut oil
2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
750g (2 medium sized) sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
Red Curry paste
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
4 red birds eye chillies, roughly chopped
2 sticks lemon grass, roughly chopped
6 fresh Kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
Large chunk of galangal (or ginger), peeled and roughly chopped
4 garlic clove, peeled
1 tsp. salt
Small bunch fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp. Naam Pla (fish sauce)
1 small can 400ml coconut cream
1 tbsp. coconut oil
Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook gently for 5-10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Meanwhile put all the ingredients for the red curry paste in a beaker and blend with a hand blender until smooth. Add a little coconut water from the tin of coconut milk to help achieve a smooth paste consistency. Add a large tablespoon of the curry paste to your saucepan and fry for a few minutes. Just cover the sweet potatoes with water and add a large teaspoon of salt. Simmer for about 30 minutes until the sweet potato is completely soft. Remove from the heat and whiz up the soup with the hand-blender. Check seasoning and add more curry paste if required and cook for a minute more. Add the coconut milk and re-heat. Do not re-boil as it will kill the taste of the coconut milk. Add a squeeze of lime if you like.