“Soul Food” Sweet Potato Soup ♥ with Chicken, Kale & Coconut Milk

Soul Food Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken, Kale & Coconut Milk  ♥ AVeggieVenture.com. Low Carb. WW3.
graphic button small size size 10 Today's heart- and belly-warming soup now that the sun sets early and the nights turn jacket-cool here in the Midwest. It's a simple, soothing soup, light somehow but at the same time hearty. It starts off with an intriguing Sweet Potato Broth, then builds flavors and textures with black beans and cooked chicken. Canadians? That turkey you've got leftover from Canadian Thanksgiving would work great too! Low Carb & Gluten Free. For Weight Watchers, just 3 PointsPlus. graphic button small size size 10

I don't as much read recipes as much as scan them, first the list of ingredients. Here, it was the sweet potato broth that first grabbed my attention. Instantly I wondered, Why is it that our soup broths are so, I dunno, watery? In contrast, this broth has both color and texture. That first time, it was a "fridge cleaning" night – a sprouted onion, gnarly celery, a wizened carrot, a dusty sweet potato. That Sweet Potato Broth? A miracle. Supper that night was a big hit, it hit the spot.

So far this year, I'm keeping a New Year's resolution to stock the freezer with meals for later: fewer "leftovers" and more "planned overs". And oh my but it's paying off. One night we worked in the garden until the light was long past. Inside, we had a definite case of the hungries! While the soup warmed up on the stove, I made a one-bowl, two-fork salad to share. We sat down to eat, grimy, dirt under our nails but pleased with our labors and warmed with good soup and good salad. What a way to feed a soul.


Hands-on time: 35 minutes
Time-to-table: 2-1/2 hours
Makes 11 cups

Hands-on time: 20 minutes over 90 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 large sweet potato (about 11oz/300g), peeled and diced
5 whole cloves
6 cups water
Salt & pepper

Hands-on time: 15 minutes over 45 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamon
Pinch turmeric (for color)
Pinch cayenne
5 cups Sweet Potato Broth
1 cup full-fat coconut milk
1 bunch kale, leaves only (about 3.5oz/100g), cut into ribbons
12 ounces/350g/about 3 cups Cooked Chicken "pulled" into strands
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
Salt & pepper to taste

SWEET POTATO BROTH In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmery on medium high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots as they're prepped, stirring to coat with fat. Let the vegetables cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to develop a golden color. (Season with salt and pepper.) Add the sweet potatoes, stir to coat with fat, let cook until warmed through. (Season again.) Stir in cloves and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer. Cover and let simmer until the sweet potatoes are cooked through and soft, about 30 minutes. REMOVE THE CLOVES! Let the broth cool for about 30 minutes. With a food processor or a blender, process in batches until smooth. Can be made ahead of time.

SOUP In a large, heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmery. Add the garlic, coriander, cardamom, turmeric and cayenne, let cook for 1 - 2 minutes. Add the Sweet Potato Broth, coconut milk, kale, Cooked Chicken and black beans. Season and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer, cover and let simmer until for about 30 minutes until kale is cooked. Taste and season again.

Serve hot with gusto! This soup keeps in the fridge for two to three days and also freezes well.

graphic button small size size 10 As written, the recipe yields 7-1/2 cups Sweet Potato Broth but you'll only use 5 cups for the soup. It was easy enough to use up the rest here (I threw it in some breakfast hash) but if you'd prefer to yield something closer to 5 cups, I'd recommend using 1 rib of celery instead of three, a smaller sweet potato and only 4 cups of water.
graphic button small size size 10 Do let the sweet potato broth cool before puréeing, it gives the flavors some time to meld. Will it be a disaster if you don't? Not at all. Just be extra-careful while puréeing. If you're unfamiliar with the process to follow to prevent burns and hot liquid spewing all over the kitchen, please read Hot Liquids & Blenders.
graphic button small size size 10 For cooked chicken, I used mostly breast meat from a rotisserie chicken.
graphic button small size size 10 Call me crazy but I have the idea that a little tiny bit of Thai green curry paste would be great in this!

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Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Is there a way to pin this? It looks great and I know that when I want to make it I'll never find it again......... :)

  2. Karen ~ Glad you like the recipe, me too! FYI if you hover over the photo, there’s an embedded “pin” button. Easy as pie! I just tested, however, that doesn’t work on your phone/mobile. I think there’s an easy solution, watch for it shortly! PS Thanks for the nudge-nudge, I’d way rather be in the kitchen than at my desk!

  3. Oh, isn't this funny! I *just* finished listening to a podcast that included an interview with the author of Soul Food Love - how wonderful to see this! Thanks, Alanna, I'm definitely keeping this to do soon - after all, it's getting to be Soup Season here in the Northeast! :)

  4. Kris ~ Isn’t that funny?! The same thing happened to me today. I was thinking about making pumpkin muffins and all of a sudden, my InBox was filled with pumpkin recipes. Tee hee -- it’s a seasonal thing, right?! Thanks so much for writing, I love these little connections across life! PS Whose pod cast? I’m always looking for new ones.

  5. Hello Alanna, I love your recipe blog. It looks very delicious and healthy. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Thank you! I found the hidden pin and it worked like a charm. This is on my list for the next big storm. I LOVE making soup on stormy days.... I may make the broth ahead and freeze it. I always have shredded chicken in the freezer.......... I'm thinking this with some of my nutflour bread or maybe my hazelnut corn bread, a little fire, some wild and windy rain.........yep. Sounds perfect. Time to start prepping to make sure I have everything handy. Thanks again!!!

  7. Holy Food ~ Thanks so much, I appreciate your writing!

    Karen ~ You are an amazing planner-aheader! PS Nutflour bread???? Hazelnut cornbread???


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna