Potato soup is a great “back pocket” recipe for those weeknights where you don’t really feel like cooking but you want something homemade. It’s quick, easy, and filling. This curried potato soup is still easy to make, but it actually has flavor and complexity. It’s definitely worth making. I know you’ll love it.
A potato soup recipe is kinda a must for every blogger. Look around at blogs and you’ll see. Everyone has a recipe and for the most part they all claim it’s the best ever. Now, for the most part potato soup is pretty boring or it’s just got a lot of toppings to make up for the flavorless soup base. Think, loaded potato soup. The recipes that call for a pound of bacon and cups of cheese but then literally no seasoning other than salt and maybe pepper.
Most of the recipes I’ve seen over the years are just boiled potatoes, one clove of garlic, and a béchamel made with heavy cream. And, for some reason, the potatoes are even peeled. There’s even lightened up versions that swap the heavy cream for no-fat yogurt. I don’t mean to neg on other’s recipes, but I’m just tired of seeing boring things being called “the best” when I know it is flavorless. Spice isn’t the enemy people! It’s what makes food worth eating. When you’ve had food that has been properly spiced, it’s that eye closing moment where you realize how much you’ve missed out on.
The keys to success for this potato soup recipe:
- Don’t skimp on the seasoning and use the ingredient amounts or even more. Want 20 cloves of garlic? Go for it. But don’t use less than the recommended 6.
- Mise en place before starting to cook. The spice cooking time is only 30 seconds because after that they will smoke too much. Make sure to have the ingredients measured and ready to add because if you don’t then you’ll likely burn something.
- Cook the ingredients as listed in the directions. The cooking times matter. If you don’t sauté the onions they will taste raw and overwhelm the dish. Cooking the spices brings out their aromatics.
- Don’t substitute things out unless it’s medically necessary. Yes, full fat coconut milk should be used.
Curry is a very overused and misused term, but it’s one that most people in Western culture understand in terms of a flavor profile. It’s a generalized term to just mean any kind of sauce that is flavored with spices typically associated with south Asian cuisine: India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, etc. The history of the word “curry” goes back to British colonization of south Asia and soldiers not learning the actual names of dishes or how to prepare them. So, they came back to England with the term “curry” to denote a homogenous reference to the spice blends they encountered. Curry has changed more as other countries have added their own flair. For example, a Japanese curry is rather sweet and more of a brown gravy with little to no spice heat. It’s changed even more as fusion curries have emerged like Massaman which combines common Indian spices with Thai flavoring. The main thing to know is that there is no “one curry” recipe and that the term itself is meaningless, because countries across south Asia have a long and rich history of flavoring heritage dishes that are specific to their country, region, and family.
With that said, I am using a variant of the yellow Thai curry spice blend. It is a combination of cumin, coriander, ginger, turmeric, and a few other spices, but I omitted the heat spices so that my kids will eat it. The most common type of “curry blend” found in American stores is best described as yellow Thai. It’s the most mild in terms of heat and the color result when added to a cream sauce is…yellow. That’s because of the turmeric. Red Thai is the hottest of the Thai curry blends because the color comes from pureed peppers. It has the most complex flavor, in my opinion, but the heat is one that a lot of American mouths can’t tolerate. Green is fairly hot but uses green peppers and kaffir lime so the flavor is more citrusy with a bite. The other curry blends that Americans might know better by name like Vindaloo and Tikka are actually just references to cooking technique and not a distinct spice blend. So, I stuck with yellow Thai to make it easy for shoppers here in the US.
Want to learn more about different types of curry? Check out these great sites! The one by Sukhi Singh is fantastic and gives so much history.
Here’s one of my favorite recipes I’ve created.
Here is the spice blend I keep in my pantry for when I cook for people who don’t like heat:
- 2 Tbl ground coriander
- 1 Tbl ground cumin
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
Mix the spices and store in an airtight container. You’ll use roughly half of this blend for the potato recipe.
When I’m really making a stock curry powder I’ll use the seed version of the spices along with fennel, fenugreek, dried peppers, mustard seed, and bay leaves. Then use a spice grinder to turn it into a powder. But, I recognize that not everyone has access to fennel and coriander seeds or even a spice grinder. So, this is a pretty solid curry powder blend that will work for most recipes that just call for “Curry Powder.”
- Creamy Homemade Oat Milk
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- Veganized Pumpkin Spice Latte Sauce
- Homemade Lotion
Looking for a fun baking treat? Check out these carrot cake baked donuts! Perfect for a weekend breakfast or something fun to make with the family.
Let’s jump into this recipe and get cooking! If you make it, let me know. Comment on the post or find me on Instagram and tag me when you post it.
Creamy Curry Potato Soup
- 3 tablespoons butter (I used Earth Balance)
- 2 large bay leaves
- 2 tablespoon curry powder, yellow (see blog for homemade blend)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger (or 2 tsp dried ground ginger)
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 6 cloves garlic
- 4 large russet potatoes, chopped (about 6 cups)
- 4 cups veggie stock (low/no sodium)
- 4 cups water
- 13.5 ounces full fat canned coconut milk
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Scrub and rinse the potatoes to remove any dirt. Chop them into 1/2"x1/2" cubes with the skin on. These will be pureed so don't worry about perfection. (See notes for optional roasting step)
- Measure out all ingredients prior to cooking, because the cooking times are rather quick and you don't want to scorch or burn your ingredients.
- In a large pot melt the butter over medium-high heat. Once it is melted and simmering, add the bay leaves and cook for 30 seconds. Add in the curry powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Cook while stirring for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the grated ginger, celery, onion, and garlic. Cook for 3-5 minutes. Occasionally stir to avoid scorching. The onions should be soft and translucent and starting to brown. If anything is sticking to the bottom of your pot or looks like it's cooking too fast add a few tablespoons of water.
- Stir in the potato chunks to coat in the spices and cooked ingredients. Allow to cook for 3 minutes while occasionally stirring. Pour in the vegetable stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium low heat, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. The potatoes should be soft enough to be pierced by a fork.
- Remove bay leaves then add the coconut milk and liquid smoke. Stir and bring to heat so that there are bubbles forming around the edge of the pot. Blend using an immersion blender or transfer in stages to an upright blender. Follow manufacturers directions on blending hot liquids if using an upright blender. Stir in the dried thyme and allow the soup to sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. Season with more salt and pepper as needed.
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This unique pasta dish is one of my most searched for recipes. It’s creamy and interesting. It’s hard to describe. But it’s really good.
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