Curry powder seems to get all the attention among home cooks looking to replicate authentic east Indian dishes. A popular spice blend made up most often of spices like ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric, fenugreek and other aromatic spices, in this soup it’s swapped for a tandoori blend. Tandoori chicken is a popular Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani dish made with roasted chicken marinated with spices in a yogurt carrier – and if you can find the spice blend, it’s a little different than your usual curry. If you can’t, swap curry powder or your favorite Indian-inspired spice blend for this warming soup, made with nutrient-dense sweet potato and red lentils – it’s packed with fiber, protein and other essential nutrients, making it the perfect winter sipper.
If you want a vegetarian version, swap vegetable stock for the chicken stock. For dairy-free, add coconut milk.
Tandoori Sweet Potato Soup
canola or olive oil, for cooking
1 large onion
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or chopped
1-2 Tbsp. tandoori or curry powder
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1 medium dark-fleshed sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/3 cup dry red lentils
1 apple, chopped
1 L chicken or veg stock
splash of half & half or coconut milk (optional)
sour cream or plain yogurt, for serving (optional)
In a largish pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat and saute the onion, celery, carrot and garlic for a few minutes, until soft. Add the tandoori powder and ginger and cook for another minute, then add the sweet potato, lentils, apple and stock. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook for about 30 minutes, until everything is nice and soft.
Using a hand-held immersion blender, puree the soup right in the pot, adding a splash of cream, if you like. Season with salt and pepper if it needs it, and serve hot, with a dollop of sour cream on top to cool the spice, if you like. Serves 6.