Friday, November 15, 2019

Curried Sweet Potato Soup in the Instant Pot

Curried Sweet Potato Soup in the Instant Pot

Smooth and creamy with warming Thai spices, this vegan sweet potato soup cooks up quickly in the Instant Pot for an easy first course or light meal.

image of 2 bowls of curried sweet potato soup, an Instant Pot, colorful napkins, spoons, and sweet potatoes

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I like to use my Instant Pot to prepare meal components--not just meals. In the summertime that means cooking--and freezing--endless ears of freshly shucked corn, or steaming potatoes for potato salad or my Grilled Garlic Scape Pesto Smashed Potatoes recipe. In the fall and winter that means preparing winter squash and root vegetables.

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Smooth and creamy, with warming Thai spices, this vegan sweet potato soup cooks up quickly in the Instant Pot for an easy first course or light meal.


If you find yourself with an abundance of oddly-shaped sweet potatoes from your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, the farmer's market, an ugly produce subscription service or your own garden--try this recipe! It's a terrific way to use cooked sweet potatoes in a simple and satisfying soup.



I believe in giving credit where credit is due, and the inspiration for this soup came from Karen of Soup Addict's Thai Pumpkin Soup recipe. For a super (ahem, souper) simple 'open a couple of cans/jars and get amazing flavor fast with very little effort' recipe, check it out.

pic of 2 bowls of curried sweet potato soup and an Instant Pot on a table with napkins and sweet potatoes


I'm adding this recipe to my Instant Pot on Campus series simply because it's an easy prep/delicious result type of meal.  It's also deliciously vegan, a departure from boring dorm cafeteria flavors, and a great idea to bring to a pot luck.


Using an Instant Pot to bring a dish to a pot luck is pretty easy--the lid locks on and forms a carrying handle. I recently hauled 2 Instant Pots of chili (my Green Tomato Garlic Chili recipe and my Sweet Potato Chili recipe) over to campus to feed my spouse's cadets after their 24 hour POW/MIA vigil. It took me 2 trips to get the full Instant Pots over there, but my spouse carried the empty pots back like a milkmaid, one in each hand.

What to buy at the store

This recipe uses some new-to-me ingredients: Thai red curry paste and lemongrass paste. After dealing with a large amount of fresh lemongrass in the farm share one year (I think I made lemongrass-ade?) I am delighted with the ease of use and long refrigerator shelf life of a tube of lemongrass paste. You can find the lemongrass paste along the wall in a grocery produce section, next to the other chilled tubes of prepared ingredients like ginger, garlic, and basil. You can find jars of Thai red curry paste in the international foods aisles of most grocery stores.


  • 2 or 3 small sweet potatoes or 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 medium onion (or a container of chopped onion)
  • 1 4 oz jar of Thai red curry paste (you'll use half of it)
  • 1 tube lemongrass paste (keeps for a while)
  • 1 tube ginger paste (also keeps for a while, use it in my Instant Pot Mu Shu Pork recipe!)
  • 1 can (13-15 oz) coconut milk (unsweetened, not lite)
  • 1 bottle lime juice



What you need at home

  • garlic (a couple cloves, or dried minced, or dried powder)
  • jar of vegetable broth base (I always keep a jar of base--chicken and vegetable--on hand)
  • salt & pepper, olive oil
  • water
  • flat-bottomed stirring spoon (mine is $2 at IKEA)
  • a blender or immersion blender (optional--see if you can borrow if you don't own one)
  • kitchen towel to protect your hand when you quickly release the steam
  • can opener (I forgot this for one of my classes. Whoops!)
  • Instant Pot with rack (yes, you could totally do this on the stove/oven)
image of 2 blue bowls of curried sweet potato soup and an Instant Pot on a wooden table surrounded by fallen leaves and grass


For this recipe we're first going to steam sweet potatoes in the Instant Pot then mash the flesh and use it in soup. If you want to cook once eat twice, steam up a bunch of sweet potatoes and eat one for dinner one night and save the others for soup later in the week. You could even make meatloaf at the same time (like my Instant Pot Bacon, Blue Cheese & Mushroom Meatloaf recipe) and save the extra sweet potatoes for this soup . . . although if you were serving vegans I don't think you should as the meat juices may soak into the sweet potatoes.


I've made this soup both under pressure and on the stovetop, and I admit I prefer the stovetop version primarily because it has a bit more intense flavor due to the evaporation from the open pot. My instructions call for finishing the soup in the Instant Pot on Sauté mode so you still have only 1 pot to clean. (That's one of my Top Five Reasons I Love My Instant Pot!)

close up image of a blue bowl of curried sweet potato soup with colorful napkin and spoon

Level Down?

Usually this section of my Instant Pot on Campus series is Level Up--but I think the recipe as written is pretty much perfect. It's smooth and creamy and is tasty served in a mug for sipping as a first course. So I'm going to offer an easier alternative, a Level Down if you will. Skip the immersion blending and leave the soup a bit chunky to eat with a spoon as the main part of a meal. If you want to level up with fancy garnishes, please check out Karen's suggestions for Thai Pumpkin Soup garnishes.



For more sweet potato recipes, please see my Sweet Potato Recipes Collection. It's part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

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The Recipe



image of a blue bowl of curried sweet potato soup alongside an instant pot and colorful napkin




Smooth and creamy, with warming Thai spices, this vegan sweet potato soup cooks up quickly in the Instant Pot for an easy first course or light meal.

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