Thai Sweet Potato Bisque with Coconut Milk and Warm Spices


This is my husband’s favorite soup!  He starts requesting this as soon as fall arrives. It also receives rave reviews from my trusty taste testers at the hospital where I work.

It’s a recipe makeover and slight departure from the more traditional bisques made with heavy cream and butter.  It’s healthy,  but you’d never know it by the taste and texture. Creamy coconut milk and sweet potatoes mellow the assertive flavors of chili and ginger.  The heat wakes up the palate in a controlled, pleasurable way. Thai basil and fresh lime juice finish things off with pep.
This special soup is suitable for holiday entertaining.  It would be a great choice for a first course at Thanksgiving or on a vegan Thanksgiving menu. You can make it the day before or even the morning of the meal. It reheats well.
This orange-hued bisque  is equally enjoyed in bed, under a quilt with a good movie playing on TV.  It’s our tradition to make it at Christmastime and serve it with glasses of cold Riesling wine. We decorate our tree, sipping wine from pretty vintage glasses and slurping soup out of mugs as we go.
sweet potato bisque


The soup contains omega 3’s, beta carotene, vitamins, minerals and fiber. It was featured on Healthy Aperture and Honest Cooking.



Thai Sweet Potato Bisque Recipe  

Serves 6

Some Notes:

Vietnamese Cinnamon is the strongest, richest and sweetest cinnamon on the  planet. I love it in this soup. It’s also great in cinnamon desserts, morning oatmeal or coffee. But regular cinnamon is just fine too.

Rapunzel No Salt Vegetable Bouillon Cubes are my go-to choice for all my vegetable soups. This bouillon creates a broth that has a pure clean, fresh taste. I buy it by the case from amazon. You can also find it select Whole Foods supermarkets.  If you don’t want to search for it, use a vegetable stock or broth that you’d drink on its own or make your own stock. If using vegetable broth from a box or can, omit the water and use 6 cups or canned stock or broth.

Thai peppers are tiny and very hot. They come in red and green. I find them in my regular market. I use a green one for this soup. They lend their tropical heat and are a logical choice in any Thai inspired recipe. But you can swap it for a jalapeno pepper. Some jalapenos are much hotter than others, so dare to taste a tiny little bit of one before you start cooking it.

A roasted red pepper grounds all the flavors and counters the sweetness of the potatoes. You could leave it out if you don’t feel like doing an extra step. But it’s worth it to include it because it’ll give the soup another layer of flavor.

Finishing things off with torn or chopped Thai Basil, lime zest, a little sea salt and a couple of squeezes of juicy lime is so refreshing. These suggestions enhance lift all the flavors. If you can’t find Thai basil regular would be fine too or none at all. It’s up to you. The lime is a must!


  • 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped. (They should weigh about one pound each totaling 3-3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 red pepper, halved and seeded (optional, see notes)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tiny red or green Thai bird-eye pepper, diced or one jalapeno pepper, diced. Remove the seeds if you want it less spicy.
  • 2 limes
  • 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and grated. I use a microplane zester to grate it.
  • 6 Rapunzel No Salt Bouillon Cubes (you can also use your favorite vegetable stock or broth, see notes)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon plus more for sprinkling. I use strong Vietnamese cinnamon from Penzeys Spices.
  • Neutral oil or coconut oil for cooking
  • 1/2 of a 13.5 ounce can of coconut milk. I like Thai Kitchen brand.
  • Sea salt to taste
  • To Serve: Thai basil, cilantro, lime wedges, lime zest, ground cinnamon, flaky sea or my favorite finishing salt, grey celtic sea salt, toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), crusty bread

Place the sliced pepper, cut side down, on an oven safe baking sheet lined with tinfoil and broil on high until the skins are charred and blackened. Remove from the oven, place the pepper in a covered bowl or wrap in tin foil to steam. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin and discard. Chop and set aside.

In a large pot saute the onion and chili in some coconut oil or neutral tasting oil with a pinch of salt. Once the onion has softened, add the chopped sweet potatoes, roasted red pepper, grated ginger, 6 cups of water, 6 Rapunzel cubes and the cinnamon. Adjust the salt. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes have softened. Puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender (be careful if using a blender or food processor with hot soup). Stir in the coconut milk. Start with just a half a can and add more to your liking. Finish the soup with a good dash of cinnamon, a little lime zest, lime juice and Thai basil. Toasted pumpkin seeds are also nice sprinkled on top. Enjoy!


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