It started out as a new sauce. I never follow recipes, so I just toss together what sounds good in my brain. Most of the time the results are tasty and balanced. Sometimes we hit divine. This time, it was a near catastrophe.
But experiments never fail, so I thought I’d begin to doctor the would-be sauce. The transformation resulted in the dish Michael has requested for birthday dinners and special occasions for years now.
Thai Style-Sweet Potato Soup
makes 5 quarts
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 ½ onions, peeled and chopped
1-2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
2 celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and chopped
3 jalapeño, seeded and minced
3 inches ginger, peeled and minced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
½ dozen sweet spuds, peeled and cubed
1 seeded chipotle
2 Cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves
1 Calabrese pepper
3 Kaffir lime leaves
About 3 quarts water or stock
1 Tbsp smoked salt
1 Tbsp kosher salt
plenty of pepper
1 can coconut milk
Heat oil over medium heat.
Add onion, parsnip, celery, carrots and cook until onion is translucent- about 8 minutes.
Add peppers, garlic, ginger and cook for another 3 minutes.
Add sweet potatoes, chipotle, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, Calabrese pepper, Kaffir lime*.
Add water or stock to just cover the ingredients.
Bring to brief boil, lower heat and simmer until sweet potatoes are very tender- 30-45 minutes.
Let cool for about an hour. Take out the cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, Calabrese pepper, Kaffir lime leaves…making sure you’ve got them all.
Add in coconut milk and seasonings. Puree the soup with an immersion mixer or in batches in a blender. Add lime juice and orange juice. Adjust seasonings. Strain soup through a sieve- if desired. (Michael likes it a little gritty, I like it silky smooth)
Add fried chorizo chunks for a dialed-up version. Garnish with cilantro if desired.