I have a real thing for sweet potatoes. If they weren't so ugly, I'd probably have one tattooed on my body. Speaking of tattoos, I indulged my ink addiction recently at Bijou Studio here in Austin. It's a little over half-way done, with all of the line work, and a touch of color completed. I'll go back for another session some time next month.
One thing I love about getting inked up is the simultaneous mix of pleasure and pain. It hurts like a "b", but your body releases all these fun little endorphins and chemicals, making you feel a little loopy (in a good way). I also find some kind of weird satisfaction in gritting my teeth through the whole stingy business. I guess I like reminding myself that I'm tough, and I don't have to let a little thing like pain stand in the way of getting what I want.
So you might think this is a bit of an odd segway into a soup recipe, but I'm going to go for it anyway. While tattoos afford a blend of pain and pleasure, my favorite sweet potato recipes combine a mix of spicy and sweet flavor. My Chipotle Quinoa Casserole, for instance, blends sweet potatoes, creamy sauce, and spicy chile pepper. I delight in drowning my sweet potato fries in spicy sriracha mayo, and caking my roasted yams in blackened cajun spices. Sweet loves spicy, and I love playing match-maker.
I created this soup recipe with that kind of blend in mind. The hot red curry paste blends into the candy-sweet baked potato really nicely. I was tempted to add coconut milk, but I found that the coconut oil added plenty of aroma without making the soup overly rich. You can serve it garnished with scallions and cilantro, or even some crunchy rice crackers. You can also just guzzle it as-is. I made this recipe on the medium to mellow side. If you'd like more heat, just add a little more curry paste, or a squirt of sriracha sauce.
Red Curry Sweet Potato Soup
Makes about four to six servings
- 4 small to medium-sized sweet potatoes
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil (or another cooking oil)
- 2 tablespoons red curry paste (canned is fine)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- salt & pepper to taste
- chopped fresh cilantro and scallion (optional)
- lime (optional)
- Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven or microwave until they are nice and soft. This will take upwards of 30 to 50 minutes in a 425 degree oven, or about 5 - 10 minutes in a microwave. Poke some holes in the sweet potatoes with a fork before you cook them.
- Combine the coconut oil and curry paste in a soup pot over medium heat. Stir them together, and let the paste fry for about three minutes. The paste should become fragrant as it sizzles.
- Add the onions, and let them cook until they become soft and slightly clear. This should take between five and ten minutes.
- Remove the sweet potato from their peels. I usually cut them in half, then scoop the meat out with a spoon. Add the peeled sweet potato to your soup pot, breaking it into chunks with a spoon.
- Add the vegetable stock to the pot next, then stir it all together.
- Use an immersion or stick blender to puree the ingredients. Keep blending until they become nice and smooth. You can also use a regular blender or food processor for this step, but you might want to let it cool a little first.
- Bring the soup to a simmer, then reduce it to low heat.
- Taste the soup, and add salt to taste. If you want it to be spicier, try adding a squirt or two of sriracha sauce.
- Just before serving, squeeze in a little lime juice and sprinkle on some fresh herbs.
Lately I've started turning all kinds of unsuitable foods into croutons. This soup wound up getting a dose of puffed rice cereal. Nothing crunchy is safe from my soup bowl. Is this is as weird a habit as I think it is, or does everyone do this?