A Spicy Soup for a Snowy Day
What do you do on a day when there is nearly three feet of snow on your front door?
Eat, of course.
During the recent big snowstorm, I had to ask myself, “Is there enough food in my house to keep me a day or two from starvation?”
There was. But, as important, what would I be in the mood to eat?
Yes, my friends, I had stocked up on produce with what I wanted to cook: three different soups. I also made tiramisu, just because I happened to have mascarpone in the refrigerator and, while milk chocolate was not in any supermarket, I have some Ghirardelli cocoa mix in the pantry, too.
Along with all the produce, I also bought a sweet potato bigger than my shoe size, a seven. Tonight, I am making a soup to finish up the coconut milk I used yesterday. You may, as I did, forget the parsley relish. I am out of fresh parsley.
Lee White of Old Lyme has been a food editor and restaurant reviewer for more than 25 years. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sweet Potato-Coconut Soup with Spice Relish
Adapted from a recipe by Bobby Flay in Sept. 12, 2010 issue of Parade magazine
Yield: 4 to 6 portions
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
pinch of red pepper flakes
½ small sweet potato, peeled and cut into a small dice
salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Sweet Potato-Coconut Soup
1 ½ tablespoons canola oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
(ginger gums up your Microplane; cut in tiny dice instead)
pinch of red-pepper flakes
3 cups homemade or store-bought chicken stock
½ cup water
1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
1 ½ cups unsweetened coconut milk
1 tablespoon honey
large pinch of ground cinnamon
For the relish, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add red-pepper flakes; heat for 10 seconds. Add diced sweet potato and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until softened, 15 minutes. Uncover, increase heat to high, and cook until diced potatoes are golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in parsley.
For the soup, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and ginger; cook until soft, 5 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add stock and water; bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook until potatoes are soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool for 20 to 25 minutes.
Transfer mixture to a blender and process until smooth. Return to saucepan; simmer over low heat. Whisk in coconut milk, honey, and cinnamon. Cook until thickened and warmed through. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with a spoonful of a spicy relish.