Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Thai Style Peanut & Sweet Potato Soup

In spite of the long list of ingredients this is pretty easy to put together, especially if you purée it instead of rubbing the sweet potatoes through a sieve which is what I did. What was I thinking? Washing the food processor would have been so much faster and easier.

Anyway, in spite of this being pretty easy to put together, it isn't super fast, what with having to cook the sweet potatoes in advance and also simmering the soup for a bit. I also thought the leftovers were even better than the first time around, and this should keep in the fridge for up to a week, so I would definitely say it's a thing to make in advance.

It's a very substantial soup; either serve small portions or don't serve too much else with it. I used the chicken stock, but the simple substitution of vegetable stock would make this vegetarian. I'm saying the keffir lime leaves and the lemongrass are optional, but do try to have at least one of them and both if you can get them. 

4 to 6 servings
1 hour 30 minutes - 30 minutes prep time
not including roasting the sweet potatoes

Thai Style Peanut & Sweet Potato Soup

Roast the Sweet Potatoes:
750 grams (1 1/2 pounds; 4 medium) sweet potatoes

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Wash the sweet potatoes and prick them with a fork; roast them until soft, about an hour to an hour and a quarter. Let cool enough to handle. This can be done up to a day ahead.

Make the Soup:
3 or 4 large shallots
3 or 4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
1 cup coconut milk
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
6 to 8 keffir lime leaves (optional)
the pared rind of a lime
1/4 cup chopped lemongrass (optional)
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
2 to 4 teaspoons finely minced pickled Jalapeño chile
2/3 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon salt
the juice of 1/2 lime
chopped cilantro to garnish
chopped roasted peanuts to garnish
lime wedges to garnish

Peel and mince the shallots. Peel and mince the garlic.

Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add the shallots and cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until lightly browned throughout; at least 15 to 20 minutes. Add the garlic and mix in well but let it cook for just a minute or two.

Add the coconut milk and stock to the soup pot and reduce the heat to low.

Put the lime leaves, pared lime rind (avoid the white pith as much as possible), the chopped lemongrass and the sliced ginger into a large spice ball, or tie it up in a bit of muslin and add it to the pot of soup. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Peel the sweet potatoes, and press them through a sieve or food mill into the soup. Alternatively, you can just chop them up and add them, then purée the soup before serving for a really smooth texture.

Measure the peanut butter in a large measuring cup. Ladle some of the soup in with it, and mix well before stirring it all back into the pot. (Although if  you are puréeing the soup, you can just dump it in and break it up as best you can first.) Season with the salt.

If you have opted to purée the soup - probably a smart move in retrospect, yeah I didn't - now is the time to do it.

Reheat the soup to serve, with the lime juice mixed in first. Pass it with chopped cilantro, chopped roasted peanuts, and wedges of lime to squeeze over.




Last year at this time I made A Late Winter Salad with Avocado.

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