purple sweet potato soup – coconut, red chile, toasted cumin
Color, color, color. This is one intensely hued soup. It is warm and comforting because it is soup, after all. But it is also exotic, spicy, jazzy. Made from purple-fleshed sweet potatoes from the farmers’ market. But what if one was to close the eyes? No “Taste With The Eyes” allowed. Would this soup still hit the mark? Flavor, texture, balance, intrigue…yes, yes, yes.
purple sweet potato soup recipe
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1″ knob ginger, minced
- 1/2 t. toasted cumin seed, roughly ground with mortar and pestle, divided
- 1 red jalapeño, chopped, divided
In a medium soup pot, sauté shallot in olive oil until soft. Add ginger, jalapeño, cumin, and garlic. Reserve a small amount of jalapeño and cumin seed for garnish. Sauté for another minute or so.
- 2 purple-fleshed sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 4 c. vegetable broth
- 2 T. brown sugar
Add broth, potatoes and sugar to the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the potatoes are soft.
- juice from 1/2 lime
- 1/2 c. coconut milk, divided
- sea salt
Remove pot from heat. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add lime juice, coconut milk, and salt to taste. Reserve a small amount of coconut milk for garnish. Interestingly, the lime juice changes the color of the soup from a deeper purple to a more reddish purple.
a purple soup needs a flashy garnish
- coconut milk
- red jalapeño
- toasted cumin seed
Place a small amount of cocount milk in a squeeze bottle with a small tip to dot the soup. The soup and the coconut milk should be of a similar density. If the soup is too thick, the coconut dots will roll off the top. Oops.
I returned the soup to the pot, added a bit more broth, and blended again with the immersion blender to get a smoother, thinner consistency. Not only did this make the coconut milk dots and soup compatible, it made the soup much more elegant. A good lesson, indeed. Ladle soup into warm bowls and garnish with jalapeño, cumin seed, and mint.
now the soup is ready for the coconut dots
Extending another heart-felt thank you to my brother and sister-in-law for this graceful white porcelain bowl designed by Martin Kastner. He is the creator of the breathtaking custom serviceware used at Grant Achatz’s Alinea in Chicago.
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