There are few things that I hold more sacred than daily lunch with my husband. We have the good fortune of being able to dine al fresco, at least for our midday meal, most of the year. We often stretch our legs out into the sun, tangled together on my grandmother’s old woven strap ottoman that matches our outdoor table and chairs. Sometimes we chat, but mostly we sit in comfortable silence, simply soaking in the warmth of the afternoon or reading a few chapters in our books. It is this time, this pause, these moments together in peace, that give me the strength to get on with the rest of my day, which includes the same mundane tasks that all mothers must accomplish–laundry, cleaning, cooking, shopping and shuttling around our offspring.
Usually our lunch consists of leftovers, but occasionally I’ll make something special, like this soup. I’ve been trying hard to use up all the wonderful, organic fruits and veggies that come in our CSA box each week. I’ve found that if the contents of my produce bin in the fridge are posted somewhere useful, like the huge blackboard that hangs in my kitchen, they get used up. I’m constantly reminded about what we have because I face the list from my seat at the table…the same place where I sit to plan our meals. And so it was with these sweet potatoes that beckoned to be used for a few weeks, before I settled on soup.
Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of sweet potatoes, or sweet veg of any kind (including butternut–gasp!). But as long as there are other flavors besides just sweet I’m quite happy to eat them. I find that sweet plus heat is rather brilliant, especially when combined with the richness of coconut milk and a squeeze of sour lime. It’s these complimentary flavors that make Southeast Asian cooking so interesting, satisfying and addictive. This silky smooth soup, while not entirely authentic I’m sure, is a riff on that concept. Double check to make sure that the curry paste you are using is gluten free.
Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 30 minutes, Total Time: 45 minutes
This vibrant soup, inspired by the flavors of South East Asia, hits all the right notes–sweet, spicy, sour and salty. It would also work well with butternut squash or fresh pumpkin.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 (2 inch) piece fresh ginger root, peeled and grated or finely minced
- 1 tablespoon GF red curry paste
- 1 (15 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 cups gluten free vegetable broth, plus more to thin if needed
- 3 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- fresh cilantro & sliced jalapeno peppers for garnish
- Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, ginger, curry paste, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Add vegetable broth,bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are very tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool, uncovered, for at least 10 minutes.
- Blend using an immersion blender, or alternatively, blend in small batches in a blender, taking care to vent the lid to allow steam to escape. Return pureed soup back to the pot. Stir in lime juice and salt. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. If necessary, thin with additional vegetable broth until you get your desired texture.
- Garnish with chopped cilantro and sliced jalapeno peppers.