samedi 1 novembre 2008
Coconut Ginger Sweet Potato Soup
Once again, this is a recipe which is my riff on several that I saw around the internet. The internet seems to think this is a "Thai" sweet potato soup. I'm not so confident. The extent of its Thai-ness is probably just that it uses thai red curry paste, ginger and coconut milk, all of which are abundant in Thailand.
This recipe is so easy it borders on the biblical sin of sloth. All you need is sweet potato, coconut milk, thai red curry paste, vegetable stock, chopped ginger and toasted sesame seeds. How much you use of each of these ingredients is up to you. In general half a large sweet potato serves one person. I like about a 1 cm cube of ginger and 2 teaspoons of red curry for each half sweet potato, but I like it hot, if I can say so without inducing snickering.
Chop the sweet potato up into very small cubes - the smaller the better, since they cook faster and are easier to blend later. Put them in a pot and just cover them with stock, then add the curry paste and chopped ginger and boil it until it's very tender. You should be able to squash the peices into a pulp with a wooden spoon on the side of the pot.
Take it off the heat and let it cool. Mash it up as much as you can before you blend it, so you can see if you should drain off or add some stock now. This step is doubly important if you use a hand-held blender like I do, because they get tired and grumpy after about a minute of use. I tend to add more stock as I blend since I invariably get my amounts wrong in stage one.
Once it's smooth, put it back on the heat and add coconut milk to taste. If I feel greedy I add 1/4 cup to my single serving, though, sometimes just a splash is enough. It's the interaction between the coconut and the heat of the ginger and chilli in the paste that makes this great. Bring it to the boil again and then serve it hot with toasted sesame seeds on top.
I always add bean sprouts and some cubes of firm tofu, which makes this soup a meal. I generally pan fry the tofu beforehand in some sesame oil to give it a little more personality. This time I also added puff tofu and udon noodles, which need to cook in the soup for a little while, so add them when you add the coconut milk. Fresh coriander also works wonders in there.