Saturday, February 21, 2015

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Cream & Sriracha



Nothing says comfort to me more than soup. I come close to slurping it 365 days a year. This luscious sweet potato soup is a gift to yourself or people you love. It's rich and velvety like a bisque. It's satisfying, but not heavy. Cinnamon and coconut lend their warm notes. Perky lime and sriracha sauce counter the sweetness of the potatoes and wake up the taste buds. It hits all the right flavors and textures: creamy, spicy, tangy, sweet.



The soup is a wonderful addition to a holiday table. It's a good Lenten recipe too. Coziness in a bowl can be yours in 30 minutes. It reheats well. One pot, chop and drop, stress-free cooking is the goal. So, put on your favorite PJ's, hunker down, relax and spend some pleasant moments in the kitchen. When the stressors of modern day living start to take their toll, soup soothes our weary souls. It's nice to cook something nourishing and heartwarming from scratch. 






Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Cream & Sriracha 


Serves 4

Some Notes:

Rapunzel bouillon is my go-to veggie bouillon for its clean taste. Oh how I love it! I find it at Whole Foods or buy it online at Amazon. It's a lifesaver for quick soups like this one. It's easy to store and tastes like homemade stock. It's worth trying, especially if you love soup. But you can swap it and the water for 4 1/2 cups of your favorite broth or stock.

Star Anise  lends a distinctly warm, Chinese flavor to this soup which I love. But you can leave it out with good results. I like using deliciously sweet and strong Vietnamese Cinnamon in this recipe too. 

Coconut Cream  is very good in this recipe. You can find it online, in the Latin or Asian sections of most markets or at Trader Joe's. If you don't want to search for it then use the coconut cream that floats to the top of a can of full fat coconut milk. Just don't shake the can before opening.  I find a half a cup of coconut cream lends a good amount of  creaminess and mild tropical notes to this soup.    


Ingredients


  • 2 large sweet potatoes, chopped (8 cups of chopped sweet potatoes)    
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 limes
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon plus more for serving. I use Vietnamese cinnamon.
  • 1 whole star anise or a good pinch of ground Chinese five spice powder (optional)
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes. I use Rapunzel No Salt Vegetable Bouillon Cubes.
  • 4 1/2 cups of water
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of coconut cream (see notes)  
  • Salt to taste
  • Sriracha sauce to taste
  • To Serve: lime wedges, finely grated lime zest, diced scallions, oyster crackers 

Instructions


Place the sweet potatoes, celery, onion, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, star anise pod (if using), bouillon, water and salt in a large soup pot. I use a microplane zester to grate the garlic and ginger directly into the pot.  Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover the pot and simmer for about 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables and potatoes are soft. Remove the star anise pod from the pot and blend the soup well. I use an immersion blender. Stir in the coconut cream and a couple of squeezes of fresh lime juice, a pinch of ground cinnamon and a drizzle of sriracha sauce. Serve with extra lime wedges and sriracha.

Bon Appetit!
xx ~ Jilly

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