I would not have guessed that I would be longing for a bowl of soup today; the temperature has been pushing 90 since the weekend and the humidity has been Texas with a capital T.
But the wind was gusting last night, and the windshield sported a few sprinkles as Nick and I drove home from soccer practice. By 8 am this morning it was pouring rain and, as I sit here typing, the weather outside is 57 degrees; by Nacogdoches standards, it's downright wintry. By late morning, I was snuggled in a blanket at my computer, finishing my third cup of Darjeeling (or was it the 4th? 5th?) and coming to the realization that I was still cold...and starving.
I rooted around the pantry and decided soup was in order. The sweet potatoes sitting in their basket inspired me (scratch that: the wrinkling skins of the sweet potatoes reminded me that they would be putrid in another week if left languishing), and when I noticed the can of lite coconut milk on the shelf, I knew exactly what I would make. A creamy, West Indies soup to both fill and perk me up.
I'm in a bit of a post-book-deadline funk: after longing for the manuscript to be finished, it finally is, and rather than elated, I feel deflated. Tea and this lovely sweet potato soup have made all the difference. Plus, I just checked out the new PD James mystery from the library, so I plan to indulge myself in British bliss later this evening. Cheerio!
If you're not keeping a can or two of light coconut milk in your pantry, do! It is so simple to throw together a quick curry or soup with other bits and pieces from the refrigerator, freezer or pantry.
Sweet Potato Bisque with West Indian Spices
As an avowed lover of all things sweet potato, I am unabashedly beholden to this soup. It has just the right balance of sweet, savory and spicy.
Makes 6 servings
Food processor, blender or immersion blender
2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and shredded
2 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
1/2 tsp ground allspice
4 cups reduced-sodium ready-to-use chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup light coconut milk
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1. In a large saucepan, combine sweet potatoes, curry powder, lime zest, allspice and broth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 to 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are very soft.
2. Working in batches, transfer soup to food processor (or use immersion blender in pot) and purée until smooth. Return soup to pan (if necessary) and whisk in coconut milk and lime juice. Warm over medium heat, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Serve soup sprinkled with cayenne.
* When puréeing the soup in a food processor or blender, fill the bowl no more than halfway full at a time.
* Store the cooled soup in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator or in the microwave using the Defrost function. Warm soup in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.