Tuesday, June 12, 2007

One Potato, Two Potato

There are a couple of things I just have to do that most folks really can (and do) feel free to ignore. One of these is my practice of cooking the potatoes separately and mashing them by hand in any recipe in which the vegetables are going to get pureed. My reason for this is that pureed potatoes will sometimes take on an unpleasant sliminess because of the type of starch peculiar to potatoes. Unless the potatoes make up only the tiniest part of the recipe, I think it is worthwhile to take this extra step.

One soup that benefits from separately-mashed potatoes is this two-potato preparation. I started thinking of this recipe as a mild white background to provide flavor and color contrast for this nut sauce. It turns out that this soup can stand on its own brilliantly, and maybe you don’t even need the coconut milk, and you might not even need the potatoes.

When I made this last, I was still using canned coconut milk, which worked beautifully. I have since been making my own coconut milk, which is not so terribly difficult, and really makes everything even better, but if you don’t have a coconut handy, use some decent organic canned milk, and the recipe will be almost effortless.

Two Potato Soup Three Ways

2 or 3 tablespoons extra-virgin coconut oil, or other oil

4 medium onions (about 2 pounds) sliced or chopped

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut up (I used 2 large Japanese white sweet potatoes)

½ bunch celery, stalks and leaves

A piece of ginger the size of a grape, or kalamata olive or something like that


2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cut up (I used 4 medium Yukon golds) optional

1 ½ cups coconut milk or 1 14-ounce can coconut milk (Thai kitchen organic)

Cook the onions in the coconut until they become soft and translucent. Add the minced ginger, sweet potatoes and celery and cook until a few minutes more, and add salt and water to cover everything well and cook for about forty minutes, or until everything is quite soft. If you are also going to add the potatoes, cook them in a separate saucepan in salted water until soft.

1st way: Puree the sweet potato soup in a blender or using the pureeing modality of your choice. You could just stop here if you want—you will have a delicious soup vividly seasoned with ginger and celery.

2nd way: Add the coconut milk to your pureed soup, and return to heat. You may also stop here, and you will have a very rich, mildly seasoned soup.

3rd way: If you cooked potatoes, mash them or put them through a mill or sieve, and add them with their liquid to the sweet potato soup. The potatoes add a very interesting balance to the other flavors. Serve the soup as is, or drizzle some chicostle-nut puree on top.

Cate at Sweetnicks is almost certainly familiar with all the antioxidant-rich ingredients in this soup, but it is so delicious, I just have to post it anyway. My ongoing quest to stump Sweetnicks will resume next week.

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Blogger Cate said...

LOL, you are too funny. Potatoes, definitely something I recognize. ;)

9:15 PM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

heh. thanks, cate.

10:37 PM  

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