Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The Soup That Kept Me Up All Night
I spend a crazy amount of time thinking about food; what I should cook for my family, what I want to cook for my family, what ingredients do I need to try to get into more of our meals, what have we been eating lately... it goes on and on but you get the idea. So to have something linger in my mind is nothing new, but TO KEEP ME UP ALL NIGHT?!?! Well, that was new for me. So let me back up a bit here, it all started with a sweet potato. I had one left over from this curried sweet potato salad I made last week, and I bought another to make these yummy looking sweet potato/pretzel balls. But time and life got away from me, I never got around to making the sweet potato/pretzel balls and now had two sweet potatoes sitting on the counter staring at me. I was thinking about the curried salad but it's been so cold around here lately I couldn't stomach the thought of a cold meal, I needed something warm and soothing and then it hit me - a steamy bowl of creamy curried sweet potato soup just sounded so good. I couldn't get the thought out of my head, I laid awake thinking how the flavors of curry, sweet potato and coconut milk just sounded like they were made for each other. I dreamt about creating this soup, crazy right? So 1 am, 3 am, 4 am the clock is ticking by all I can do is think about the amazing flavor of caramelized onions pureed with the sweet potato and finished off with coconut milk. So first thing that morning I got up and hit the WWW for a little guidance, really validation. I mean, to me it sounded like a little slice of heaven but would the flavors come together as gracefully as I had hoped? First off I found a recipe that suggested roasting the potatoes first, great idea. But nothing that I found in my quick search mentioned caramelizing onions, and most recipes called for all sorts of other additions like celery or apples. None that I found really hit the spot of what I was looking for, other than simply validating that I was on the right track with the curry and potatoes. So, I winged it. Roasted the potatoes in the morning, then chopped a big onion and caramelized it. Once that was done I threw in some garam marsala and curry powder to let the flavors really sink into those onions and toast themselves a bit. Next I added three roasted sweet potatoes and about a quart of homemade chicken stock. Once this came to a boil I pureed it all with my immersion blender and added a can of coconut milk and salt and pepper to taste. At the table we topped our bowls with some toasted pumpkin seeds and goat cheese. Home run I tell you. The smell told me I was on the right track, but when I finally had a chance to sit down to dinner and eat, it was exactly what I had hoped for. I was especially grateful for the suggestion to roast the potatoes and for the addition of the garam marsala. On a cold night, this was so warming from the inside out. It will definitely make a regular appearance on on our fall and winter table from here on out.