Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Thirty-Two: Splendid Soups

by James Peterson

         Sweet Potato, Chili, and Lime Soup

Seems like an eternity since my last blog! Does two weeks qualify as an eternity? I had been a bit under the weather of late and just getting back into the swing of things. Feels so good...

Here it is the middle of May in not so sunny, sunny California; as I'm waiting for the rains to begin I decided on this soup. I love sweet potatoes and lime together so when I saw this recipe I had to go for it. And so glad that I did. I was a bit hesitant at first, but then again I always seem to migrate toward the different. This soup has wonderful flavor even using vegetable broth (unsalted no-less) which I bought in error. The recipe calls for chicken broth. Don't let the oddness of this soup keep you from giving it a try.

Success meter: (1-3): 3

Sweet Potato, Chili, and Lime Soup
Serves 6

2 medium-size onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbl unsalted butter
2 lbs sweet potatoes, about 4, peeled and sliced ½ inch thick
1 quart chicken broth
2 jalapeño chilies, cut in half lengthwise, seeded, and finely chopped
3 poblano chilies, roasted, peeled, and chopped
½ cup corn oil
4 corn tortillas, cut into 1- by ¼ inch strips
Juice of 2 limes or more to taste
3 Tbl finely chopped cilantro leaves
2 Tbl olive oil
¾ cup sour cream
Sour cream
Lime wedges

Gently cook the onions and garlic in the butter in a 4-quart pot over medium heat until the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the sweet potatoes and broth to the onion mixture; bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and keep at a slow simmer until the sweet potatoes have softened and are easily crushed against the side of the pot with a fork, about 20 minutes.
Add the jalapeño and roasted poblano chilies to the soup and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes more.
Heat the corn oil over high heat in a medium-size skillet until its surface ripples. Turn the heat down to medium-low and fry the tortilla strips for about 1 minute. Drain them on paper towels.
Puree the soup in a blender or put it through the fine disk of a food mill and strain it through a medium-mesh strainer.  (I used an immersion blender) Stir in the lime juice to taste and season with salt and pepper.
Combine the chopped cilantro with the olive oil.
Ladle the soup into hot bowls and drizzle the top of each one with the cilantro/olive oil paste, sour cream, and the tortilla strips. Serve with extra sour cream and lime wedges.

Splendid Soups/James Peterson

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