The recipe below, for a Thai coconut milk soup with sweet potatoes, can be found in the Sweet Potatoes edition by Scott Hocker. This soup is both luxurious and comforting, for those times when your heart and body need tending. It's a smooth-blended soup with a touch of spice and velvety texture that can only be found in coconut milk, celebrating the parade of flavors that Thai food strives for: sweet, salty, tart, and sour. They're all here, dancing joyfully. Cilantro roots (which you can see in the images in this post) can be found at farmers markets and Asian groceries, but if you can't find them, substitute 1/3 cup coarsely-chopped cilantro stems.
Prep Time 10minutes
Cook Time 15minutes
Total Time 25minutes
Author Scott Hocker
1smallThai chiliseeds removed, chopped
3cilantro rootsscraped with the edge of a knife to remove dirt (see head-note for alternative)
2cupschicken or vegetable stock
One14-ounce cancoconut milk
1mediumsweet potatopeeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1teaspoontightly packed light brown sugar
3 to 4tablespoonsfresh lime juiceplus more for flavoring (from about 3 limes)
1/4cupcoarsely chopped cilantro leaves
With a mortar and pestle, pound the Thai chili, shallot, garlic, and cilantro roots together until you have a coarse paste. You can also pull a few times in a small food processor, or chop together finely with a sharp knife.
In a large saucepan, bring the stock and coconut milk to a simmer. Add the sweet potatoes, salt, and the chili-garlic paste you just created. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are extremely soft, about 15 minutes.
Pour the soup into blender and puree until completely smooth. (My Vitamix is perfect for this, but any blender will do if you let it run for 1 to 2 minutes). Strain the soup through a sieve, pressing hard on the solids to get out all the delicious liquid. Discard the solids and return the soup to the saucepan.
Bring soup to a simmer and add brown sugar, fish sauce, and 3 tablespoons of lime juice. Stir well and add more fish sauce and lime juice as you see fit -- the flavor should be boldly sweet, salty, and sour, ringing the bell of all your tastebuds.
Divide the soup among four soup bowls and top with chopped cilantro leaves. Serve immediately.