Taste 8: Sweet Potato Carrot Coconut Soup

Call me old fashioned.  But, when he calls me at 9 pm to say he’s coming over, I naturally ask if he’s eaten.  When the response is “no,” I think it’s time to get cooking. Nine pm is generally considered late to start cooking, so I decided to make something simple with whatever I had in the kitchen.  In this case, for my eighth dish in my 14-part series (or challenge:) of giving him a taste of how much I care, I made roasted sweet potato and carrot coconut soup topped with coconut baby bok choy. With a name so long, it might sound like a complex dish, but it was simple and delicious.

Here’s how I made it-

I started by roasting two garnet yams (peeled), four carrots (also peeled), and a sliced shallot in a tablespoon of coconut cream (or fat- the thick cream at the top of an undisturbed can of coconut milk) and a few tablespoons of maple syrup.  This took approximately 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

When the yams and carrots are easily pierced with a fork, remove them from the oven and let them cool for 15 minutes or so.  Meanwhile, skim off the rest of the coconut fat and separate it from the clear water. I LOVE this white temptress. I could eat it with a spoon.

Next, coarsely chop the baby bok choy and separate the leafy greens from the celery-like stalk. Chop a little red onion (maybe 1/2 cup), and you’re ready to assemble the meal.

Put the yams and carrots, the rest of the coconut water, and enough broth (veggie or chicken) to cover the yams into the Vitamix.  Blend this into a perfectly smooth puree (it just takes a few seconds in my favorite 2 horse-power toy).  Pour this into a stock pot and simmer on medium high.  I seasoned it with some cinnamon, cayenne, Vietnamese Sweet Lemongrass Curry (a Savory Spice Shop original), and soy sauce.  How much of those ingredients did I add? I don’t know… a little of this, a little of that. I’d say season to your liking.

While the soup was heating, I added the last dollop of coconut fat to a pan on medium high and started to sauté the onion.  When that was translucent, I added the stalky part of the bok choy and got that soft before adding the chopped bok choy leaves. Then a splash of soy sauce, and it’s done.

Top the soup with coconut baby bok choy and enjoy.


Sweet Potato Risotto

I was inspired by my friend Jennifer from The Adventuresome Kitchen to make her Sweet Potato Risotto with Mushrooms and Kale. All I can say is this is one of my new favorite recipes. I followed her instructions exactly except I had no mushrooms, and I used white sweet potatoes rather than the garnet or “orange” variety.
Come to think of it, I have mushrooms, sweet potatoes, and kale in the house right now… might make this tonight.

Baked Apple Cider Sweet Potatoes

My family’s Thanksgiving table would not be complete without marshmallow topped sweet potatoes. I am not a fan or marshmallows myself… not any more. I loved them as a kid, but they are mysteriously white, puffy, sugar and calories. But, the majority of my family wins and they top my sweet potatoes each year. These are Whole Foods 365 brand marshmallows, sold in small batches, without a scary ingredient list. So, that’s what I went with to top…
Local New Jersey sweet potatoes. That’s right. Thanksgiving in New Jersey meant locally grown sweet potatoes (found at Whole Foods Millburn, the BEST Whole Foods I’ve seen), blended with local upstate NY apple cider. Yum.
It’s easy. Boil your yams (I had approximately 3 pounds), peel them when cool to touch, and put them in your stand mixer. Start with the paddle attachment on low and slowly increase the speed to 4 or so. Then, remove the paddle attachment, but don’t scrape it because it should be covered with thin hair-like fibers that are not pleasant in the mouth.
Switch to the whisk attachment, add 1 cup or so of apple cider, and slowly increase the speed until it is on high. Whip them a little, and transfer them to a baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or so. Top with marshmallows at the end and bake another few minutes until golden brown.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

I am very excited to be eating fresh sweet potatoes from Ollin Farms. Sweet potatoes are quite versatile and I like to make sweet potato patties, sweet potato biscuits, and even sweet potato smoothies.
This time I made a hearty baked vegetarian burger.

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 can black beans- rinsed, drained, somewhat smashed with your hands
  • 1 cup finely grated yam/sweet potato
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish sweet paprika
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • pinch of sea salt
  • ground black pepper
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Form patties with your hands and bake them (I lined a baking tray with parchment paper). Start with the oven preheated to 400. After 10 minutes, lower the temp to 375 and let them cook another 5 minutes or so. Flip them and lower the oven to 350. They should be done in another 5-10 minutes, depending on your oven. They’ll be a nice golden brown and won’t fall apart.
I served this on a tortilla with some caramelized onion avocado spread, some caramelized onion, and Tillamook white cheddar cheese.

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