Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Conversation Piece

Since last October, not one person has walked into our home and failed to comment on the huge vegetable that sits on the kitchen counter. What is that thing? Is it a football? Did you grow it? What in the world are you going to do with it?

That thing is a giant sweet potato. It is the size of a football and weighs at least as much as the largest bass I've ever caught. Yes, I grew it. And until today, I had no idea what I was going to do with it.

Just to give you a sense of the size of this thing.
The conversation piece is now history. Actually, it is not quite history yet; rather it is the foundation for some Ginger/Miso/Sweet Potato soup that is simmering on the stove for lunch.

The snow is still coming down a bit and it seemed like a good day for soup. I've been enamored lately with using miso as an ingredient, so I paired it with the sweet potato, an onion, garlic, ginger and coconut milk.

The soup needs to simmer for a bit and then I'll take my imersion blender to it, turning it into a silky smooth pot of golden sweet potato goodness. I'll have enough soup to feed a crew, but since it is just Ed and me for lunch, I'll freeze some to share with Maggie and Mary – and have some in the freezer for if it snows in May.


Sweet Potato Soup with Ginger and Miso
adapted from the Kitchn

Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 2-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced - about 1/4 cup
3 large sweet potatoes, about 2 1/2 pounds - peeled and cubed
3 tablespoons light miso
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth, or water
1 cup whole milk (I used coconut milk)
Salt and pepper

Cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and translucent. Raise the heat a little and add the ginger. Fry until the ginger is fragrant, but don't let the onions and garlic brown at all. Add the sweet potatoes and miso and continue frying a bit, then add the broth or water. Bring to a simmer then cover, turn the heat to low and let it cook for about 25 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Take off the heat and puree in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Return to the heat and warm, whisking in the milk and salt and pepper to taste. If it's too thick, whisk in a little extra milk until you get the consistency you want.

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