Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup

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Among the range of clients I’ve seen, our office has gotten its fair share of goodies- from ‘mystery muffins’ and random granola products.. to an Egyptian Scroll painting (not kidding).  This past week I was lucky to recieve one of the most well-loved root veggies- the sweet potato.  One of my clients is very proud (and most definitly should be!) of a large organic garden in his very own backyard. With this Texas summer heat there are only a few things that grow well, and with sweet potatoes being on most of his dinner menus- this spud is hanging tough in 100+ degrees. I must say, I’m quite green with envy with all the talk of gardens and veggies.. yadda, yadda.  (stoopid tomato.)   Anyway, I graciously accepted a bag full of organic sweet potatoes- with the hand-off phrase being- “Help.  We have made anything and everything you can think of with sweet potatoes and need more ideas.  My wife and kids made potato chips last night.. I’m sure that wasn’t healthy for me.”  May I suggest baked sweet potato chips/fries?  y.u.m.  As I carried the sweet potatoes home with me I was racking my brain to come up with something to make with the items I had in my pantry already.  Last week I cooked a Thai-inspired dish for my clients and still had a can of lite coconut milk left in the pantry..and a brand new bottle of minced ginger (love the easy route), and red curry paste.. soup!  I’ll make a soup!  The weather has done a complete one-eighty causing my desire for Fall and comfort food.  Warm belly for my cool (well, 65 degrees, cool enough for me) evening at home.  Windows made there way open while I was cooking away. 

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Just about anything you can do with a potato, you can also do with a sweet potato – sweet potato fries, mashed sweet potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, sweet potato hashbrowns (this was almost the dish I made.. a future casserole dish- but didnt have lean ground beef thawed out. You will see, soon.).  Its flavor profile goes well with cinnamon, honey, lime, ginger, coconut, and nutmeg, so it is also great for desserts, too.  The options are endless.

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The beautiful golden colors of sweet potato are clear signs of its oh-so-rich nutrient profile. The yellow-orange flesh is an excellent source of fiber, beta-carotene, and Vitamin C. The darker the color, the higher it is in beta-carotene. As I was peeling these organic taters, they seemed to be more of a purple flesh than a golden orange or yellow.  Purple-fleshed sweet potatoes are actually a good source of anthocyanins, a type of potent antioxidant- the same one found in red wine.  But- who’s to stop me if I sipped on my favorite while waiting for the potatoes to finish roasting- double antioxidant boost, I suppose?  Right on :)

Thai Curry Sweet Potato Soup

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds1 tablespoon bottled minced ginger

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped peeled fresh lemongrass*
1 teaspoon grated lime rind
1 teaspoon red curry paste*
3 cups organic vegetable broth
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk (SHAKE WELL!)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Toasted sesame oil

DIRECTIONS:
Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add potato, onions to pan; cook 8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add lemongrass, ginger, lime rind, curry paste, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 12 minutes. Add chili garlic sauce, and milk; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.  Place half of soup mixture in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining soup mixture. Stir in the lime juice and salt. Ladle the soup into serving bowls. Drizzle about 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil evenly over the servings. Garnish with the cilantro if desired.

*Red curry paste can be found in the international section of most markets and grocery stores.
* Lemon grass can be found in the produce section of your grocery- among the fresh herbs.

Nutrition Information
Serves: 6 (1 1/3 cups each)
Calories: 205
Fat: 7.1 g
Carbohydrate: 27 g
Fiber: 3.4 g
Protein: 8 g

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