Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Look! I'm a Food Blogger!

I love to cook.

I do not love to clean up.
I do not know how to style food or photograph food.
I do not like to decorate my food or otherwise arrange it fancifully.
I do not like to use ingredients that are not readily available to me.
I do not care at all about the history or origen of a food.
And, I don't really like baking that much. Just cooking.

So, I know that I'm not REALLY a food blogger.
But, I do love to cook.
OH, and eat. I love to eat.

But humor me, just for today, and go make this soup. I know, I know, its almost like summer outside and soup's a fall/winter thing, blah, blah, blah. Just go make it. It's light, bright, and surprisingly springy.

You can thank me later.

Spicy Sweet Potato & Coconut Soup (adapted from here)

Ingredients:

2 lb (about 3-4 lg) sweet potatoes
2 chicken breasts, cooked & shredded, or about 1/3-1/2 a rotisserie chicken, roughly chopped
1 T sesame oil, plus more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
1 (2in) piece of fresh ginger root, very thinly sliced (or diced, if you prefer)
2 T red curry paste (use less if you don’t like the heat. wimp.)
1 (15 oz) can unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups of chicken (or vegetable) broth
Juice of 1 large lemon
1 t sea salt
chopped fresh cilantro

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Place the sweet potatoes directly on the rack and bake until a knife slides through, about 45 - 60 min. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger; cook and stir until just beginning to caramalize, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and heat for 1 minute, then whisk in the coconut milk and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
3. Remove the skins from the sweet potatoes and cut into bite size chunks. I like to mash half of them  to make the soup thicker and creamier. But if you like a thinner broth, just leave them all in chunks. Add sweet potatoes and chicken to the soup and cook for 5 more minutes so they really soak up the flavor. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt. (Be generous with the lemon juice! If your lemons are small use two, and don't you DARE use that crap in the bottle.) Ladle into bowls and garnish with a drizzle of sesame oil and a big 'ol pile of cilantro.

**If you want this to be vegetarian, you can totally leave out the chicken. It is equally delicious without it. But, we usually have leftover chicken in the fridge, and I think adding it really turns the soup into a one-dish meal. Which is awesome.
  

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