For today’s installment of my adventures in the kitchen, I decided to try a recipe that Leah had picked out. It’s an awesome vegetarian recipe that she found at Eating Well. It caught my eye because the ingredient list was intriguing and I thought I’d be able to follow the recipe without too much trouble. As you might recall, I deviated quite a bit from the last recipe I tried to follow and told myself I’d try to do better next time.
Sweet Potato-Peanut Bisque:
From Eating Well: September/October 2009
This satisfying vegetarian, sweet potato soup is inspired by the flavors of West African peanut soup. We like the added zip of hot green chiles, but they can sometimes be very spicy. It’s best to take a small bite first and add them to taste. Try chopped peanuts and scallions for a different garnish. Serve with a mixed green salad with vinaigrette.
5 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each | Active Time: 30 minutes | Total Time: 30 minutes
- 2 large sweet potatoes (10-12 ounces each)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 3 cups reduced-sodium tomato-vegetable juice blend or tomato juice
- 1 4-ounce can diced green chiles, preferably hot, drained
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 15-ounce can vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup smooth natural peanut butter
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
- Prick sweet potatoes in several places with a fork. Microwave on High until just cooked through, 7 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until it just begins to brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more. Stir in juice, green chiles, ginger and allspice. Adjust the heat so the mixture boils gently; cook for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and chop into bite-size pieces. Add half to the pot. Place the other half in a food processor or blender along with broth and peanut butter. Puree until completely smooth. Add the puree to the pot and stir well to combine. Thin the bisque with water, if desired. Season with pepper. Heat until hot. Garnish with cilantro, if desired. (source)
I started out by stabbing my sweet potatoes with a fork and throwing them into the microwave for seven minutes.
While those two were messin’ around behind closed doors, I chopped my onions and started heating up the canola oil.
The potatoes needed about two more minutes of mild radiation, which was fine by me because I still had more chopping to do.
Chopping fresh garlic cloves can sometimes be tedious and somewhat annoying, but the flavor it adds to your dish is oh so worth it. I have found that smashing the garlic clove with the flat side of the knife loosens up the skin enough that it pretty much falls right off the clove – allowing you to more efficiently chop/dice your garlic. Trying to peel the garlic clove without this smooshing technique will add more time and probably discourage you from using fresh garlic in the future. Don’t let that happen!
(I spy a cute dog!)
I threw the garlic into the pot with the onion and got the rest of my ingredients ready.
After checking that the garlic had browned nicely and that the onion was sufficiently translucent, I combined the tomato juice, not-fresh ginger, allspice, and diced hot green chiles (drained).
I then measured out the vegetable broth, halved the sweet potatoes and began peeling the skin off…
They were still hot and hard to peel, so I enlisted the help of my lovely wife (and tonight’s photographer).
I threw half of the chopped sweet potatoes into the food processor with the vegetable broth and and the other half into the pot.
I measured out a half-cup-ish of peanut butter and, threw it in the food processor, and (after dealing with the overflow situation) blended all ingredients until the consistency became smooth (only took about 20-30 seconds).
Once satisfied with the consistency of the blended mixture, I added it to the rest of the soon-to-be bisque that was gettin’ all hot and bothered over on the stovetop.
Added a little pepper and gave it a taste and let it simmer.
Chopped up some fresh cilantro to top it off with..
And dinner is served!
The wifey even did the dishes! I think I should cook more often.
I found this to be a stupidly easy recipe to follow, enjoyed myself in the kitchen, and really loved how the bisque turned out. I think it’s the combination of the chiles and the sweet potatoes that really got me. Not to mention that the recipe called for garlic and onions – probably my two favorite ingredients. I highly recommend this meal, especially for those of you that are vegetarian and want something that will spice things up a little.
(Doesn’t Leah look happy?)