From Elizabeth's Kitchen: Sweet Potato Soup

Like many of you, this pandemic has given me plenty of time at home to try new recipes.  And since I limit how often I go grocery shopping to once a week or less, I’ve been stocking up on squash and sweet potatoes.  They don’t need to take up space in the fridge, and they can sit around for awhile if I don’t use them right away.  A sweet potato can sit on a shelf for 3-5 weeks, and a butternut squash is good for a month or more, as long as they are stored in a cool dry place. 

Last week, I stumbled across this recipe for Sweet Potato Tahini soup.  I made it over the weekend, and let’s just say, it’s a keeper. 

Cooking soup is like practicing acupuncture or playing jazz.  There is plenty of room for improvisation.  I had almost all of the ingredients listed in the recipe, but I had to make some substitutions.  I replaced the onion with a few scallions, a small carrot, a celery stick, and turnip.  I still ended up with a really good batch of soup.  I served it up with some steamed greens and flat bread on the side and a glass of white wine.  As Andy would say, DAH-licious.  

I plan to make this soup again later this week. This time, I will replace the sweet potatoes with a butternut squash.  

This is Lukas Volger’s Recipe from The Splendid Table:

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds or half-rounds (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Frizzled Shallots 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds or half-rounds (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
  • Fresh lemon juice
  • Frizzled Shallots (recipe follows; optional)

Directions

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot or Dutch oven, then add the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the onion is soft and beginning to caramelize, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, raise the heat slightly, and stir until they’re glistening all over, another 3 to 4 minutes. Cover with 5 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add the soup to a blender with the tahini, in batches if necessary, and puree. (You can also use an immersion blender, but be thorough to achieve a properly smooth consistency.) Return to the pot to rewarm, add lemon juice and additional salt to taste, and serve hot, with frizzled shallots, if you like.  

As a food therapy nerd, I want to dive into some of the benefits of this recipe:

Sweet potatoes (and squash) are high in vitamin A, they are food that benefit the spleen/pancrease and stomach which, like acupuncture, helps to move blood and body fluids.  

The onions, garlic, coriander, cumin, and ginger, are all pungent spices that enhance digestion and resolve phlegm or mucus in the lungs.

Tahini contains healthy fats and other trace minerals.  

Lemons are cleansing. They help to digest fat and proteins.  That is why lemon and tahini go so well together. 

Try this soup.  Let us know how you like it and what adaptation you made to make this recipe your own.

Posted in Acupuncture Blog


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