Friday, November 10, 2006

TAGS food

Eat Your Rhizomes

I'm fairly competent with the pureed soups, and so I try to mix one up every now and again, especially when D. or Ph. mention it (and it's also my week for meals). Today it was a finely blended Tuber Taproot Rhizome (aka, Sweet Potato Carrot Ginger) Soup garnished with chopped honey roasted peanuts and set alongside thin-sliced sourdough from Panera. It's really a fortunate accident of fate that I can cook much of anything (i.e., lots of kitchen time as a kid), but this one turned out okay. Edible-plus.

Today's soup was inspired by a fancy-schmancy luncheon I attended a few years ago (the semi-pro hoops team in KC was pitching the idea of using our facilities for their practices). More quickly to the point: there was a sweet potato and ginger soup at that lunch meeting, and I haven't had anything like it since. Until today.

Guessing at quantities, I worked with two medium sized onions, 12-14 carrots, 2.5 sweet potatoes, and a hunk of fresh ginger root the size of two fingers (pointer and bird, to be exact). I set the carrots and onions and peeled ginger root to a low boil so they would soften (enough water just to cover things up); meanwhile, I nuked the sweet potatoes. Next, I peeled the softened potatoes, lowered the heat on the stove, and threw them in along with a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, two chicken bouillon cubes, and a pinch of nutmeg. (Note that this is a rather large batch; half the qty. of carrots, onions, and sw. potatoes would be just fine for a meal).

At this point, everything is stewing together, softening up, making friends. Next, I ladled it into the blender (we don't have a submersible stick-blender!), added a cup or so of half-n-half, and blended it smooth. Then back into the pan (before doing this, I emptied the kettle into a bowl to avoid any chance of unincorporated solids lingering in the puree). Again and again. I used between a pint and a quart of half-n-half (any other sort of milk or cream would be fine, I suppose, although cooking with skim can make a mess of things I think; might be wrong about that). At the end, in the final blender-full, I included a cup of plain yogurt. I have no good reason why (did I see some other recipe like this?), and I'm not convinced it improved the T-T-R soup. Your call.

I see now that this delectable improvisation doesn't resemble a recipe. So here's an approximation of what I mixed. It's a recipe I Googled when I was halfway through the process of softening the vegetables and thinking about how to season such an unplanned thing.

Bookmark and Share Posted by at November 10, 2006 10:50 PM to Gobstuff

Soup sounds great, especially for this time of year. I'm big on the pureed genre myself, especially Idaho potato with celery and onion sweated in bacon fat (with the crispy bacon reserved for garnish). Unlike most potato soups, it uses a base of chicken stock with some cream added at the end for richness and texture. (Don't make it that often, though, or I'd already be dead.)

But my real point is that the immersion blender is definitetly worth the investment. Just be careful to keep it immersed (hence the name), or you can turn sweet potato carrot ginger soup into sweet potato carrot ginger napalm.

Posted by: Lance at November 11, 2006 12:53 PM

I'm totally great with pureed soups. It's like the one thing I can't screw up.

Posted by: jenny at November 15, 2006 5:59 PM