Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup. HAPPY FALL!

IT’S FALL! Apparently back in Los Angeles it does NOT feel like fall. It feels like Africa. But I have spent the last several weeks in NYC and Boston and I must say it has been absolutely glorious. I can’t believe I have officially spent 1/3 of my life in Southern California. I’m ready to come back to some real weather because I do not consider 4-5 days of rain/year real weather. Also, I have an entire wardrobe of fall and winter clothes that never gets worn. Tragic.

This is one of my creations. It’s autumnal and harvest-y but I also gave it a nice exotic-Thai-ish twist to keep it interesting.

Yield: 3 bowls

Ingredients

5 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices (don’t need to be perfect)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4 slices

5 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled

1/2 an aji amarillo (yellow chili) seeded

1 stalk lemongrass (inner stalk), minced

pinch of ground nutmeg

splash of olive oil

1/2 cup water or broth or stock (vegetable or chicken)

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup milk

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 inch chunk of ginger, grated finely on a microplane

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

salt to taste

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325.  I like to use my small Cuisinart convection oven and a 9”x9” baking pan.
  2. Combine carrots, potatoes, garlic, pepper, lemongrass and nutmeg in an 8”x8”, 9”x9” or small circular pan.  Add a splash of olive oil and toss to coat.  Add 1/2 cup water (or stock if you have it) and cover pan tightly with foil.
  3. Bake (is that the right word?  It makes me think of cakes…) for at least an hour.  The softer the veggies the better.  If you let them go for more than an hour check them at the hour point to ensure there is still enough water to cover to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Remove items (everything!  use a spatula to get everything!) from the baking pan directly into a medium or larger sauce pan on the stove.  Add coconut milk, milk, brown sugar, grated ginger and white pepper.  Stir and bring to a simmer.  Let it go for 30 minutes.
  5. Either put everything into a blender or use an immersion blender (one of my favorite things ever!) to puree everything smooth.  Return to low heat and stir.  If you think it seems too thick add a bit more milk until it’s at your desired consistency.
  6. Season with salt to taste.

I sprinkled the top with a pinch of brown sugar and shaved some yummy parmesano reggiano over that.  I know, cheese seems weird for a soup with a Thai-tastic edge but it was very good.


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