A nice warm bowl of silky-smooth soup of sweet potato and leek with coconut milk, lime juice and spices might be just what the doctor ordered as we head into December. I came up with this one when a glitch in this year’s Thanksgiving plans left me with an abundance of uncooked sweet potatoes. It was a cinch to make — took less than half an hour — and the result was a very soothing soup with Asian flavors that was both healthy and economical.
Soupe patates douces-poireaux / Spicy sweet potato-leek soup
What do I mean by economical? A single large sweet potato produces enough soup to serve three generously. What do I mean by a cinch? You simply peel and slice the sweet potato, boil it to tenderness with the white part of a single leek, purée it and add the coconut milk, lime juice and spices — coriander, cumin and cayenne. And as for healthy, this soup will receive a seal of approval from vegans and vegetarians as well as omnivores.
Now that we’re past Thanksgiving, I’m starting to think about the end of year festivities, notably Hanukah, Christmas and New Year’s Eve. This year I expect my addition to the Holiday Menus already on the site to be a family Christmas cookie recipe — my Grandma Hilda’s fabulous almond-butter crescents. More on that next time…
In the meantime, if you’re celebrating Hanukah, which begins on the evening of Thursday, December 7, you might want to check out galettes de pomme de terre, the French version of latkes (potato pancakes), which are fun to make and a crowd pleaser. A nice Hanukah menu might begin with these lacy pancakes, follow with roast chicken, roasted winter vegetables and a salad, for example of lamb’s lettuce and beets, and conclude with a non-dairy dessert such as poires au vin et cassis (pears in red wine and black currant liqueur).
Returning to the sweet potato-leek soup, it may be served at lunchtime, accompanied by sandwiches or a salad, or as a first course for a more elaborate meal. My daughter and I enjoyed it for lunch with salade vigneronne (winemaker’s salad), in which tender greens, walnuts and grapes are bathed in a garlicky balsamic vinaigrette. Herbal salad with hazelnuts would also marry well. At suppertime, you could begin with the soup and follow up with any seasonal main dish.