Soupe patates douces-poireaux

Spicy sweet potato-leek soup

This soup with slightly Asian flavors is both economical and incredibly easy to make. The veggies are sliced and boiled with coriander seeds and cayenne, then blended to silky smoothness. A little lime juice, cumin and some coconut milk complete the picture.

As for quantities, the recipe calls for one large sweet potato. But how large is large? Mine weighed about 13 ounces (380 g). More would be fine, while less might produce a thinner soup (not ideal). The point is, it’s not rocket science. Use one large or two medium sweet potatoes, and if the soup is too thick you can always thin it with a little water.

The quantities below will make 3 servings.

1 quart (liter) water
1 large sweet potato
2 tsp. sea salt or table salt
1/3 leek (white part)
1/4 tsp. whole coriander seeds
1 cayenne pepper (optional)
juice of half a lime
1/2 cup (120 ml) coconut milk
1/4 tsp. ground cumin

fresh herbs for garnish: cilantro, dill, mint or a combination

Bring the water to a boil in a soup pot.

While the water is heating, peel the sweet potato. Slice into thinnish rounds, about 1/3 inch (1 cm). Add to the pot, along with the salt.

Slice the leek very thinly. Add to the pot. Add the coriander seeds, and cayenne if using.

Allow to cook, uncovered, until the sweet potato is very tender, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Extract and discard the cayenne pepper.

Blend the soup until it is very smooth. Transfer to a clean pot.

Squeeze the half-lime through a sieve over the pot. Stir in the coconut milk. Add the ground cumin and stir. Taste and adjust the seasonings as necessary.

Reheat gently. If the soup is too thick, add a little water. If it’s too thin, you can thicken it by allowing it to simmer for a while.

Serve piping hot, decorated with a swirl of coconut milk, a sprig of fresh herbs and a tiny sprinkle of ground cumin. Serves 3.

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