Garlic Ginger Sweet Potato Soup From Simply Ming

So my wife surprised me by getting two 15 ounce cans of sweet potato puree from Whole Foods, Newtonville and asked if I could make soup with dinner!  She really wanted sweet potato soup.  Fortunately, I remembered the sweet potato soup that I’d had a Ming Tsai’s Blue Ginger several months back and realized I had that recipe in Simply Ming In Your Kitchen (p. 68). The original recipe made 8 servings which I thought was a bit much.  So I halved the recipe and took out the original 2 T of butter (remember, my wife isn’t fond of heated butter). It would turn out (as I guessed correctly) 2 large sweet potatoes came to about 2 1/4 lbs – the original recipe called for 4 large sweet potatoes to make 8 servings).   It was a little bit of a scramble since I didn’t have any fresh made chicken stock on hand, so I had to fallback to one of my ’emergency’ stand-by supplies (Swanson unsalted chicken stock).

Some of the cast of characters

Some of the cast of characters

So my ingredient list for the soup would be:
1 large onion (originally 1/4″ sliced) finely minced
1 T minced garlic (Nobu technique used here – grated)
1 T minced ginger (Nobu technique used here – grated)
1/2 jalapeno, seeded, de-ribbed, finely minced
3 3-finger pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix
2 15 oz cans of sweet potato puree
1 qt chicken stock (store bought, low sodium)
1 T soy sauce

(left to right) 1 tablespoon each of grated garlic, grated ginger and a whole onion minced

(left to right) 1 tablespoon each of grated garlic, grated ginger and a whole onion minced

half a jalapeno deseeded, deribbed ad minced

half a jalapeno deseeded, deribbed ad minced

By the way, in Chef Ming Tsai’s original recipe, you need to bake the sweet potatoes in foil (poked in a few places with a paring knife) in a preheated 400 degree F oven for 45 minutes.  At the end of the cooking time, the potatoes should be pierced easily with the tines of a fork. Take the potatoes out of the oven and let them cool enough so that you can handle them.  At that point, you can scoop out the flesh and set them aside.

So I got the onions into a soup pot to and cooked them over 50% max heat (medium to medium high heat) with rice oil (add rice oil to the preheated soup pot, and swirl it to coat the bottom – Chef Tsai uses about 1 T of canola oil).  I know Chef Tsai said to cook

cooking down the onions

cooking down the onions

the onions, garlic, ginger together; but since I grated the garlic and ginger, I didn’t want those two to burn, so I added them after I cooked the onions for about 4 minutes.  I then added the garlic and ginger and sauteed the whole thing for about another 3 minute

Adding in the grated garlic and ginger

Adding in the grated garlic and ginger

before adding the jalapeno and added 3 3-finger pinches of 4:1 salt/pepper mix.

adding in the minced jalapeno

adding in the minced jalapeno

Now I know, Chef Tsai mentions using and immersion blended or alternately using a blender/food processor for the finished product. Since the sweet potato was already pureed I made a decision to to run with what I had since I needed to get dinner on the table in a reasonable amount of time that night.  So into the  soup pot went the chicken

Added the soup stock into which the soy sauce and pureed sweet potato could dissolve

Added the soup stock into which the soy sauce and pureed sweet potato could dissolve

stock first and I brought that up to a boil and then added the soy sauce. Then in went the

Adding the soy sauce

Adding the soy sauce

sweet potato puree and I brought the whole thing to a simmer to cook for about 10

FINALLY the sweet potato puree makes its entrance!

FINALLY the sweet potato puree makes its entrance!

minutes more. I made an estimate about the volume of liquid in the pot and added one teaspoon of  4:1 salt/pepper mix to adjust the seasoning.  In a way, I’m glad I didn’t put the soup through the food processor – I discovered I didn’t have fresh chives to garnish the soup, but the minced pieces of the jalapeno provided nice flecks of green as a color contrast.

But why the crush on time for making dinner?  Well, that was because I was also doing Nobu lamb chops with

sweet potato soup, a bowl of rice and miso anticucho lamb with edamame

sweet potato soup, a bowl of rice and miso anticucho lamb with edamame

edamame and (miso) anticucho sauce for dinner that night!  As it turned out, her eyes really lit up at tasting the soup.  She had three helpings of the soup! She made the comment that she would definitely order this soup if it was on the menu at Blue Ginger and asked me when I would be making this soup again.  Not having post processed the soup in the food processor, I could clearly taste the grated ginger and grated garlic.  I’d be curious if those flavors would fade and blend into the overall flavor profile after going through the food processor.

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