A paler shade of sweet potato

Sometimes, I just want to eat my meal out of one bowl. I don’t want to fuss with a salad plate, or a side dish. I want everything to be concise. Compact. Together in a nice little package. Somehow, eating out of one bowl doesn’t necessarily mean that the recipe is simple and compact. Usually when I eat out of one bowl, I manage to dirty more dishes and pans in the preparation. The flavors here are worth the effort. Very worth it.

Have you ever had a white sweet potato? I’ve seen them around lately. First I saw them in the local upscale grocery store. Then I saw them at Whole Foods. Now I’ve noticed that Stop & Shop is carrying them. They’ve officially gone mainstream. I think I’m still partial to the deep orange of a golden yam. But, I do enjoy some variety. Isn’t that the spice of life?

Mike, however, is fully on board the white sweet potato train. He loves them. Can’t seem to get enough of them. After our last grocery shopping adventure we came home with three giant, fat white sweet potatoes.

White sweet potatoes make me think of Asian flavors. I’m not sure why. I think the first time I ever had one was in China. Maybe that is where I get it from. With that in mind, I made an Asian-influenced pureed soup. A soup with layers of flavor and texture swirled with bits of mushrooms and topped with croutons. Not your typical crouton; a tofu crouton (toton? croufu?)! I’ll think about the nomenclature while I finish off another bowl of soup!

sweet potato soup and tofu croutons with greens

White Sweet Potato Soup with Tofu Croutons
Serves 4
3 large white sweet potatoes
1 small yellow onion
1 package extra firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup chopped Thai or regular basil
2″ piece of ginger, peeled & grated
2 c. vegetable stock
4-5 dried Chinese mushrooms
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lime
1 bunch fresh asian greens like bok choy, mustard greens or Chinese cabbage
Salt & Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

The Soup
2. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into chunks.
3. Quarter and slice onion.
4. In medium sauce pan heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat.
5. Heat mushrooms in bowl of water in microwave, or pour boiling water over mushrooms. Let sit for 5 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, saute onion until it begins to turn translucent, 2-3 minutes.
7. Add potatoes to pan and stir to coat, 2-3 minutes.
8. Add vegetable stock to pan.
9. Trim stem from mushrooms and discard. Cut up mushrooms into small pieces.
10. Add mushroom water to pan.
11. Continue to cook at a simmer.
12. Add mushrooms to pot.

Stir occasionally and keep soup at a simmer while you proceed to the next steps.

For the Tofu Croutons
13. Cut tofu into small squares.

some ingredients

14. In large bowl mix 1 Tbsp. olive oil, chopped basil, grated ginger, juice of lime, generous pinch of salt and pepper.
15. Add tofu to bowl and stir to combine.
16. Let marinate for a few minutes.

Now is a good time to prepare your green vegetable. Wash it well and trim ends. Cut only as needed. I like leaving the stalks fairly long.

17. Spread tofu out onto cookie sheet.
18. Cook in preheated oven for 20  minutes, or until tofu becomes crispy.

tofu croutons in the oven

Back to the soup…
19. Potatoes should be broken down. It should look like a really thick mashed potato.

cook potatoes until they break down
20. Use blender or stick blender to puree soup. Thin with vegetable stock to reach desired consistency.

21. Heat a frying pan over medium high heat.
22. Add olive oil to coat bottom of pan.
23. Quickly cook green vegetables until just soft, and still bright green.

quickly cook the greens

Serve soup topped with tofu and vegetables.

white sweet potato soup with tofu croutons

This is so good. The soup is really thick – but you still need a spoon to eat it. I love when pureed soups have some big pieces to bite into, like tofu croutons, don’t you?


4 responses to “A paler shade of sweet potato”

  1. Lewis Avatar

    Pia, this sound interesting. The few times that I have had white sweet potatoes, they had a very dry and mealy texture. Making them into a pureed soup obviously solves that problem. I am wondering why you chose to use olive oil in this “asian flavored” dish instead of sesame, or even peanut oil?
    Nice pictures, looks yummy!

    1. breadandbeta Avatar

      I was out of peanut oil and I was afraid the sesame oil would become too overpowering. The olive oil just melts into the background. I do think peanut oil would work well here, if you have it in your pantry.

  2. fresh365 Avatar

    I don’t think I have seen white sweet potatoes, but now I’ll be on the lookout. Such a yummy addition to soup!

    1. breadandbeta Avatar

      Let me know if you like them! I’ve seen them at Whole Foods and Stop & Shop, so it shouldn’t be too difficult for you to find the white sweet potato.