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!
White Sweet Potato Soup with Tofu Croutons
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 bunch fresh asian greens like bok choy, mustard greens or Chinese cabbage
Salt & Pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
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.
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.
Back to the soup…
19. Potatoes should be broken down. It should look like a really thick mashed potato.
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.
Serve soup topped with tofu and vegetables.
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?