I was looking for more meatless Thanksgiving ideas (that didn’t involve gutting and stuffing an acorn squash – what has one ever done to me?) when I found this Coconut-Sweet Potato Bisque in the “Tupelo Honey Cafe” cookbook.
Most vegetable bisques contain cream, but this one gets it silkiness from coconut milk. Vegans, rejoice!
The process is nice and simple. You boil the sweet potatoes until they’re tender, mash them, and let them simmer in coconut milk, brown sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice until your house smells like sweet potato pie. Then you balance that sweetness with salt, pepper and a small pinch of cayenne, and blend the soup until it’s unbelievably smooth and creamy.
If I were a responsible person, I’d recommend a green salad with this, but we both know how good it would be in a big mug with some buttered sourdough toast or a grilled cheese sandwich the size of Nevada.
Coconut-Sweet Potato Bisque
Adapted from “Tupelo Honey Cafe” by Elizabeth Sims with Chef Brian Sonoskus
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced (or 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree)
- 4 cups (plus 1 1/2 tablespoons) water
- 2 (14-ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk, divided
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the sweet potatoes and 4 cups of water over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. (Be careful not to boil away all of the water.)
- Reduce the heat to medium and, using a potato masher, mash the potatoes in the water.
- Add 1 can of coconut milk, brown sugar, maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice. Simmer for about 15 minutes, or until it begins to thicken.
- In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons water to form a thick paste.
- Add the cornstarch mixture and the cayenne to the soup, and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes longer, or until it coats the back of a spoon.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth, or use a food processor, working in batches, and transfer the soup back to the saucepan to keep warm. Use the contents of the remaining can of coconut milk to thin the soup to your desired consistency, if necessary. Season to taste with salt, pepper and cayenne, if using. Serve immediately.