Wow! I haven’t posted a recipe since July… how embarrassing! I think that I have been teaching so long that my brain might be permanently on a 10 month schedule. I am now back at work with a fabulous group of new students and am so ready to put my working mama hat on and get back to juggling school, and packed lunches, and healthy (local!) family dinners, and afterschool activities. I have enjoyed every minute of the last ten weeks but it feels great to be back in North Carolina in my own house with my husband and my children and my crazy dogs.
I grew up in Massachusetts but I have lived elsewhere for 9 of the 10 past years. To make up for our many months away from friends and family, the children and I traditionally spend many, many weeks of the summer up at my parents’ house – it is such a nice treat for the kids and my parents. The weather on the coast of Massachusetts is certainly more mild than the tropical jungle going on down here in NC so the kiddos are outside from dawn til dusk, coming in for dinner dirty and sandy and tired, but boy do they sleep well! I am not tech savvy enough to figure out how to do a mobile on-the-go blog post so when they crash for the evening, so do I. And, truthfully, if I look away for just a second and try to type something up, there is a good chance there will be a baby trying to ride a dog or a 4 year old chasing some turkeys into the woods. Instead, we visit a lot of friends and farms and farmers markets, eat a lot of great food together and I try to take photos and some notes, and hopefully some of those delicious meals will become blog posts, but, in all honesty, most likely they will not.
|Crabbing! Summer friends keeping my kiddos outdoors and busy…
As I sat down to write a new blog post about our delicious Sunday afternoon lunch today – Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup – I couldn’t help but notice that I just passed recipe post #300. Yikes! It’s hard to believe that I actually have that many new things to cook. Today is eerily quiet in my house – partly due to the rainy weather and partly due to the playdate gods shining down on me and taking two children away – so I am cooking up a storm to distract me from organizing my office and finishing my unpacking from the summer. This recipe has just a few ingredients and I first saw it in the Tupelo Honey Cafe Cookbook. It completely grabbed my attention because of its simplicity. If you ever go to Asheville, North Carolina, you must, must, must eat at Tupelo Honey Cafe. My husband and I first ate there in 2007 while I was pregnant with my third baby. I don’t remember exactly what I ate that first time but I know that it was a lot of food and it was all good. Local food, amazing Southern flavors. Yum.
This Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup is easy and delicious and really honors the state vegetable of North Carolina – the sweet potato. You can have this soup made and ready to eat in less than forty-five minutes from start to finish with very little work in between. I promise.
2 large sweet potatoes
4 cups of water (I use filtered)
1 can (about 14 ounces) lite coconut milk (I use organic)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons local honey
2 teaspoons real maple syrup
2 teaspoons salt
To finish …
4 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of water
Dash or so of cayenne
1. Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Toss them into a large soup pan with 4 cups of filtered water.
2. Bring the water to a boil and cook for about 15 or 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft enough to mash.
|Peel and dice sweet potatoes. Add to 4 cups of water.
3. Mash the sweet potatoes in the water with a potato masher.
|Mash with a potato masher.
4. Add brown sugar, honey, real maple syrup, sea salt, and the coconut milk.
5. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
6. Mix 4 teaspoons cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water. Add to the soup and stir in well. Cook for another 5 minutes or so until the soup is thick.
7. Remove the soup from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the lumps of sweet potato that remain. Add in a few dashes of cayenne pepper and some fresh black ground pepper to taste.
Enjoy!! I just got my first harvest of sweet potatoes from a farm in Polk County – Charlene’s Garden – and boy were they sweet! Can’t wait to get more! Sweet potatoes store really well in a cool, dark place so don’t be afraid to stock up.