Sweet potato soup is so tasty but every potato is different? It’s important to taste and adjust the flavors in this simple soup…
January 29, 2021
This is a tasty, simple soup and can be made with the same amount of fully cooked/roasted winter squash. Note that the coconut milk adds a sweet note so the smoky ham hock and stock offer much needed savory balance. The garlic gets added at the end and isn’t cooked for long at all. The garlic also adds a deep savory note that often gets lost in a soup if cooked too long…
Arrange the sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place the tray in the center of the oven and bake until fully cooked, 1-11/2 hours. To check for doneness, pierce one with the tip of a small knife. The knife should slide in and out easily.
Place the chicken stock and ham hock in a medium pot with 1 cup water and bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Simmer until the tough skin of the ham hock softens, adding more water if the liquid runs low, 30-45 minutes. Remove the ham hock and transfer to a flat surface. Peel away or use a knife to cut off the tough skin. Discard the skin and cut the meat beneath it onto smaller pieces. Put the meat back into the stock and simmer gently over low heat so the meat flakes and flavors the liquid. You want to end up with 1 - 1-1/2 cups “meaty”, flavorful liquid. Stir in the garlic and keep warm.
Start soup base:
In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat until it turns a light brown color, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the brown sugar. Molasses, salt and pepper to taste, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and orange zest and juice.
Blend the soup:
Transfer the cooked potatoes to a flat surface and peel them. Transfer the flesh to the large pot with the butter mix. Turn the heat on low. Add the coconut milk, 1 cup water and the garlic and simmer over medium heat, 5-8 minutes. Puree the soup in small batches in the blender. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the ham and liquid.
Taste for seasoning. If the soup needs more flavor, add salt, pepper, an extra dash Molasses or more orange zest as needed.