My favorite thing about cooking is when things come out of nothing. After the holidays, we had an empty fridge, empty countertops… contents of a meal (or even a snack) nowhere in sight. I had a pear that was on the verge of way-too-ripe, half an onion… and then I noticed a sweet potato that I never remembered buying. I’ve seen recipes for butternut squash soup with pears, so I figured this would work just as well. I foraged through the back of the fridge and pantry for the rest of the ingredients. Then I remembered I had this delicious coconut/lemon zest/yogurt cream leftover from the night before that would become the perfect garnish to balance the bold indian flavors in the soup.
The result was a rich & creamy warming meal. The pear provided a sweet tang, the garam masala and paprika brought a smoky flavor. The coconut milk was lush, and the fresh sage brought it all down to earth.
- 1 large sweet potato (just under 1 lb)
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ medium onion, diced
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 ripe pear, peeled and chopped
- 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
- 4 sage leaves
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ cup coconut milk (I used regular, light would also work)
- ¼ cup plain Skyr or Greek yogurt
- ¼ cup regular or light coconut milk
- ¼ teaspoon lemon zest
- Squeeze of lemon
- Sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 400. Poke holes in the sweet potato, wrap in foil, and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until fork tender. The timing will depend on the size of your potato.
- When the sweet potato is done, let cool slightly, peel, and cut into messy cubes. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, garam masala, and paprika and cook for one minute. Add the cooked potato cubes and the raw chopped pear and cook for two minutes more. Add the water, salt, sage, and cayenne. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a large blender and puree, working in batches if necessary. Stir in the coconut milk, taste, and adjust seasonings. If it’s too thick, add more water. For a creamier soup, add more coconut milk.
- Make the yogurt-coconut cream: combine the yogurt, coconut milk, lemon zest and juice, and salt. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve on the side.
Recipe adapted from Sassy Radish