The weather’s been mad-unpredictable for the past few weeks: snow, hail, icy rain, beautiful spring sunshine and downright balmy days. But that’s Canada, baby, and you have to love the diversity (in weather, people and food!)
I found this recipe on KB‘s site some time ago and was super stoked to try it, but the weather quite suddenly took a major turn for the warmer and I just wasn’t feeling a thick, heavy bisque.
(Cue ice rain!)
We finally got a chill-you-to-the-bone day, and I knew it was time to start peeling my sweet potatoes :)
If you haven’t checked out KB, Spiritual Superhero, then you definitely should. The girl’s got spunk for days (and some great recipes, naturally!) This one is fully vegan, fully freakin’ different and delicious with a capital D. I altered some of the recipe the second time I made it and liked it even more.
As usual, my alterations are emphasized beside the original, which has been left, as is, should you wish to try both versions.
A more detailed a review after laying out the recipe. Let’s get this R & R started!
Sweet Potato Coconut Vegan Bisque
Original recipe by KB (emphasis on my alterations)
4 – 5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch pieces
7 Tbsp olive oil (I used 5, quite successfully to cut some of the end-oiliness)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 onion, diced (I used 2 medium onions)
1 celery stalk, diced
1 carrot, peeled & diced (I used 2 as I enjoy a hearty carrot flavour paired with sweet potatoes)
1 clove garlic, crushed (I used 1.5)
1 tsp curry powder (I used 1/2 tsp, as I found the original somewhat curry-heavy)
.5 tsp ground coriander (I used 1/4 tsp)
.5 tsp cumin (I used 1/4 tsp)
.5 tsp cinnamon (I used 1/4 tsp)
4 cups organic vegetable broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk (I used almost 2 full 400mL cans, as I preferred it really creamy)
3 cups fresh or frozen corn
Pre-heat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Lightly oil a cookie sheet or roasting pan. (I heated my oven to 400°F as I wanted a more “roasted” flavor in my bisque that comes from actually slightly browning the sweet potatoes, not just cooking them to tender)
Pour 2 Tbsp of the olive oil into a large bowl. Toss in the sweet potatoes and add the salt and pepper. Transfer to the cookie sheet and bake until tender, approx 30 minutes. (I used approximately 1.5 Tbsp olive oil to coat, the rest into the pot as noted into next step)
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 4 tbsp of olive oil in a very large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook until the onion is translucent, then add garlic, curry powder, coriander, cumin, and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds.
Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the baked sweet potatoes and corn and continue to cook for 10 minutes or until corn is tender.
Remove from heat and puree half the soup with a hand blender (or food processor), return to the pot, and serve. Garnish with fresh cilantro. [The second time I made this, I pureed the entire pot, which made for a really nice, silky soup. Both ways worked well :) I did not use cilantro to garnish as the flavour, for me, didn't pair well with the soup. I used a cute fresh garden green (see first picture in post) and on another bowl, topped with a drizzle of coconut milk (below), which was pretty too.)
Other Variations (mine)
*I found that 6-7 drops of sriracha sauce mixed into each single serving dish was really good, and melded, seamlessly with the existing flavours and consistency of the dish. Cayenne was also wonderful.
*A few good twists from a coarsely set pepper mill is wonderful and gives a nice bite through the creaminess of the bisque.
*The dish does well when paired with some kind of acid; any sort of lime accented cracker or flatbread really makes it special. A sprinkling of fresh lime zest to each bowl was also delicious.
*Substituting 1/4 of the sweet potatoes with regular spuds, cutting the amount of corn by 1/3 and replacing a portion of the coconut milk with coconut water will lessen the sweetness and overall richness of the bisque.
*For the carnivores in your family, certainly, I’d recommend sprinkling a well seasoned meat, in small cubes/slices on top of individual bowls of bisque. My suggestion would be to avoid dense, heavier cuts of meat (ie: chicken breast) as the dish is so rich to begin with. A spicy sausage or finely cut/shredded, spicy pork or tender beef would work well, though any fish would, in all likelihood, be overpowered by the heaviness and consistency of the soup.
Overall, this recipe is distinct and packed with enough punch to deem it a big success. While both the original recipe and my variations produce a depth in flavour, and pleasing consistency that’s surprising given it’s short cook time, it’s worth noting that this is an extremely sweet, creamy bisque/soup. Even with the expectation of a sweet bisque, this blogger was initially taken aback by the potency of all of those naturally occurring sugars! This may throw off the taste buds of a diner whose pallet runs traditional and savoury where soups, appetizers and entrées are concerned. For my own personal taste, I found the original recipe’s curry/cumin aroma slightly overpowering, which is why I cut their measurements, considerably, in my second batch. Flavour wise, however, both the original and less aromatic pots were delicious.
KB’s Sweet Potato Coconut Vegan Bisque is definitely one of the most unique pots of yummy I’ve had the pleasure of making, and I would certainly recommend giving it – or a variation of – a try on a cool evening!
Would love to know what variations on this recipe you think would work, or which ones you love!
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