Curried Sweet Potato Soup With Shrimp and Toasted Coconut

April 30, 2006

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

1/2 cup butter

1 onion, peeled and sliced

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup chopped garlic

1/2 cup peeled, chopped fresh ginger

1 or 2 jalapeos sliced, with seeds, to taste

1/4 cup curry powder, for example Madras curry blend

1 large tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced

1 quart (4 cups) low- or no-sodium chicken broth


13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cider vinegar to taste

1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined, or bay scallops, muscle removed

Zest of 1 orange

1/3 cup chopped, fresh cilantro leaves

1/4 cup raisins

2 tablespoons mango chutney, chopped fine

1/3 cup heavy cream, lightly whipped until soft peaks form

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, lightly toasted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss sweet potatoes in 2 tablespoons melted butter, cover and bake for 30 minutes.

In a 4-quart heavy-bottomed pan heat 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add onion and carrots, cover and cook 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened. Add garlic, ginger, jalapeos and curry powder; cook 1 minute, and stir in roasted sweet potatoes and apple chunks. Add stock, bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook, uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are very tender. Cool, pure soup in blender or processor in batches. Whisk in coconut milk. Soup may be prepared ahead to this point.

Re-warm soup over low heat, stirring. Season with salt, pepper and cider vinegar. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, saut shrimp or scallops in remaining butter.

Add orange zest, shrimp or scallops, cilantro and raisins to soup. Keep warm.

Fold mango chutney into whipped cream and reserve. Ladle soup into serving bowls and spoon a dollop of mango chutney whipped cream in center of each. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired. Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

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