Magic Yam Soup
January February 2013
This is the soup PaSu Farm serves at its Erotic Valentine’s Dinner.
This is the quantity PaSu makes – it will serve a crowd – but it freezes well. Magic Yam Soup is a creamy, rich, golden orange soup with a zingy flavour from the Eastern spices and herbs. As far as PaSu knows, it’s unique to them. Like all soups, the ingredients and quantities can be altered to suit availability and personal preference. You can garnish the soup the way PaSu does for the Valentine’s dinner... or not.
1 lb. butter
4 large leeks, washed, trimmed of their dark leaves and coarsely chopped
4 lbs. yams, peeled and cut into small cubes
3 small turmeric roots, grated coarsely (available at Asian stores)
6 oz. gingerroot, peeled and grated coarsely
2 T. lemongrass paste (peel the bulb end and pound it into a paste)
2 oranges, zested and juiced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
6 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
4 c. chicken stock
1 T. chicken bouillon paste (mashed bouillon cubes)
8 c. water
8 c. whipping cream
8 kaffir lime leaves (available at Asian stores, usually frozen)
sugar and fish sauce, to finish
roasted red pepper sauce, crème fraîche and puff pastry hearts, for garnish
Melt butter in a large soup pot. Sauté the leeks without browning. Add the yams, turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, orange and lemon zest and juice, garlic, chicken stock, chicken bouillon and water. Cook until the yams are tender. Purée and pass through a sieve. Return the purée to the pot, add the cream and kaffir lime leaves and heat slowly until the soup just comes to a boil. Now tweak it to balance its flavour by adding a bit of sugar to taste and a splash or two of good quality fish sauce. Add small amounts of both until the flavour is well balanced. Serves lots and freezes well.
To make the red pepper sauce, roast 2 red peppers over open flame or in a hot oven until the skin blisters and turns black. Remove the skin, seeds, stem and membrane, then chop. Blend the pepper flesh with the juice of a small lemon, 1/3 c. ketchup, 1 T. sweet smoked paprika, 1 T. dark brown sugar. Blend well and balance flavours with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Whisk an egg white until stiff and carefully fold in the pepper sauce – this lightens the sauce and helps it float on top of the soup.
To decorate, drop red pepper sauce on the top of the soup and draw a toothpick through to create a heart shape, as illustrated in the photograph. Do the same with crème fraîche, then place a puff-pastry heart in the centre.
To make puff-pastry hearts, cut heart shapes out of rolled out puff pastry, grate parmesan cheese overtop, and bake them at 350°F. until puffy and golden.