Sweet Potato And Hot Pepper Soup
In this soup recipe, sweet potatoes get some extra zip with hot peppers. Both vegetables are plentiful in late summer and fall.
Plant sweet potatoes when the weather has really warmed, about a month after the last frost has passed in spring. They like loamy, well-drained soil with pH 5.8 to 6.2. The acidic soil is important to help prevent scurf, a disease that causes blemishes on the potatoes.
Sweet potatoes will produce a decent harvest in poor soil, but they do much better with a little fertilizer. About 2 weeks after planting, feed plants with a balanced fertilizer that contains potassium (the third number on the fertilizer label), for example 5-10-10. Use about 2 cups 5-10-10 per 30 square feet (a 10-foot row). Gently scratch the fertilizer into the soil surface, then mulch over the soil with an inch of grass clippings or other biodegradable mulch.
When setting out sweet potatoes in very hot, sunny weather, cover the transplants with upturned flower pots for 3 days after planting to shield them from the baking sun. Sweet potato vines will soon cover a large area. Thoroughly weed your sweet potatoes 2 weeks after planting; avoid deep digging with a hoe that disturbs the feeder roots that quickly spread throughout the bed. These give rise to your sweet potatoes. Water weekly. Water is especially important as transplants grow and roots spread.
Wait a week or two after the last frost date to plant peppers. Set transplants 18-inches apart in rows 30-inches apart. The compact plants grow well in containers, too. Jalapeños like fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.2 to 7.0, although they can tolerate slightly alkaline conditions near 7.5. Mix a 3- to 5-inch layer of compost into each planting hole to help retain moisture. For basic feeding, also use a timed-release granular fertilizer at planting time.
Heat olive oil in a large stock pot.
Add the onion and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent and garlic is soft.
Add the sweet potatoes and pepper. Saute for about 10 minutes.
Add the stock and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender.
Discard the thyme.
Transfer soup to a blender and process until smooth. You may have to do this in batches.
Return soup to stock pot and heat through. Ladle hot soup into a bowl and top with a dash of curry.
Time to prepare: 20 minutes.
This recipe is vegetarian.