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Never Mind the Mess, I Want Some Soup

Published in the New Orleans Times Picayune:

Thursday, December 08, 2005

by Judy Walker

"I am looking for a recipe I believe came from the TP," writes C.D. from Mandeville. "Funny how when life is in a turmoil, the debris pile in front of your house has been 15 feet high, and you haven't slept in your own bed for three months, you can't stop thinking about a soup recipe that got flooded!

"It is (was) sweet potato, jalapeño and corn bisque. It was pretty basic. Any help would be appreciated."

Here's another funny thing:

M.B.P. of Metairie is haunted by the exact same recipe.

"I would LOVE to have the sweet potato soup with jalapeño peppers recipe that appeared on the front page of the food section some time last winter," she writes. "Alas, my copy didn't make it, and if ever I need some comfort food, it's now."

The soup came from the kitchen of Bruce Faw.

Sweet potato, corn and jalapeño bisque

Makes about 3 quarts

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1 cup chopped onions

1 tablespoon minced garlic

6 medium-size sweet potatoes, preferably Jewel or Beauregard (about 5 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

8 cups vegetable or chicken stock

1 to 2 medium-size fresh jalapeño peppers, or to taste, stemmed, seeded and finely chopped

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

¼ cup molasses

1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste

½ teaspoon ground cayenne, or to taste

½ teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste

Scant pinch ground cinnamon

Finely chopped green onions, green parts only, for garnish

Heat oil about one minute in a six-quart saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and let onions sweat until soft, two to three minutes. Add potatoes and stock, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes.

Remove from heat, and use an electric "stick blender" to puree mixture while still it is in pan," or puree in a food processor and return mixture to pan. Add to puree the corn, jalapeños and molasses, stirring well. Season to taste with salt, cayenne and black pepper, and add cinnamon. Bring soup to a simmer and serve immediately, garnished with green onions. If making ahead, let soup cool before refrigerating or freezing for later use; garnish with green onions just before serving.

For more recipes, visit the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

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