This soup has a decadent richness that skeptics of vegan cooking are often surprised by (tahini can pull a lot of weight!). It also comes together in about thirty minutes, making it a great option for weeknights. You’ll notice that I call for water rather than stock; in this recipe, it makes for a better liquid, as it keeps the flavors of the soup pure and aligned. Frizzled shallots make an excellent, if optional, garnish.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon minced or grated ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds or half-rounds (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
2 tablespoons well-stirred tahini
Fresh lemon juice
Frizzled Shallots (recipe follows; optional)
Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a soup pot or Dutch oven, then add the onion, garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the onion is soft and beginning to caramelize, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, raise the heat slightly, and stir until they’re glistening all over, another 3 to 4 minutes. Cover with 5 cups water. Bring to a simmer and add the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for about 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender. Add the soup to a blender with the tahini, in batches if necessary, and puree. (You can also use an immersion blender, but be thorough to achieve a properly smooth consistency.) Return to the pot to rewarm, add lemon juice and additional salt to taste, and serve hot, with frizzled shallots, if you like.
Vegetable, grapeseed, or canola oil, for frying
5 small or 3 large shallots, sliced into paper-thin wisps on a mandoline
Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Dip a ring of shallot into it to ensure it’s properly hot—it will sizzle immediately when it’s ready—then add the rest of them. Cook until they get crisp and turn a reddish-brown color, 10 to 20 minutes. Watch carefully once they start to color, as they can burn easily. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a paper towel–lined plate to drain. Sprinkle with salt. Save the oil—strain it through a coffee filter and then use it in salad dressings where you want a savory kick!
From the book Start Simple by Lukas Volger. Copyright © 2020 by Lukas Volger. Published on February 18, 2020 by Harper Wave and imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.
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