A close friend of mine sent me a link to this recipe from The Wednesday Chef (a really fantastic food blog) — in her email there was no note, no explanation. But then again none was really needed: sweet potatoes, corn, and jalepeños? plus molasses, one of my favorite ingredients of all time? Yes, I was sold immediately. And I did offer to be a soup guinea pig, so I felt bound to give this recipe a go.
This is a true find — healthy, comforting, and quite inexpensive to make. There is a nice sweet flavor from the molasses and sweet potato, with a spicy note from the jalepeño and cayenne. It came together quick too. The other versions say to top it with parsley or scallions, but I’m not convinced either would add much. I made a few adjustments, so see the link above for the original (which was republished on the blog from nytimes.com).
Sweet Potato, Corn and Jalapeño Bisque
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 medium jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped (tip: slice in half and scrape the seeds out with a grapefruit spoon)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
3 tablespoons molasses
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Scant pinch ground cinnamon
1. In a large saucepan or soup pot (with high sides if using immersion blender), heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté until just soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, wine, and stock and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender or a food processor, purée contents of pot, in batches if necessary, until smooth.
3. Reheat soup, stirring in jalapeño, corn, molasses, salt, cayenne, black pepper and cinnamon. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.