Thursday, April 23, 2009

Plantain and sweet potato soup with chipotle crema

I bought a green plantain a few weeks ago and left it on the counter to ripen. It took a long time, but finally it started to turn yellow, then took on some black patches (black plantain = ripe plantain). I typically just sauté plaintains until browned in a little bit of oil, but wanted to do something different this time. I decided on this recipe from the Mesa Grill cookbook for sweet potato and plantain soup.

I read the ingredient list before I went grocery shopping, but didn’t bother to actually read the cooking instructions. The recipe looks fairly simple because of its short ingredient list, but the cooking process is actually quite fussy. I didn’t have the patience to follow the recipe, so I improvised. Instead of roasting the sweet potatoes and plantains, I just cut them into small pieces and cooked them directly in the chicken stock. The original recipe also called for pureeing the plantains, adding them to the liquid, then pureeing everything again when the sweet potatoes are added. That seemed unnecessary to me, so I just pureed everything together a single time at the end.

I went with the suggested garnish of chipotle crema, and I happened to have pepper oil and herb oil in the house, so I used those too for some added color. I wasn’t about to heat up a big pot of oil just to fry a plantain for garnish, so instead I cut some small cubes of plantain and sautéed them in a small amount of oil until browned and crispy.

If you look at the ingredient list, you’ll notice that this soup is on the sweeter side from the plantains, coconut milk and sweet potatoes. It’s important to add a generous amount of salt to cut some of the sweetness, otherwise it almost tastes like dessert! The soup had a very nice, almost velvety texture from the pureed potatoes and plantains.

sweet potato soup, plantain soup, mesa grill soup

70 comments:

Barbara Bakes said...

Your garnish is so pretty. The soup looks delicious!

Pavithra said...

Looking delicious and nice presentation

Sarah said...

It looks beautiful! I think I need to make this soon!

Cheryl said...

girl that looks soo good, I am new to Plantains!

Lynda said...

This looks beautiful and sounds really good! I haven't tried plantains yet, but the other ingredients are are yummy!

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

I've had the most random plantain craving lately... this looks like the perfect way to satisfy it!

Donna-FFW said...

Looks so delicious.. Nice combo sweet potatoes and plantains..

Selba said...

So pretty... can't believe that sweet potato soup can look so pretty :)

unconfidential cook said...

Sounds delish!

Tracey said...

Wow that looks so pretty! I'm not sure I'd be able to eat something that looked so lovely :)

5 Star Foodie said...

I love it! I never used plantain in a soup but I will be giving a try! Excellent!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, very pretty and delicious looking!

Cheers,

Rosa

Pearl said...

i've never used plantain - and i think that's the first i've seen in a soup! how creative!

Varsha Vipins said...

Gorgeous garnish..Yummy dish..slurpp..:)

Monica H said...

It's so pretty and it looks so thick. Mmm!

LaDue & Crew said...

How funny, we've been looking at the same cookbook this week! Sounds so good. I love plantains, but I, too, usually just fry and salt them. This sounds really good!

Elyse said...

Oh, Sara, this soup looks incredible. And that chipotle crema sounds AMAZING. Man oh man, you had some patience with that plaintain, but it seems like it was totally worth it!

Femin Susan said...

Yum yum. feeling dreadfully hungry.

Angie's Recipes said...

We, (well, my mum) usually cook sweet potato with congee together as a staple food. Didn't know it can be used to make a soup. But candied sweet potatoes are a wonderful afternoon snack.
Another variety of sweet potato is somewhat floury and the colour would be more yellowish.

girlichef said...

This sounds so delicious...plantains and sweet potatoes are so great together...but add that chipotle crema and WHOA!

Natashya said...

I am all for simplifying a recipe. Looks delicious! I have that cookbook, I should give it a try.

Stacey Snacks said...

Beautiful photo Sara!

Christina Kim said...

Sara, this soup looks amazing! It has all the flavors I really enjoy. I especially love plantains but I can't say I've tried them pureed in a soup. I am sure it is very very tasty. Well done!

Jamie said...

Sounds and looks beautiful. I am glad you cut out all the fussy steps; it looks like it turned out delicious, and it saves us from having to figure it out for ourselves when we try making it! Yum!

Cathy said...

I've never had a plantain - it'll be going on the list of things to try after this recipe!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Very pretty soup and I"m sure it was delicious. I love fried plaintains.

Carrie said...

What a beautiful photo! This combination of flavors sounds amazing!

teresa said...

Gorgeous! What a fun soup!

lisaiscooking said...

It looks gorgeous with your garnishes! And, sounds like you made some good changes to the preparation too.

Cate O'Malley said...

It looks gorgeous!

Amanda @ Mrs.W's Kitchen said...

This recipe seems very african-inspired. Gorgeous soup!

Culinary Wannabe said...

What a nice presentation Sara! Girl, you are like a pro!

Joan Nova said...

Looks great though I'm wondering what else could be done to cut the sweetness...maybe omitting the coconut? You're good at shortcuts. I know you'll figure it out.

Pam said...

What a beautiful soup - it looks so tasty. I love the flavor combination of plantains and sweet potatoes.

The Blonde Duck said...

Every day your talent astounds me!

Claudia said...

This looks beautiful. I would have skipped some of those steps also. I love the garnish.

Tyler said...

WOW! I literally gasped when i saw sweet potatoes and plantains in the same sentence! what an awesome soup recipe!

Diana said...

What a beautiful presentation -- looks like it could be served in a haute restaurant! I didn't realize that ripe plaintains should be black -- good to know!

stephchows said...

MMMMM this flavor combination sounds delicious!

The Duo Dishes said...

Everytime there are sweet potatoes, it must be stated that we love them dearly. NO matter how they are used...they are loved. Delicious soup!

The Food Hunter said...

You make it look so easy...and of course delicious.

Gera @ SweetsFoods said...

Very good looking and no doubt that those sweet potatoes with the chipotle crema are super tasteful combination!!

Cheers for you,
Gera

Kerstin said...

What a tasty looking soup and your garnish is lovely! I'm glad your plantain finally ripened!

Elra said...

What a great combo Sara. This is also commond in Indonesia, although they make the sweet version, not the savory one.
Cheers,
elra

lesley said...

Beautifully presented soup that sounds amazing!!

Ingrid said...

That sounds like a fantastic soup!

Great photo, Sara!
~ingrid

noble pig said...

Oh my word that sounds insanely good.

Sean said...

I love the presentation of your dish. I've wanted to buy the Mesa book for awhile now and your recipe seems like a good excuse to go out and buy it. Thanks!

Reeni♥ said...

What a gorgeous soup! And so creamy and delicious!

Cakebrain said...

What a gorgeous dish! it's like a piece of art! I bet it's yummy too!

Girl Japan said...

Gosh this dish looks absolutely wonderful, the color balances out and I hear you on improvising... but look it came out fabulous, right? Did you use Chipotle ground and added the cream?

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow what a combo.....Looks droolworthy...

Robin Sue said...

I had no idea that plantains could be in soup. I always think of them fried. See I learn so much here! Thanks!

Marta said...

Got sweet potatoes. Got plantains. I'm making this! What a great idea! This is certainly the one use for plantains I didn't know about and I love to be surprised. I come from a place where we eat tons of plantains, every single day we have some, so we use them in baking, smoothies, fry them, bake them, puree them... everything! Something tells me that this soup is very hearty and satisfying. Thanks for sharing it!

Cakelaw said...

Yum! Orange soup = delicious. I have never seen or tried a plaintain, but have read a bit about them on other people's blogs, and I understand it's related to the sweet potato??

Sophie said...

MMMMMM....Sara! This soup looks fabulously yummie & tasty! I love your flavour combo! Yum!
Beautiful presentation too!

zerrin said...

Sara, this soup looks so rich and filling. I've never heard about green plantain and this soup. A sweet like soup is a unique idea!

Ana Powell said...

Hi Sara
Great soup recipe, beautiful garnish. An awesome dish x

Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

WOW! Looks delicious. I love plantains!

Kevin said...

That soup looks good! Great presentation!

Lori Lynn said...

Great garnish! Sometimes it's easy to go overboard on the garnish, yours is just perfect.
LL

Jackie @PhamFatale.com said...

I love the way you garnish the soup. Awesome visual!

Half Baked said...

I love sweet potatoes and plantains but wouldn't have thought to put them together in soup. Thanks for the great recipe!

Sara said...

Joan - I think more salt would have done the trick, or perhaps a different plantain to sweet potato ratio.

Girl Japan - I just mixed a little bit of pureed chipotle from a can with the cream.

Cakelaw - Plantains are eaten all the way from green (unripe) to black (ripe). The green ones are quite starchy and taste similar to a potato. As it ripens, it takes on a similar flavor to banana, but has a different texture. They're quite good!

Chef E said...

What a beautiful soup! I should have made this when I had the plantains...not sure why but after the holidays I back off from sweet potatoes, but this would pull me in...

Justin Schwartz said...

this is a gorgeous soup

Lori said...

Sara- this looks amazing. ALways such beautiful pics of beautiful food here.

Jaime said...

oh my. how pretty.

pigpigscorner said...

Wow, love the picture! Looks and sounds really tasty too!

Caitlin said...

This is beautiful! I love all of the ingredients individually...together they sound mouth-watering