Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Vegan Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Bisque

I'm back, veggies!  Sorry for the long absence.  Been kind of a crazy couple of years.  But now I have a working computer and an apartment I've been able to nest in, I finally have the mental space to devote to food blogging again.

If you followed before, you'll notice some changes around here.  Namely, a new title. I absolutely hate creating titles, and I've long felt that "Color Me Veggie" was corny and generic.  "Sometimes a Vegan" better describes how I identify with the culinary world.  As many of you know, my parents are vegan, and while I very much enjoy cheese and eggs, I don't consider them integral parts of my diet.  I still buy almond milk and make a mean cashew cheesecake.

Today's sweet potato peanut butter bisque was inspired by a soup created by Ely Pugh at the Flaming Ice Cube in Youngstown, OH.  Like many of Ely's soups the combination may seem odd--mushroom almond and mushroom pistachio are others--but when I used to order it in high school it was quite magical.

I got the idea to make my own a few days ago when I realized I only had one sweet potato left.  Because of my crazy work schedule, it was difficult to set aside the necessary time to steam it (I currently lack a microwave).  But last night I finally had time off, so I set to work.

Because I never knew what was in the original soup, I improvised with what I had.  While the potato was steaming, I sauteed some onions and garlic.  Once the potato was soft, I blended the potato and onions and garlic in my personal blender with some water (if I had been thinking about it, I would have also mixed in the peanut butter at this stage as well).

Next, I transferred the blended mixture into a small saucepan and added spices.  The rich orange color made me think of the approaching fall, and I thought it appropriate to add nutmeg, cinnamon, and cumin (along with salt and pepper).  I also ground a little bit of the Trader Joe's Everyday Seasoning to give it a little something something.  Next, I added enough water to give it a soup-like consistency.

And then I ate it.  And my god was it good.  Like really effing good.  I mean look at it.

After getting about 20 likes on Facebook, I decided to share it.

Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Bisque for One.
(Inspired by Ely Pugh)

Serves 1.  Can totally be expanded to accommodate more.

1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks (if not organic, peeled)
1/4 cup onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
olive oil for sautéing
2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter (I used Trader Joe's chunky salted)
1 tablespoon of water, followed by 1 cup.
salt, pepper, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon to taste

Steam the sweet potato.  While the potato is steaming, heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions and garlic until soft.  Put potato, onions, garlic and peanut butter into blender with the tablespoon of water.  Blend until ingredients are combined.

Transfer to a small saucepan.  Add 1 cup of water--or until the soup reaches desired consistency.  As the mixture heats, add spices to taste.

Garnish with fresh herbs for serving.

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