Sweet Potato and Tilapia Soup
Recently I had to bring something to share at a pot-luck style dinner during a cold and snowy weekend. We were going to be up in Park City, UT -a big ski town- and I figured many people, including our hosts, would have taken advantage of the fresh powder and gone skiing or snowboarding during the day. Because of this I decided to bring a warm soup to share. I must admit that it was kind of thrown together but that is not always a bad thing. What came out was this warm, flavorful, almost rich soup that seemed to be a hit. To top it off, it's gluten free, dairy free and easy on the blood sugar since no potatoes were used (see note below). I have even included some variations for those that don't like fish, want more fish, are vegan, or just want a little more meat in their meal.
I hope you enjoy.
Sweet Potato and Talapia Soup
2 sweet potatoes -cubed
1 red onion- rough chop
1 shallow- rough chop
3 cloves garlic- peeled and cut in half
8 cups of veggie broth - feel free to use beef broth for a heartier flavor
3 hand fulls chopped kale (about 1 in thick slices)- or 1 big bunch.
1/2 cup coconut creme -not coconut milk. The cream gives it a richness. You can substitute with a heavy cream but the coconut gives it a unique flavor.
1 lb talapia- cut into bite sizes. Think of something that will easily fit on your spoon- make sure there are not bones. See below for vegetarian and vegan options
2 tbl fresh rosemary- optional
2 tbl fresh thyme- optional
Put the sweet potatoes, red onion, shallot, garlic, and veggie broth in a crockpot and let it cook overnight. When you wake up it will be all set for the next step...and your kitchen will smell amazing first thing in the morning. If you do not have a crock pot, or don't want to make this the day of, get the ingredients to come to a boil then turn on medium to low heat and cook until the sweet potatoes are mushy (i.e., when you pick them up they just smoosh apart). When those are cooked blend it all together to make your soups broth. I used a hand blender but a regular blender works just fine. You really don't want to skip this step because it incorporates all of the flavors together smoothly and creates a wonderful base for your fish and kale. Once you have your broth add the coconut cream and stir until incorporated. Add the kale in the pot and stir until it starts to wilt. Next add your chopped fish. Stir to get everything mixed up and then place on a LOW heat. Let sit for at least 30 minutes but the more time the fish sits in the broth the more flavor from the broth it will pick up. You can also make this ahead of time and then easily re-heat right before serving.
Fish Heaven- I just used talapia but this soup would also taste great with muscles, shrimp, calamari, and any other white fish. When adding muscles, shrimp, or calamari add these before serving- rather than letting it sit in the broth- to prevent over cooking. When these types of seafood overcook their flavor and texture gets bad.
Vegan/Vegetarian- Omit the fish and add any meat substitute you would like. Marinated and baked tofu would be great in this recipe but play around with it. You can also omit that all together and just add several different types of mushrooms for that great flavor.
Meat Eaters- I have a few variations for this. If you want a spicy kick, cook up a few sliced andouille sausages in a pan and then add them to the soup. It will give a really nice layer to the flavors of the fish and sweet potato.
*Potato- Sweet potato and Blood Sugar
Many people that have issues with blood sugar know they are supposed to steer clear of startch foods like potatoes. Something you may not know is that regardless of their name, sweet potatoes -or yams- are not related to potatoes and therefore do not have the same effect on blood sugar. Because of this, I use sweet potatoes a lot. I also think they add a really great and unique flavor.