Friday, March 16, 2007

A Sweet Root

Potatoes, tapioca(cassava), yam(taro), artichokes - what do these have in common? They are all placed into the group of root vegetables. Actually it is only when I started 'researching' for this post that I found out that there are so many different types of tubers which are all categorized into this big group, but are actually from various parts of the plant. For more info, check out this from Wikipedia.


For this week's Weekend Herb Blogging, I'm using a starchy root - sweet potato. I think in some countries, sweet potato is called yam. But over here, it is easy to distinguish between these two tubers - yam is usually light purple and stubby, while sweet potato can range from white to yellow to orange, and with tapered ends. In many asian countries, sweet potatoes are widely used in making desserts and sweet 'cakes' like ondeh-ondeh(sweet potato balls with palm sugar filling) and other kuih-kuih.

Here I'm using orange sweet potato to make a sweet dessert - Sweet Potato Soup. It's very simple to prepare with a few ingredients and takes less than half an hour to cook. Sorry for the lack of exact measurements, since the amount of ingredients really depends on your taste and liking.

Sweet Potato Soup

1 sweet potato (about 350g, unpeeled weight)
A handful of dried longans
Some dried red dates
A small knob of ginger, peeled
4 to 5 blades pandan leaves, washed
About 2.5 litres water
Rock sugar or castor sugar

Peel sweet potato, wash and cut into cubes. Rinse dried longans and red dates. Pound red dates slightly(I use the handle of a cleaver). Place all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium-low and cook until the sweet potato cubes are soft(about 15 to 20 mins). Discard pandan leaves and add sugar to taste. Serve hot, or chill for a refreshing dessert.




Don't forget to head over to Becky's from Key Lime and Coconut for the re-cap, where she's hosting this weekly event for this week. Of course, always remember to hop over to Kalyn's Kitchen for more details on WHB.

13 comments:

Anh said...

Angie, your sweet soup looks great! Make me want more. :P There must be a vibe between us - i just made some taro (purple yam) sweet soup. :D

Orchidea said...

Very interesting soup... I first discovered sweet potatos in Peru and immediately liked them a lot. Ciao.

sher said...

That's so lovely! Sweet potatoes are marvelous--good tasting and healthy too. Wonderful pictures.

Kalyn said...

I have heard about pandan leaves, but no clue what longans are? Never heard of it. I like the idea of soup made of sweet potatoes a lot.

Helene said...

Thanks for a new idea of a refreshing desert! Will be intraducing it to my friends soon! :)

D said...

I normally order just sweet potato soup from the Chinese Dessert Soup Stalls.. love this stuff. Your longans look more fresh than dried though. Longan berries directly translate as "dragon eye" berries and I've seen them sold as such in Western countries before albeit at very dear prices.

Willa said...

I love sweet potatoes. I've used them instead of squash when baking muffins or sweet quick bread, but I never thought of making them into a soup. I'll have to think about how to do it- most of your ingredients aren't available to me.

Were the white things the dried longans? They looked very similar to lychee fruit.

Freya and Paul said...

I love all of the unusual ingredients in this soup (I am an unusual ingredient junky!!) and it just looks beautiful!

The Yummie dummieS said...

Ooo I love sweet potatoes whether in sugary soup or just baked or boiled!

btw I was just looking at Gracio's blog, I wonder where she's been...

Angie said...

Hi all,

Sorry for my very late response, and thanks to all of you for your kind words.


Willa, yes, those are the dried longans, after 'hydration', that's how they look like, very similar to the fresh ones.

YD, Gracio's very busy with her new job in Dubai, long travel distances plus heavy work load, so no time to blog anymore...

The Yummie dummieS said...

Aw.. thats such a pity. I tried emailing her but no reply. Is she using the email on her blog? Perhaps you can pass me her add so I can drop her a mail?

Angie said...

YD,

I'm not sure about the email on her blog. What's ur email address? Maybe I can pass it it to Gracio, coz I'm not sure how comfortable she is about giving her other email address.

The Yummie dummieS said...

Okay :) my email is virusam_85@hotmail.com