Chef Lisa Dahl says there’s something about a good soup that can put you in a trance. We completely agree. Whether you slurp it in a restaurant or make a steaming batch at home, soup is the ultimate fall/winter comfort food. Dahl, owner of Sedona’s Cucina Rustica, Dahl Ristorante Italiano, Mariposa and Pisa Lisa, says she finds joy in making and serving soup to her customers. “Soup has a magical healing quality.”
During the holiday season, Dahl doesn’t like to put yams on the menu because they’re so filling, so she makes a lighter Garnet yam soup that she says is sweet on the front end and spicy going down. “It’s really a sultry soup,” she says.
For those who are lactose intolerant, Dahl suggests substituting unsweetened coconut milk for the heavy cream. You can also garnish with dried coconut crisps to add a little crunch.
Garnet Yam Soup with Roasted Red Peppers
3 lbs. Garnet yams
3 cups chopped red bell pepper
½ cup chopped shallots, 3 to 4 large shallots
1 jalapeno or 2 serrano chiles, stemmed
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
¼ cup olive oil
8 cups chicken or vegetable broth
¼ cup cream sherry
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
½ cup heavy cream or ½ cup unsweetened coconut milk
Put all the yams in the oven at 425 degrees on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish. Bake until they are soft all the way through, about an hour. Meanwhile, chop red bell pepper, shallots, garlic and chilies in food processor until coarsely minced. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat and sauté the minced vegetables until they are beginning to brown.
Remove the baked yams from the oven. When they’re cool enough to touch, scoop the insides out and put into a soup pot and cover with the broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. When the potatoes are soft, puree the soup with a hand blender or food processor until smooth. Add sherry. Add the sautéed vegetables to the soup. Lower heat. Whisk in cream and adjust seasonings as desired.
Makes 2.5 quarts
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