Sweet Potato-Coco Loco

By Kim O'Donnel
Wednesday, February 20, 2008; 12:00 AM

2 to 3 servings

Peel and dice (or finely chop) 2 large sweet potatoes. Place in the pot with a chopped shallot (alternatively, 1 medium onion, quartered), with 1 to 2 smashed cloves garlic, a thumb-size hunk of ginger root, peeled, and if you can get it, a hunk of lemon grass (exterior husks removed, root chopped and yellow-pink interior very finely chopped). Add water or broth, but add less than with other soups, so that an inch of ingredients is exposed. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Add half or all of a 14-ounce can of unsweetened coconut milk; cook, with the liquid barely bubbling, until the sweet potatoes are fork-tender. Add at least 1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste. Use a blender or immersion blender to puree the mixture until smooth. Taste for salt and black pepper; alternatively, season with Thai fish sauce.

GARNISH: with a squeeze of lime and chopped cilantro leaves.

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