Chef Dez.

On Cooking: Sweet potato bisque

This fat-free sweet potato bisque is the perfect fall recipe.

The autumn season brings cooler weather and the rainbow of transforming leaves welcome us every time we step outside our door.

It also marks the beginning of how our vision of food and celebration starts to change.

Eating is a huge part of the social aspect of our lives, but this does not always have to signify a complete abandonment of healthy choices.

This fat-free sweet potato bisque is the perfect fall recipe to accomplish this in your kitchen. Sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene (recognizable from their orange colour) and are high in vitamins A and C. Their moist sweet texture is ideal for mimicking richness, when in fact there is no added fat in this recipe whatsoever.

Although this soup is great served by itself, it is a remarkable first course to introduce traditional holiday flavours of stuffed turkey, cranberries, and all the trimmings.

The addition of nutmeg and cloves gives it a warm earthiness and highlights the incredible natural flavour the sweet potato has to offer.

The elegance of the presentation is heightened when beautifully garnished with swirls of sour cream and a sparse scattering of freshly chopped parsley.

For the record, this is not a bisque by definition – as that would mean it has cream in it, which it doesn’t since it is fat-free. It just sounds fancier than yam soup.

Fat-free sweet potato bisque:

• makes approximately six portions as a first course;

• 1 kg orange sweet potato, peeled, diced 1cm;

• 1 tbsp brown sugar;

• 1 tbsp salt;

• 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg;

• 1/4 tsp ground cloves;

• 1/4 tsp ground white pepper;

• 3 1/2 (three and one half) cups skim milk.

For garnish:

• 1/4 cup no-fat sour cream;

• 1 tbsp skim milk;

• fresh parsley, finely choppe.d

In a steamer in a large pot, steam the diced sweet potato over boiling water for 20 minutes until fully cooked and tender. Discard the water, and place the cooked sweet potato back into the pot, off the heat.

Add the brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, cloves, and white pepper to the sweet potato and combine thoroughly with a potato masher, ensuring no lumps.

Once fully mashed, start adding 1 ½ (one and one half) cups of the skim milk slowly while continuing to mash with the potato masher. Switch to a whisk, turn the heat to medium, and blend in the remaining 2 cups of skim milk, mixing thoroughly.

Stir occasionally over medium heat until completely heated through. Taste and adjust the seasonings of salt and pepper, if necessary.

While soup is heating, combine the sour cream with the tablespoon of milk.

Portion the soup into bowls and drizzle small amounts of the sour cream mixture on each portion. Drag a toothpick back and forth across the surface to create a beautiful design.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve immediately.

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