Root vegetables, tubers, apples and warm spices are a perfect introduction to the soup season for me. I love making all kinds of soup when the weather turns colder and always enjoy trying new things. I've been toying with ways to make the classic Thanksgiving yams a little more unique, a little bit more refined and a bit more non-traditional just for fun. If you're inclined to do the same, then give this lovely soup a try. It's all of the above that and more but still works on the traditional holiday table.
It's simple and hearty, a strong opener to a winter meal or a meal all on its own with some crusty bread or Indian flatbreads like paratha and naan.
Experiment with the spices as per your taste, you will need a really sweet variety of apple to keep the spices from tasting too strong. You're aiming for bold flavors but not overwhelming; think balance.
Here's the recipe and you can make it a day or two in advance, the flavor only gets better.
3 T. unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion
2 smashed garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger
1/2 bulb of fresh fennel, sliced
2 Gala or Fuji Apples
1 3/4 lb. yams, peeled and diced
4 c. vegetable stock
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1 tsp. Garam Masala Indian spice mix
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
juice of 1 lime
2 tsp. toasted coconut
1. Heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the onion, garlic, ginger and fennel. Cover and cook on low heat. Sweat these aromatics about 5 minutes, until tender but not browned.
2. Add apples and yams and cook a couple of minutes. Season with kosher salt and black pepper.
3. Add the stock and simmer until the vegetables are fully tender and cooked through. Add the spices and yogurt and stir. Taste and season again with salt and pepper for a balanced and delicious taste.
4. Let the soup cool slightly and ladle into a blender and puree to smooth consistency in batches. Add more stock to reach desired consistency and texture. Add the lime juice and season again.
5. Serve immediately or reheat if cooled too much and garnish with toasted coconut.