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Suddenly Sweet Potato Soup
This soup was born of pure inspiration. Zach Williams--musician, chef (self-appointed), and submarine sailor--got hungry late one night and created it out of refrigerator contents. It's a doozie: light and smooth with a little bite and lots of savory layers--with vegetarian and carnivorous options. Zach lives in Virginia with his lovely wife and daring taste-tester Christina. Many thanks to him. Serve this hot to 6-8 people as a terrific start to a Caribbean or Mexican meal, good both hot and cold.
Garnish: very thin curls lemon zest
In a large saucepan, sauté the onion until golden. Toss in the sliced hot pepper, then pour in the stock and bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the sweet potatoes and thyme, reboil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When the potatoes are cooked, puree--solids first--then pour back into the saucepan and season with salt and pepper to taste.
Hot only: If you would like a hearty, meat soup, separately sauté fresh mild sausage or sauté thin rounds of a hard garlicky sausage until crisp.
When ready to serve, stir in the lemon juice then ladle the soup--either piping hot or chilled--into bowls. Spoon in sausage, if applicable. Top with lemon curls.