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Afrikander's Sweet Potato Soup

This extremely simple and elegant soup comes from an old Afrikaans recipe book. The deep flavor of the sweet potato is delicately counterpointed by the ginger, making a tasty and palate-stimulating first course. It's beautiful, too, especially in flat soup plates--the earthy orange spattered with cream. Many thanks to Doug Thomson of Toronto, Ontario, for the recipe from his good friend in South Africa. Serve hot to 4 people as a first course.

Garnish: heavy cream

Peel the potatoes, slice them, put them in a pot and just cover them with water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, grate the ginger directly into the pot, and purée, solids first, to get a very fine texture. The consistency should be about as thick as thick cream. Pour back into the pot, season lightly with salt and a dusting of finely ground white pepper, and simmer for a few minutes.

When ready to serve, ladle into bowls, swirl drops of heavy cream into each portion, and serve immediately.