As many people dig deep to make good on that New Year's resolution to eat healthier, this tasty soup is hearty enough to make you think you're cheating. Versatile red curry takes on a new dimension when combined with sweet potato, and the flavorful dish is finished off with grilled shrimp and a handful of crispy rice noodles.

Red Curry Sweet Potato Soup with Sweet Chili Glazed Shrimp and Crispy Rice Noodles

Makes 4 servings

For the shrimp:

• 8 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined

• 2 tablespoons olive oil

• 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

• 1 tablespoon grated lemongrass

• 2 tablespoons chopped Kaffir Lime leaves

For the soup:

• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

• 1 tablespoon chopped shallots

• 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

• 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

• 1 tablespoon grated lemongrass

• 3 Kaffir Lime leaves, chopped

• 1-2 teaspoons Thai Red Curry paste

• 1/2 pound roasted sweet potato puree (see instructions below)

• 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock

• 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

• 2 limes

• 2 tablespoons honey

• Salt and pepper to taste

• Crispy rice noodles

• Scallion curls

Roast 1/2 pound of sweet potatoes in jackets at 325 degrees until a knife goes through cleanly, about 45 minutes. Peel potatoes while still warm and puree.

Meanwhile, combine shrimp with olive oil, ginger, garlic, lemongrass and Kaffir Lime leaves. Marinate for an hour.

Heat vegetable oil in a 2-quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add shallots, ginger, garlic, lemongrass, Kaffir leaf and curry paste. Sweat items until tender (2-3 minutes); do not let brown.

Add potato puree and cook 1-2 minutes.

Add stock and coconut milk, cook 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, grill the shrimp and glaze with mixture of 1/2 cup store-bought Thai sweet chili sauce, 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon lemon juice.

In blender or food processor, blend soup until smooth. Strain into new pot. Add more stock if soup is too thick.

Add honey and lime juice to balance spiciness and sweetness of soup and season with salt and pepper.

Arrange shrimp in middle of warm soup bowls. Pour soup over shrimp. Garnish with crispy rice noodles and scallion curls.

Eric Finney is executive chef at the Arizona Grand Resort. He joined the Ahwatukee resort in 2009 and has more than 12 years of culinary experience working at fine dining restaurants in luxury hotel settings across the country.


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