Cream of Sweet Potato
Cream of Sweet Potato—The best thing you've never had. I began having sweet potatoes shortly after learning that root vegetables are quite effective in helping our stomach bacteria produce butyric acid. All the short chain fatty acids that our gut microbiota produce are important, but butyric acid is one of the more difficult to come by in sufficient amounts if you are at all ill (metabolically speaking). Studies show sufferers of diseases like SIBO to be far less replete in the short chain fatty acids than healthy counterparts. Specifically, studies have shown butyric acid to direct carbohydrates into oxidation directly as energy rather than storage as fat, and a deficiency of it does the opposite—storing carbs as fat. Rebalancing gut bacteria, which I discuss at length in my book Fuck Portion Control and which is determined by other factors such as hormonal state and exposure to sunlight is key to reversing conditions like SIBO, metabolic disease, and hypothyroidism, among others. The right kind of foods are also important for supporting the right kinds of bacteria, and sweet potatoes are a great food to do just that, only sweet potatoes are often dry, sucking up the moisture in your mouth like a desperate, clingy love interest—you can only have so many before the idea of another one just makes you want to gag.
Enter cream of sweet potato. Cooking roots like sweet potato into stews and broths helps to solve the dryness factor, and adding the amount of wonderful fat in a cream soup softens the rough texture and balances the overwhelming amount of starch. This is a meal you can eat once or twice a week with gusto. Enjoy!
CREAM OF SWEET POTATO
2 yellow onions, diced.
4 tbsp butter (and/or coconut oil)
2 tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
1 quart (32 OZ) vegetable or chicken broth
2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tsp thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream (most cream now contains additives meant to fake the thickness—look for gums and other emulsifiers listed on the carton's ingredients and only buy real cream).
Add butter, onions, and salt to a pot. Sauté onions until soft and golden, then add broth, cubed sweet potatoes, and thyme. Cover and simmer on medium-low for 35-45 minutes until sweet potatoes are very soft. Remove cover, smash potatoes until they are well mixed (do not blend or purée as this will make it more like a bisque). Return to heat and simmer on very low heat for another 5-10 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in cream.