YAM AND BASIL SOUP
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
3 cups chopped sweet onion (approx. 2 onions)
8 small pitted dates (or 4 large)
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 cups +1 tablespoon water
3 big teaspoons pressed garlic (approx. 6 cloves)
3 cups chopped red pepper (approx. 2 peppers)
3 cups chopped tomato
5 heaping tablespoons chopped basil (extra for garnish)
1 teaspoon spicy chili flakes
2 large yams
1. Preheat oven to 350° and put the yams on a baking sheet. Stab the skin of the yams with a fork a few times and put into the oven. Allow to bake for at least 30 minutes.
2. Soak dates in warm water until they feel soft.
3. In a big pot heat olive oil on low to medium heat.
4. Add a teaspoon of sea salt, chopped onions, and chopped dates and stir for five minutes.
5. Cover everything in the pot with fresh ground pepper.
6. Keep the temperature on medium heat and when the mixture seems to get sticky add a tablespoon of water and stir well.
7. Add garlic and continue stirring for another minute or two to make sure garlic doesn’t burn.
8. Add red pepper and cook until pepper softens and the mixture looks like it needs a liquid, about 5 minutes, then add tomatoes and cook down with another teaspoon of salt, about 10 minutes.
9. Keep on medium heat and the mixture will become more soup-like.
10. Add basil and chili flakes.
11. Peel yams and add to pot with 2 cups of water.
12. Simmer soup on medium and wait until soup thickens.
13. Blend well with hand held blender or in batches in a regular blender.
Put 1 ½ – 2 cups of soup in a bowl and top with fresh chopped basil, a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and chopped avocado if you desire.