My poor, lonely sage plant has been out in our backyard enduring the bitter cold and barely surviving. With the frost on its way, I knew his days were numbered (at least for this season, I think it is a perennial) so I plucked the last of the leaves.

I have always liked sage with sweet potatoes and I am still on a roasted vegetable soup kick so I turned to Google to see what I could turn up. Immediately, I came upon a food blog I had not yet discovered, Local Lemons. A quick scan of her roasted sweet potato soup and I knew my search had ended. A can of coconut milk from the back of my pantry that seemed as lonely as the sage plant was overjoyed to enter the mix.

Perhaps I am a little crazy but I have a unique habit of applying human emotion to food. Whether right or wrong, food conjures in me such emotion, maybe I have just opened the exchange sending emotion right back at my inanimate ingredients. Whatever the case may be, I am quite sure I enjoyed the soup even more because I was so sure that the last cold, feeble sage leaves were as happy to be in my soup as that old, dusty can of coconut milk. They both enjoyed a little time in the spotlight before finding their final resting place, down the hatch.

I didn’t take the time to fry the sage leaves but I suggest you do! Not only will it make your kitchen smell delicious, the texture and flavor will provide a perfect charm for the top of the soup.

Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Milk and Fried Sage
Serves 5 Cook time: About 1 hour

3 ½ pounds organic sweet potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 can coconut milk
3-4 cups homemade or high-quality chicken stock
1 bunch organic fresh sage
4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 large shallots, peeled and chopped
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Cayenne pepper
Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 425F. Arrange sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle on about 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add salt and pepper, and toss with your hands to coat. Roast for 30 minutes, flipping the potatoes after 25 minutes.

Finely chop about 6 sage leaves. Pour coconut milk into a small space pan, and throw in chopped sage. Cook on low heat until it simmers, and take off heat. Set aside.

Heat up a Dutch oven on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add shallots and cook for 3 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic and continue cooking for 2 more minutes. Throw in roasted sweet potatoes and stir. Cook for 5 minutes. Lower heat and add coconut milk – stir – and add 2 cups of chicken stock. Continue to stir, breaking up the sweet potatoes with the back of your spoon. Stir in the rest of the chicken stock, a little at a time, until fully incorporated. Add a sprinkle of salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Pour soup into a food processor and puree until smooth. When serving, drizzle on high-quality olive oil and top with fried sage.

Fried Sage Leaves:
Heat up olive oil in a small cast iron pan. Add sage leaves and cook for one minute. Drain on a paper towel.