Count persimmons as one of those foods I wasted too much of my life not eating. Truth be told I don’t think I even knew what a persimmon was until last year. I have a lot of time to make up for. I’ve noticed we mostly get the fuyu variety, although other kinds sometimes pop up.
We like to eat persimmons in both the firm stage and the OMG-soft-touches-only stage. The former is great for snacking and the latter works perfectly as a jam stand-in. Of course, as is my trend, I can’t simply eat a food without experimenting, and after a little bit of Googling I hit upon the idea of persimmon soup.
Persimmons are rather small, so I didn’t want to base the entire soup on them. Sweet potatoes are a natural match, and really help with adding bulk to the soup. With some spices and a mirepoix, the soup’s flavor is rather similar to butternut squash soup. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. The persimmon season is short, so try this recipe out while you still can!
If your fuyu persimmons aren’t in the squishy stage, you can pop them in the freezer overnight and thaw them in the fridge. The insides will scoop out easily with a spoon or melon baller. Haiyacha persimmons will need to ripen on the counter, but you can speed up the process by putting them in a paper bag with an apple or banana.
Persimmon Sweet Potato Soup
1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup diced carrots
2/3 cup diced celery
2/3 cup diced onion
1 large sweet potato, diced
5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
Salt and pepper
Almond slivers (optional)
In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium. Once the oil is shimmery, add the carrots, celery, and onions, and cook until vegetables are soft onions are translucent.
Cut persimmons in half from the bottom and scoop out pulp, removing any hard bits. (The flesh should be dark orange and jammy, with a few dark flecks from sugar caramelization.)
Add sweet potato and persimmon to pot and cook 5 more minutes. Pour in stock and stir in turmeric and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and let cook for at least 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are completely soft.
Working in batches, puree soup in a blender (or use a stick blender), then return to pot. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper to your liking. If your soup is too thick, add additional stock or water to thin it out. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with almond slivers on top, if desired, and bread for dipping.