Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

This is another 'standard' to our Christmas dinner spread. There is no 'heritage' reason here, just plain desire. That, and it goes really well with the Tourtiere. This is simple and so good. Everyone loves it - even Jared, my brother, who hates sweet potatoes likes it. (The funny story here is that when I made it one year, I told him it was a vegetable soup and he ate it. When he came back to the table with a second bowl-full, I released the secret and he made a big deal about it. The next year he actually spooned some into his bowl knowing what it was...and ate it all!) All that to say, this is also one of the dishes I like to make ahead of time so that all the flavors can meld together. It freezes really well, too!

Over time, I've wanted this soup on normal nights, but I also wanted to "bulk" it up a bit.  So the option is yours.  Leave it as the simple and elegant vegetables-only soup, or add in some beans or lentils and have a more filling bowl!

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 6 main. 8 side. (9 cups without protein.  11 cups with beans/lentils)
Active time: 20 minutes
Simmer time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Serving suggestions:  If using as a side dish, serve it alongside lentil.  If using as a main dish, enjoy over a handful of chopped kale with some crusty bread on the side.

What you'll need:

  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 8 cups 1-inch cubed sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 TBLS minced fresh ginger OR 3/4 tsp powdered ginger
  • 3/4 tsp tarragon OR 1 1/2 tsp cumin (if using lentils)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 TBLS lime juice
  • 2 15 oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained OR 3 cups cooked lentils (OPT)
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you'll do:

  • In a large stock pot, heat oil.  Once hot, add onions and garlic and saute 5-7 minutes until tender.
  • Add potatoes, ginger, spices, stock, and water and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer over med-low heat for 30 minutes (until the potatoes are soft).
  • Add lime juice and puree soup in a food processor/blender (in batches!) or, use a hand/submersion blender.
  • Return to pot, stir in beans or lentils if using, and heat through.  For a creamier texture, blend beans/lentils with the soup.

Flavor note: If using the cannellini beans, up the tarragon to 1 tsp.
Time tip:
You can make this ahead of time (up to 48 hrs ahead), transferring to the refrigerator once pureed.  Once ready to serve, transfer back to pot, add beans or lentils if using, and heat through.

Nutrition Facts (per serving, 1/8 recipe, no added beans/lentils):
Calories 122 (Calories from fat 6); Total Fat 1g (Saturated <0 .5g="" span=""> Cholesterol 3mg; Sodium 289mg; Potassium 450mg; Total Carbohydrate 26g (Dietary Fiber 3g); Sugars 9g; Protein 4g; Vitamins/Minerals - Vitamin A 14,375 IU; Vitamin C 4mg; Calcium 109mg; Iron 1mg; Folate 17mcg

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