Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sweet Potato Carrot Soup

For the last week I've had one sad, lonely sweet potato sitting forlornly in my crisper. It was left over from when I made spiced sweet potato fries. Now, the spiced sweet potato fries may have underwhelmed but they didn't put me off sweet potatoes. So I felt guilty looking at it every day when I opened the fridge to get milk or cheese or some fruit. It looked so vulnerable, since it was already peeled. So exposed. I knew where this relationship was heading. Sure, I'd put it off this weekend, and maybe even next, but slowly, slowly, the sweet potato would shrivel and rot until I finally removed it from the fridge to the greater indignity of the garbage during our weekly apres grocery shop fridge-purge.

Cuddling up next to the sad sweet potato was a half bag of carrots, also languishing in my crisper. See, this happens in my fridge. A lot. I buy an ingredient with a dish in mind and then, if/when I buy too much, I let the leftovers languish, unloved, in my fridge until they get thrown out. I hate being so wasteful and I'm appalled at my general lack of creativity when it comes to using ingredients I bought for one dish in another....so Monday night I threw down the gauntlet and vowed to make dinner using the contents of my crisper.

Enter Google. You can learn a lot about how people cook from an innocent Google search for sweet potato soup. For example, most recipes for sweet potato soup tend to involve curry. Which I don't really like all that much, so I don't have any on hand. And a lot of recipes want you to have more than one sweet potato to make your soup. Fair enough. Finally, after modifying my search to 'make sweet potato soup with one potato' I landed on a promising recipe here.

I was pleasantly surprised by how well this soup turned out. I didn't bother with adding milk or cream. It was nice and light and went well with some aged white cheddar and crackers. The boys, of course, declined the soup. My kids are not big soup eaters, which frustrates me because when they were smaller and didn't know any better, they ate soup quite happily. Since I can't put soup on a stick or disguise it as chicken, I'm not sure when soup might become part of our regular repertoire.

Sweet Potato Carrot Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 small onions or leeks, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
  • 2 lbs. sweet potatoes (2 medium or one large), peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 lb. carrots (3 to 4 medium), peeled and chopped
  • 6 cups homemade chicken or vegetable broth OR 4 cups commercial broth and 2 cups water
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup cream, half-and-half, or sour cream (optional)
  1. In a large pot over medium high heat melt butter or heat oil. Add onions or leeks and garlic. Cook, stirring, until vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, and broth (or broth and water). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until all vegetables are very soft.
  3. Puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a blender. Taste and add salt to taste. Stir in cream, if using.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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