Whether you are sitting around the campfire, coming in from a cold day of working outside (or a long day at the office), or caring for someone who’s under the weather, soup is the ultimate comfort food – and none more so than my homemade Creamy Sweet Potato Soup. What helps make it so tasty is that I roast the sweet potatoes instead of sautéing or boiling them. The fried herb and goat cheese topping adds texture as well as flavor, though you can use julienned pears, scallions, chopped cucumbers, candied walnuts, or tortilla strips instead.
Yield : 6-8 servings
- 6 medium sweet potatoes (about 3½ lbs)
- 1 pear, seeded and quartered
- Olive oil, for sautéing and frying
- 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
- 3 celery ribs, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 red jalapeño pepper
- 18 basil leaves
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
- 4 to 6 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 small log goat cheese
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Roughly chop 5 of the sweet potatoes. Spread sweet potatoes and pear pieces onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Add a light coating of olive oil along with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, then place in the oven for about 25 minutes or until a fork easily pierces through the potato chunks.
- Meanwhile, heat a skillet with a little olive oil until just hot. Add the onion and celery, and sauté for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables are translucent. Add the garlic and sauté a minute more. While these vegetables are cooking, slice the remaining sweet potato and the red jalapeño pepper as thinly as possible.
- In another pan, add about ¼ inch of olive oil and fry the basil leaves; these will fry quickly, so keep an eye on them. Remove the leaves to a paper towel to drain, then repeat the process with the sweet potato and jalapeño strips. (It should take about 2 minutes to fry the sweet potato and less than a minute to fry the pepper.)
- Remove roasted vegetables from the oven and place them into a food processor along with the nutmeg, ginger, vegetable stock, and whipping cream. Transfer the onions, celery, and garlic to the food processor and purée the ingredients until smooth. Adjust seasonings to desired taste.
- Divide soup among 6 bowls and garnish each with 3 basil leaves, 3 or 4 sweet potato chips and a few fried jalapeño pepper strips. Crumble goat cheese over the soup and serve immediately.
Stacy Harris is pioneering the farm-to-fork eating movement that includes harvesting wild animals in addition to domesticated animals and homegrown fruits and vegetables. She’s the author of several books about sustainable living for healthy families.