Wednesday, December 21, 2011

another quick and easy savory soup!

    Warm soup on a cold day, an enchanted meadow full of frolicking unicorns, winning $1,000 - all of these things are AWESOME. Literally. I was watching a comedian on comedy central a while back and he was talking about how if things were ACTUALLY awesome that everyone called awesome, everyone would walk around in constant astonishment. I don't think that C that you managed to pull in science is "awesome." I don't think that you running 3 heroic dungeons back to back is really all that "awesome," either. But I digress, SOUP!

    I first made this one for thanksgiving and I thought it was so delicious, I made up a big batch of it the next weekend too and ate it throughout the week. This sweet potato soup with buttered pecans is a fun way to have sweet potatoes on the table without your traditional disgusting can of yams, Grammy's delicious sweet potatoes (see previous post), or putting your whipped sweet potatoes right next to your mashed potatoes. And if nothing else, just make the buttered pecans. Butter really does make EVERYTHING better.

Sweet Potato Soup with Buttered Pecans

turns out i only took one TERRIBLE picture of this soup. Sorry!

time: total, about 1 hours, 30 mins active
makes: 8-10 servings

(for the soup)
3/4 c finely chopped onion
1 c finely chopped leek, WASHED WELL and drained (they pile mud around these to grow them, so don't skip the wash otherwise you'll have gritty leeks)
2 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large carrots, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp unsalted butter
2 pounds (about 3 large) sweet potatoes, peeled, halved, and sliced thinly
a 1/2 pound russet (baking) potato
5 c chicken stock (plus additional if you want to thin the soup)
3/4 c dry white wine (i used Cupcake chardonnay... never use a wine to cook with that you wouldn't drink! and believe me, what didn't go in the soup went in my belly!)
1 1/2 c water

(for the buttered pecans)
3/4 c pecans (chopped or whole, depends how meaty you like your nuts. <snicker>)
2 tbsp unsalted butter

How to make the soup:

1. In a large stock pot, melt the butter and cook the onion, the leek, the garlic, and the carrots with the bay leaf over moderate heat until the vegetables are softened. Season with salt and pepper. Don't be shy about it either - I put about 2 tsp of salt in there because the potato will act as a bit of a salt eraser. The more well seasoned the base of your soup is, the more flavorful the soup will be overall.

2. Add the sweet potatoes, the russet potato, chicken stock, wine, and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes until the potatoes are very tender. 

3. DISCARD THE BAY LEAF. Don't blend that bad boy up. No one wants a bay leaf chunk.

4. Just like in the carrot ginger soup, an immersion blender will make your life so easy here. If you have one, stick it in and get to work. If you don't: In your blender, puree the mixture in batches until it is very smooth, transferring it as it is pureed to a large saucepan. Add the additional broth to thin the soup to your desired consistency, and season it to taste with salt and pepper.

How to make the buttered pecans:

1. In a skillet, cook the pecans in the butter with a pinch of salt over moderate heat, stirring often for about 10 minutes or until they're golden brown. Transfer them to a paper towel to drain.

SO EASY! When you serve it, put the soup in a bowl and top with buttered pecans. If you'd like a little creamier soup, put a dollop of sour cream in there too and let it work its magic. 

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