05 March 2013

David's Sweet Potato Soup & Homemade Croutons

Y'all we are reaching that point in the season where everyone is sick of their closets and sick of eating winter things. That lull between winter and spring when we realize that we are pretty much sick of everything, our bodies craving warmth, sunlight, and sweet beautiful fresh local produce. Please, correct me if I'm wrong. And from this rut comes the profound issue of what I like to call "what's for dinner, please don't make me pick" in which I literally ask my Twitter followers what I should eat.

A good friend and my college dorm "neighbor" David, jumped in to the rescue having trained professionally as a chef. And via a series of Tweets and texts, he was able to help me determine what to eat, how to cook it, and by golly made an honest woman of me. We agreed that sweet potato soup would do the trick, being that it is warm, filling, and relatively easy to make, given that it's baked potatoes put in a pot until things get yummy and fragrant... easy enough, correct?

And now for a confession: I have never baked a potato before. You read that correctly, I baked my first sweet potato at the ripe old age of almost-twenty-five, and all I can say is, HOLY COW BAKED SWEET POTATOES ARE A REVELATION. In addition to baking my first potato, I made croutons from scratch which were an excellent compliment to the mushy baby food consistency of this soup (sorry David, didn't have the time nor energy to push this broth through a fine mesh sieve). Now enough about me, and on to the recipe...

Thanks for the dinner rec @dffinger
wine & caprese not included

1 yellow onion
5 stalks celery
4 cloves garlic
6 sweet potatoes (foil for baking)
6 cups veggie stock Heavy cream (optional - sub in Greek yogurt if you like)
Homemade croutons and olive oil for garnish *

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Wash sweet potatoes, poke generously with a fork, wrap in foil, place on baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for an hour (or until tender)
  3. Dice onion, celery, and garlic. Sweat in a pot with butter or olive oil until translucent with salt, pepper, and chili flake.
  4. Add baked sweet potato and enough veggie stock (about six cups) till loose enough to process in a hand blender or food processor.
  5. Pulse in small batches till smooth (adding cream if need be).
  6. OPTIONAL: Pass through strainer to remove any bit of fiber. Return to clean pot, at 50% stock & 50% cream until reaching desired consistency.
  7. Garnish with a bit of olive oil, fresh croutons, a dollop of Greek yogurt, etc.
* Homemade croutons recipe (to be made at the same time as potatoes are baking)
  1. Cube about three cups of bread (I like fancy crusty bread)
  2. Melt 3 TBS of butter
  3. Toss cubed bread in melted butter, season with dried garlic, onion, oregano, Italian seasoning, etc.
  4. Put in roasting pan at 350-400 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until crunchy, buttery, delicious, and irresistible.

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