Leftover roasted sweet potatoes were the inspiration for this hearty winter soup. Sweet potatoes were on sale at the market last week and I grabbed a bagful to roast up in the oven. It's easy to do: I prick them with a fork several times and then pop them onto a cookie sheet for 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F. You can turn them once if you like, but that's not necessary.
Our family likes them as is or with the insides scooped out, mashed and mixed with butter and a little brown sugar and then popped back into the skins for another 10 minutes of cooking time.
I had three baked sweet potatoes left from our supper, so I decided to make soup to have on hand during our cold January weather. I grabbed some frozen vegetable stock from the freezer, sauteed up some onions and veggies, and threw in a couple of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce from my seemingly inexhaustible little can in the fridge, and a smoky, spicy and slightly sweet soup was born:
Smoky Sweet Potato Soup
3 sweet potatoes, baked until soft
2 medium onions, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, peeled and chopped
4 Tbsp. butter
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped (substitute 1 tsp. hot red pepper flakes for heat, but you'll miss the smoky taste of the chipotles)
6 cups vegetable broth
Salt to taste
2 Tbsp. chopped Italian parsley for garnish
Scoop out sweet potato flesh and mash. Set aside.
Heat butter in heavy-bottomed soup pot. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring, being careful not to scorch. Add onions and cook another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add celery and carrots, and keep stirring and cooking until vegetables are softened, about 5-10 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and add sweet potato flesh and chipotle peppers. Let cook another 20 minutes. Season with salt to taste. There is no need to thicken the soup with any kind of flour or cornstarch, as the sweet potatoes add a nice, thick texture. I like the soup chunky, but if you prefer a silken texture, go ahead and puree in a blender or food processor.
Serves 8. Garnish with chopped parsley.
I am sending this recipe on over to Honolulu where my friend Deb of Kahakai Kitchen hosts a weekly "Souper Sundays" event rounding up soups and stews from great cooks all over the map. Be sure to stop by tomorrow at Deb's blog to see what everyone's cooking up!