Image by shannon_turlington via Flickr
When the days get chilly and gloomy, I get in the mood for soup. We eat a lot of soup around here, at least once a week, and I am always on the lookout for exciting new recipes to try. Now that I am in the habit of making my own stock, I always want to make soup when I have a fresh batch on hand.
I never thought of making sweet potato soup before, although we eat a lot of butternut squash and potato soup. But when I saw the recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato and Tomato Soup in Sara Foster’s cookbook, Fresh Every Day, it sounded just like fall to me.
This soup was not very difficult to make, although it requires quite a bit of time. Most of that time is not hands-on, so this is a good choice for an afternoon when you want to do other things while making dinner. The flavor was warm, hearty and filling. The smooth sweetness of the sweet potatoes were punctuated by the acidity of the tomatoes. I definitely advocate adding a bit of browned sausage–it provides a contrast to the sweet flavor and turns this soup into a meal.
The recipe makes a lot of soup, enough for 8 or more portions. I ended up freezing 3 batches of it for later. I made a few adjustments to the recipe. I cut back on the amount of oil and butter used to lower the fat content, and I omitted some herbs that I didn’t have. The recipe calls for stirring in some fresh-squeezed orange juice at the end, which I forgot to do, but we didn’t really miss it.
Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
Yields: 8 servings
Time to make: ~2 hours
What you need:
- 5-6 med. sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp. olive oil plus some extra for oiling the sweet potatoes
- 6 plum tomatoes, cored and halved
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 6 cups stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8-10 thyme sprigs, leaves removed
- sausages, sliced or crumbled, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Rub the sweet potatoes with some of the oil.
- Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet covered with foil and put them in the oven to roast for 15 minutes.
- Toss the tomatoes and garlic with 1 tbsp. olive oil and vinegar.
- Spread them on a baking sheet covered with foil and place them in the oven alongside the sweet potatoes.
- Continue roasting another 30 minutes, until the tomatoes are slightly shriveled and the sweet potatoes are soft when squeezed.
- Remove the pans from the oven and let cool a bit.
- Tear the tomatoes into pieces over a small bowl to catch the juices and set aside.
- Remove and discard the skins from the sweet potatoes.
- Melt the butter with the remaining 1 tbsp. oil in a large saucepan or dutch oven over medium.
- Add the onion and saute until translucent, 10 minutes.
- Add the carrots and celery, and cook until soft, 10 minutes.
- Add the stock and season to taste.
- Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes.
- Add the sweet potatoes, thyme and garlic cloves, and simmer another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Meanwhile, brown the sausage.
- Remove the soup from the heat and puree until smooth (an immersion blender works best).
- Stir in the tomatoes, season again and reheat if necessary.
- Garnish with the browned sausage to serve.
Note: This soup can be made ahead and served cold as a kind of vichyssoise.