Soup is basically Ellie’s favorite food on the planet. Just before writing this, I watched her eat three helpings of lemon chicken soup and attempt to lick the bowl. This sweet potato soup has the same effect on her. It is comforting and lightly spiced with cinnamon, but has a little bit of sherry vinegar to keep things interesting and out of the dessert department.
In addition to the great flavor, there are some other things that add to the awesomeness of this soup. First, it freezes beautifully, so you can make a big batch and store the rest in your freezer for a later day. Secondly, to make a simple dinner or lunch, all you have to do is add a sandwich. My current favorite is whole wheat bread, spread with coarsely ground Dijon mustard and topped with chicken, and 2 tbsp. Gruyere. I toast it in a little extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick pan, flipping it halfway through so both sides are a golden brown.
If you’re feeling so inclined, you can top the sweet potato soup with a hint of cream and a sprinkle of pepitas. With these touches, it’s ready to be the first course of a fancy meal. (I served this as the starter for Thanksgiving this year.)
Sweet Potato Soup
Serves 4 and a toddler
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, halved
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. slivered almonds
1 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth, plus more if you like a thinner soup
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp. cream, if desired
1/4 c. pepitas, toasted, if desired
Preheat your oven to 450 F. On a baking sheet, toss the sweet potatoes in 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, freshly cracked black pepper and salt. Roast them, skin side up for 30 to 45 minutes. (To hurry this along, choose smaller sweet potatoes. They roast a lot faster.)
While the potatoes are roasting, toast your almonds over medium low heat for 5 -10 minutes. When you can smell them or they start to brown, remove them from the heat and place them in a small bowl. Warm 1 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable broth in a medium sized saucepan over low heat.
When the sweet potatoes are cooked through, place the toasted almonds in a food processor. Blend it into a fine meal. It should have the consistency of flour or wet sand.
Now, scoop the flesh out of the sweet potatoes using a spoon. Place it in the food processor. Add in the cinnamon and blend it all together. If your mixture is too thick and not combining very well, add splashes of water using a tablespoon to loosen it up.
When the sweet potato is smooth and creamy, add it to the warm broth. To that, add 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar and several turns of freshly cracked black pepper. Bring the soup to a bubble. Add more or less broth until you have reached your desired consistency. Taste it and add salt and pepper if needed.
In each bowl, you can swirl in 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. cream and top the soup with a sprinkling of pepitas. But, it’s also great without it.