Our last CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery arrived a week and a half ago, and as I wrote about on Friday, I found myself hoarding the last of the produce for special uses. Among the freshly picked local produce were some beautiful sweet potatoes. You know how in the grocery store sweet potatoes often look a bit haggard? These sweet potatoes were perfectly fresh and didn’t sport the usual bumps and bruises.
At the same time as the sweet potatoes arrived, I had been reading some new information about pure maple syrup and its nutritional superiority over traditional sugar in that it contains 20 antioxidants not found in sugar and has less calories than honey.
What began as simple roasted sweet potatoes, ended up as this delicious soup. This happens to me from time to time…I begin cooking something and then an idea sparks a creative new twist or approach to a mundane recipe. Instead of serving sweet potatoes as a side dish, this twist resulted in a new main dish sweet potato soup, highlighted with a touch of maple syrup sweetness. Lest you mistake this recipe as too-sweet for a dinner, let me assure you the sweetness in this recipe is muted enough to satisfy even the most savory palate.
Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Maple Syrup
4 medium sweet potatoes
2 small russet potatoes
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
pinch of nutmeg
zest of one orange
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
salt and pepper to taste
garnishes (optional): feta cheese, bacon and parsley
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap each sweet potato in foil and roast for 20-30 minutes, or until they are tender to the touch.
In a medium to large stock pot, heat the oil over medium high heat and add the onion.
Cook for 2 minutes, add the garlic, cook for 3-4 more minutes or until the onion and garlic begin to soften and brown a bit.
Add the nutmeg, orange and vegetable broth.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add the mustard and maple syrup, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Using an immersion blender or food processor, blend until completely pureed.
Serve immediately, topping with feta, bacon or parsley, if desired.
Makes 4 generous servings.
This soup should appeal to most children (and adults!) who enjoy sweet potatoes, and warm them up on a cold autumn evening!