Meandering down a path of Creativity

I decided that, since we’re dealing with recipes, they should each go into their own post. Hopefully that will make life easier for anyone who needs to search the archives for something specific in the future.

Recipe 2: Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Loosely based on this recipe: http://healthyblenderrecipes.com/recipes/creamy_vegan_roasted_sweet_potato_soup/

So, the night that I wrote the post about how to breakdown a large cut of meat into smaller portions for several meals, I used one of my pork roasts for dinner. We had it with roasted sweet potatoes and ‘sugar snap’ pea pods. Now, I had happened across the recipe I linked above a while back and had been wanting to try it, but I don’t like to run the oven just for roasting up some veg- I prefer to keep it more efficient than that. So, since I had a whole bunch of sweet potatoes from the trip to the market, I popped them all in the oven while the pork was roasting, and then stuck what we didn’t eat into the fridge to make this soup the next day. It came out really nicely and was a hit all around.

What you’ll need:

– Food processor or motorized chopper/blender thing to grind up the nuts into a smooth puree

Stock pot or large pot with a minimum capacity of 12 quarts (You can scale the recipe down if you don’t have a pot large enough to handle this)

– Immersion Blender (aka stick blender- Optional– it just makes the soup pureeing a LOT easier)

4-6 lbs cooked sweet potatoes, peeled (I’ll include how I cooked mine below)

– 1/2 small to medium sized onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion, but any white or yellow onion would be good here)

– 2 Tbs olive oil

– 10-12 cups cooking liquid (I used a combination of vegetable broth, squash soup base I made and canned last summer, and the liquid the sweet potatoes cooked in. You could use vegetable broth and/or chicken broth, but I highly recommend using the sweet potato cooking liquid, as it gives a little extra oomph to the soup flavor)

– 1 c macadamia nuts, unsalted, soaked and pureed (if you don’t have macadamias, cashews would work here, too- if you want the macadamia flavor, but are using cashews, try adding a teaspoon or so of unsweetened flaked coconut to the pot at the same time as the cooking liquid)

 seasonings of your choice (I used about 1 Tbs of thyme, and the squash soup base added approximately 1/4 tsp marjoram, a dash of onion powder and some salt)

– 1 Tbs cider vinegar

What to do:

Cooking the sweet potatoes:

Give the sweet potatoes a quick scrub under running water. Cut them up into chunks that are maybe 2-3 inches on a side. I don’t bother peeling them at this point. Put them in an oven-safe pan. (I lined mine with foil for easy clean-up.) Important: No potatoes should be above the edge of the pan. Add water so it’s about halfway up the wall of the pan, and either put on a tight fitting lid or seal the top with foil. You don’t want the water to escape as steam, so really crimp that foil down on the pan edges. Pop them in a preheated oven at about 350F for an hour or so, until the sweet potatoes are fully cooked. Take off the lid and allow them to cool enough to be handled.

Making the soup:

At least 6 hours before starting the soup, pour a few cups of hot water over the macadamia nuts and allow to soak for an hour or 2. Drain the water, rinse the nuts, add more water and allow to soak until you’re ready to start the soup.

Change the water in the nuts again.

Chop up the onion, and, in a stock pot (or whatever you like to use for soup), saute in the oil until translucent. Add the thyme and marjoram, giving it a stir to distribute the herbs. Add about 10 cups of cooking liquids and heat this soup base over medium to medium high.

While the soup base heats, peel the sweet potatoes and add them to the pot as you go. (The peels compost very nicely!) Once all of the sweet potatoes are added, put the lid on your pot and allow it to come to a boil, stirring occasionally. Once it’s boiling, remove the lid and reduce the heat to a simmer.

Taste, and adjust your seasonings. Allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Drain & rinse your macadamias one last time, then add them to the bowl of your food processor, along with about 1 cup of your soup base. Puree until as smooth as possible- any little bits that are not ground up now will be in the finished soup.

Remove the soup from the heat, add the macadamia puree to the pot, stir & put the lid back on. Walk away for 10-15 minutes.

At this point, you can either blend the soup in batches in your food processor or use your stick blender to puree it in the pot. Use more of the cooking liquid to thin it out, if the consistency is too thick for you.

Once it’s pureed, give it another taste to check if it needs salt or any other seasoning adjustments and then serve with bread and butter (a nice cornbread would be a perfect accompaniment to this soup!)

BONUS: Since there’s no dairy, leftovers can be frozen without worry of separation or curdling!

Please don’t forget to let me know what you think if you give this a try!

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