Creamy Sweet Potato Soup With Pancetta Croutons

Not that I needed an excuse to create yet another new soup recipe, but I recently heard of a celebration of soups hosted by Cheryl of TidyMom and Kristen of Dine and Dish starting tomorrow called SoupaPalooza and decided I had to join in the fun. When trying to decide what soup I would make, I decided to use an ingredient I already had on hand and to keep it simple. My husband is extremely fond of sweet potatoes so we almost always have them stored in my vegetable basket on my counter. I grabbed two huge garnet red sweet potatoes, an onion, some garlic cloves and was all set to go. This soup is deceptively simple because what really makes the soup sing is the addition of smoked paprika (my new favorite spice), a touch of ground cinnamon and cumin, and just a little ancho chili powder. The sweetness of the potatoes and onions really just work when combined with the spices I chose. The soup comes together quickly, but is really better if it is left overnight in the refrigerator which allows the flavors to meld together and develop. To serve the soup, I topped it with some crispy croutons cooked with some diced pancetta which added some texture as well as a little saltiness.

Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2012

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Creamy Sweet Potato Soup With Pancetta Croutons

Yield: Serves 6

Prep Time: 15 mins

Cook Time: 45 mins

A smokey flavor combines well with the sweetness of the potatoes in this creamy soup.

Ingredients:

1 Large Sweet Onion, Peeled & Chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Chopped
2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
2 Pounds Sweet Potatoes, Peeled & Diced
4 Cups Low Sodium Chicken Broth
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
1/2 - 3/4 Teaspoon Ancho Chili Powder
Salt & Pepper To Taste
1 Cup Whole Milk
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
Garnish:
2 Cups Diced Multigrain Bread (Cut Into 1/2 Inch Pieces)
3 Tablespoons Diced Pancetta
1 Teaspoon Olive OIl
Cracked Black Pepper

Directions:

In a heavy stock pot, heat the olive oil and then cook the onions over medium heat until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook another couple of minutes until fragrant.
Add the potatoes, chicken broth, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, chili powder and bring to a boil.
Reduce the heat to a low boil and cook until the potatoes are very soft, about 25 minutes.
Use an immersion blender and blend the soup until very smooth.
Add the milk and cream and heat to a simmer.
Taste the soup and season with salt and pepper as needed.
Keep the soup warm while you prepare the garnish.
In a frying pan, heat the olive oil, then add the pancetta and stirring often, cook until it is no longer pink.
Add the croutons and cracked black pepper, and carefully stir and cook the croutons until they are crisp and golden brown.
Serve the soup in individual bowls topped with some of the crouton pancetta garnish.



 

10 Responses to “Creamy Sweet Potato Soup With Pancetta Croutons”

  1. 1
    Anna @ the shady pine — February 29, 2012 @ 4:44 am

    Such a colourful and hearty soup to warm the heart cockles.

    [Reply]

  2. 2
    Ann — February 29, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

    It looks stunning AND delicious! Beautiful photos – as always!

    [Reply]

    Deborah Reply:

    Thanks Ann!

    [Reply]

  3. 3
    Andrea @Andreas Kitchen — February 29, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

    This soup sounds great- lots of my favorite flavors in there!
    I think you would love my most recent post- Garnet Yam Crisp with Dried Cherries and Coconut. It is super healthy and has minimal sugar.
    Thanks for the soup recipe!

    Andrea

    [Reply]

  4. 4
    Judy — March 1, 2012 @ 1:11 am

    Hi Deborah,

    This sounds wonderful, love sweet potato, but do you have any suggestions to replace the milk and cream as my daughter and husband are vegans. They use soy milk, but I’m not sure what to replace the cream for cooking. Would coconut milk go with it?

    Cheers Judy

    [Reply]

    Deborah Reply:

    Judy, I would simply use vegetable broth in place of the dairy.

    [Reply]

    suz Reply:

    i will definitely use coconut milk… and/or soy milk… should be nice and creamy!

    where do you find smoked paprika??? sounds divine!!

    [Reply]

    Deborah Reply:

    You can find smoked paprika at many specialty food stores or certainly online.

    [Reply]

  5. 5
    Christine — March 1, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

    Hi Deborah,

    This looks just yummy. My husband has to watch his intake of fats. Is it possible to reduce the amount of fat in the soup and still retain a creamy flavor? Thanks.

    [Reply]

    Deborah Reply:

    Christine, you could certainly use low fat milk and fat free half & half. The potatoes by themselves will keep the soup thick and creamy as long as you really puree them well.

    [Reply]

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