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.
Deborah Mele 2012
Creamy Sweet Potato Soup With Pancetta Croutons
A smokey flavor combines well with the sweetness of the potatoes in this creamy soup.
- 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
- 2 Cups Diced Multigrain Bread (Cut Into 1/2 Inch Pieces)
- 3 Tablespoons Diced Pancetta
- 1 Teaspoon Olive OIl
- Cracked Black Pepper
- 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.