We just returned home to Michigan after six weeks in Florida and I have to tell you I am struggling to get used to the colder weather. After sweltering in Florida, I am all layered up now sitting in front of the fireplace trying to stay warm. Since we are usually in Italy at this time of year, it is nice to finally be in Michigan to see all the leaves changing colors for a change. Our backyard is a forest, so the view out of every window is gorgeous!
When the colder weather moves in, I start to crave all of my favorite soups. When trying to decide what soup I would make first, 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 a vegetable basket in my fruit cellar. I grabbed two huge garnet red sweet potatoes, an onion, some garlic, fresh ginger, 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, 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 and develop. To serve the soup, top it with a handful of crunchy croutons, a swirl of sour cream, or some fresh chopped herbs like chives. I prefer soups like this to be very thick, but if you prefer a looser soup, just add a little additional broth until you achieve the texture you like.
My Chicken Coop Surrounded By Color!
Deborah Mele Revised 2020
- 1 Large Sweet Onion, Peeled & Chopped
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Chopped
- 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
- 2 Pounds Sweet Potatoes, Peeled & Diced
- 2-inch Piece Fresh Ginger, Peeled & Chopped
- 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 Half & Half
- 2 Cups Diced Multigrain Bread (Cut Into 1/2 Inch Pieces)
- 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 ginger, then 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 a blender and blend the soup until very smooth.
- Add the half and half 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, 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.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 2 cups
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 336Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 228mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 6gSugar: 15gProtein: 10g