The North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission has issued a challenge to Bloggers who blog about food – create an original sweet potato recipe. First thing I had to do was learn how to spell “potato.” … amazes me that it has no “e.”
My dad grew lots of sweet potatoes here on the farm at Big Mill Bed & Breakfast. My brother John told me that some years the Sweet Potato House would be full, so they had to store them in other buildings – like tobacco barns and buildings. That was the year they raised 5,000 bushels of sweet potatoes. They liked special varieties – Hayman, Puerto Rica and Georgia Red. No one here dared raise Jewel potatoes…they just weren’t as good.
When my mother baked a cookie sheet full of sweet potatoes, they were so sweet that the juice crystallized on the pan. She never made sweet potato soup, but I know she would have liked it.
Chloe’s Gourmet Sweet Potato Soup is creamy without any cream. Good for all those lactose intolerant folks. And – no flour thickeners, so it is gluten free. This is a delicate soup that is a good accompaniment to any meal. It is a real show-stopper.
Chloe’s Gourmet Sweet Potato Soup
For the two-color soup, make two batches.
• 4 Tablespoons canola or corn oil, divided
• 2 cups leek, sliced, white parts only, divided
• 1 1/2 pounds red sweet potatoes (about three medium-sized or two large potatoes).
Buy the darkest red sweet potatoes available.
• 1 1/2 pounds light colored sweet potatoes like Hayman, Japanese, Murasaki
or O’Henry (about three medium sized or two large potatoes)
• 1 cup water, divided
• 4 cans (14½ ounce) good quality vegetable broth
• 2 teaspoons orange zest, divided
You will also need for garnish:
• Sprigs of fresh chives
• Edible flowers, like pansies, nasturtiums, violets, Johnny-Jump-Ups
To make the red sweet potato soup:
In a medium sized fry pan, heat 2 Tablespoons canola oil. Add ½ cup sliced leeks. Sauté the leeks on medium heat until tender, stirring often. Do not let the leeks brown. Remove from heat.
Wash and peel the red sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks. Add the red sweet potatoes to the pan with the leeks. Add 1/2 cup water and 1/2 can of vegetable broth. Cover and cook on medium heat until potatoes are tender (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Repeat this procedure with the light-colored sweet potatoes.
Working in batches of different colors, add the sweet potato and leek mixture to a blender. Add remaining half can of vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon orange zest. Pulse gently to make a puree. Add more vegetable broth as needed to achieve the consistency of thin pancake batter. Optional – For a perfectly smooth soup, run the soup through a kitchen sieve.
Using two medium sized sauce pans, heat soups, using low heat and stirring often. Add more broth as needed. Gently pour about 1/2 cup of the red sweet potato soup into a wide, flat soup bowl, allowing soup to settle. Gently pour 1/2 cup of the light colored soup into the other side of the soup bowl. Repeat for each serving of soup.
Garnish with a chive sprig and an edible flower.
This soup can be made ahead of time. Heat each batch separately before serving. You may have to add more vegetable broth or water because the soup tends to thicken as it cools.
Serve warm. Yield with both batches: 7-8 servings.
Big Mil Bed & Breakfast 252-792-8787
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