Kaki, I have the ingredients for two different dinners in my fridge right now. Two delicious dinners. One of them is relatively easy, one of them relatively time consuming. And yet, this afternoon while working from home, I decided to make option three: soup.
How I’ve gotten on such a soup kick I don’t know. Part of it has been the whole “cook beans from scratch, oh and also you can save their cooking liquid for soup!” thing. Part of it has been that it has been freakin’ cold here lately. And also, soup is just hard to screw up. Even if it ends up looking not so cute, it’s normally not too hard to add to if it initially comes out “meh”.
So today I threw a few cups of black-bean cooking liquid and a chopped sweet potato into a pot. I added some spices, but not too many. I simmered for half-an-hour. Then I pureed that bad boy with my immersion blender.*
And it was so good, Kaki. I couldn’t believe how smooth the soup got. When I’ve made pureed soups before they never got quite as smooth as I would have liked, and I think I’ve figured out why: onion. I almost universally start a savory dish with onion, and onion just doesn’t puree especially well. But today I just couldn’t be bothered with chopping an onion, or mincing up some garlic, or anything. And it turned out so silky and creamy; what a discovery!
Also, for lunch I had this with the most basic of quesadillas, literally just cheese I threw onto a tortilla and pan-fried. Then tonight I warmed some of the soup up for dinner… and stirred in a scoop of barbeque sauce! I’m thinking this soup is going to be a great chameleon recipe, adapting at will, both during cooking and as leftovers. Which is just how I like it. Now I’m dreaming of serving it in a bread bowl… if only I had a large, fluffy, circular loaf of bread just lying around! Ah well, another day.
Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 large sweet potato (mine weighed over a pound)
- 2-ish cups black bean cooking liquid (from cooking 1 pound of black beans)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or I might try a bit of abodo sauce next time!)
- 1 dried Thai Lime leaf** (optional)
- 1 cup vegetable stock
Peel and roughly chop the sweet potatoes. Place the chopped potatoes, bean cooking liquid, and seasonings (cumin, salt, onion powder, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne, and Thai Lime leaf) into a dutch oven. Heat, covered, over medium to medium-high heat until at a brisk simmer/light boil. Turn heat down to medium and simmer for 30-40 minutes, until sweet potatoes are very soft.
Remove the Thai Lime leaf and discard. Using an immersion blender puree the soup until smooth***. If the soup is too thick to really puree (mine was) add up to a cup of vegetable stock (I used the full cup). Season the soup to taste with salt if needed and serve!
How’d the race go, my dear? I can’t wait to hear about it!
Have a good week,
*My immersion blender and I have a special relationship… in that I use it for everything. Sauces? Yes. Sorbet? Yes. Soups? Yes. Homemade mayo? Yes. Frozen coffee drinks? Yes. I use it for everything, and have for years and it hasn’t quit on me yet (though it threatened to while making the sorbet). I don’t know if you have one but if you don’t you really need to acquire one ASAP.
**Remember those leaves Andrew’s aunt let us pick from her garden? I used one in this instead of a typical bay leaf! I don’t know that I really tasted the lime, but I think the flavor of bay would have been a little off, so I’m glad I used it. I still need to try it in a curry, though.
***You could of course also transfer the soup to a regular blender and just blend it smooth in batches. Except don’t do that, just get/use an immersion blender, it’s so much easier.
(1) With BARBEQUE SAUCE? Inspired.
(2) I use my immersion blender at least weekly. It’s such a good investment.
(3) The other good thing about soup? Fending off the holiday heavy meals. This recipe has all the fall flavors you would want, minus the need for a nap. Well done, my friend. Well done.