Sweet potatoes? Not on my menu a couple of years ago. Besides we also had a bad start. We first met (as I remember) on a Thanksgiving dinner, the sweet potatoes had been sprinkled with brown sugar, covered with marshmallows and baked. They looked really good and I thought: “what a great dessert idea”. But it was a side dish and came along with the other Thanksgiving favorites like honey baked ham and roasted turkey. I am easy to feed and always curious about food so I tried the sweet potatoes between entree and dessert, like a ‘dessert appetizer’. And I like the idea having two courses of sweets. But I will never become a good friend of sweet potatoes with marshmallow casserole. However sweet potato fries with aioli are always welcome on my plate.
Buy only firm sweet potatoes and handle with care to prevent bruising. They don’t like to be stored in the refrigerator, keep them at 55-60 F and they will be good for two weeks. They are heavy on the nutrition side packed with vitamin C, iron and calcium and and low in calories. I was surprised how filling they are, one bowl of soup keep me full for hours.
baked sweet potato soup with onions
3 sweet potatoes
2 white diced onions (3 cups)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
500 ml / 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
200 ml orange juice (juice from 2 oranges)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
yogurt and fresh parsley, basil or cilantro
Place the potatoes (with skins left on) on a rack and back 45 minutes 200 C / 400 F or until they are soft. Let rest until cool enough to handle then they are very easy to peel. On a large cutting board mash the sweet potatoes with a fork.
In a deep pot add the butter and olive oil and turn to medium heat. Add the onions and saute for about 10 minutes. The onion should soften but not brown. Pour in the broth and the mashed sweet potatoes, keep stirring and bring to simmer for 2 minutes. Add the orange juice, cumin, salt and pepper and more broth if it thickens too much.
Serve with yoghurt and sprinkle with some green herbs.
• Replace cumin with nutmeg or ginger.
• Brown bacon pieces until crisp, remove from the pot, put them on a plate with paper kitchen towels. Reduce the fat in the pot until there are 2 teaspoon left and saute the onions without adding butter or olive oil. Sprinkle the bacon over the soup just before serving.