Saturday, April 5, 2014

How To Elevate a Humble Root Veggie

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Sweet potatoes might be one of my favorite ingredients to cook with, mostly because they can be so versatile (and cheap).  You can keep it simple and bake or mash them as a side, or include them in a stir fry, or do what I did this time around and bake them, then turn them into the stars of a rich and delicious soup!

I love a potato soup, but I hadn't really thought much about turning sweet potatoes into a soup before.  This recipe really puts a new twist on the traditional flavor of sweet potatoes, highlighting their flavor with a smokey/chipotle element.

Definitely don't skip the toppings though, otherwise it would be a bit of a "blah" kind of dinner.  The avocado, seasoned tortilla strips and a squeeze of lime really brighten up the entire soup and make it a complete meal.  I would also suggest topping it with a simple corn and black bean fresh salsa if you don't want to go the avocado route.

Smoky Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients for the Soup
2 cups mashed sweet potato (from a baked sweet potato – see below)
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup lowfat milk
Zest from ½ a large orange
1 tsp. smoked paprika
½ tsp. chili powder (or use chipotle powder if you have it)
Salt & pepper to taste

Ingredients for the Garnish
1 diced avocado
Seasoned tortilla strips (I used these)
Lime wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork before baking until tender (about an hour, depending on the size).

Let the potatoes cool, then remove potato skin, add to a blender along with the broth, orange zest and milk. Blend on low until smooth. You can also do this in a pot with an immersion blender.

Add in the salt & pepper to taste, chili powder and smoked paprika.  Heat on top of the stove until simmering (stir occasionally), let simmer for 10-15 minutes to blend the flavors.  Serve with avocado, tortilla strips and a squeeze of lime juice on top.

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