spiced sweet potato soup

Last week we got some beautiful sweet potatoes in our Farmhouse Delivery bushel, and I decided to use them in a soup. I found an interesting recipe for a pumpkin soup in Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries (my favorite book EVER, by the way), and swapped out sweet potatoes for the pumpkin.

It’s such a warming soup… the freshly ground spices add so much heat and flavor, and the meaty chunks of bacon are the perfect topping. Our apartment still kind of smells like cumin, though. 🙂

I also found this awesome online application called Eat Your Books. It’s an online index of recipes from cookbooks. You add the cookbooks you own to your bookshelf, and then you’re able to search them all by ingredient or recipe. I can do a search for “spinach” and come up with a hundred recipes, each one with a list of the main ingredients for the recipe and the book that it was published in. So rather than sitting on the floor surrounded by all my cookbooks, checking each index to see if it has a spinach recipe in it, I can search online and go directly to the book I need. I’m using the trial version right now, but a lifetime membership is only $50, and I’m seriously considering doing that when my trial membership is up.

Anyway, soup!

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Spiced Sweet Potato Soup with Bacon

  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 small dried red chile peppers, crumbled
  • 5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 4 slices smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Cook onion and garlic in butter in a soup pot until soft and translucent. Add the sweet potato and cook until golden brown at the edges.

Toast the coriander and cumin seeds in a small pan until fragrant. Cool slightly, then grind with a mortar and pestle (or in a spice grinder, if you have one). Add with the chiles to the onions and sweet potatoes. Cook for a minute or so, then add the broth. Simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender.

Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and cool slightly, then chop into small pieces.

Puree the soup with an immersion blender (or in small batches in a blender or food processor). Pour in cream and season to taste with salt and pepper. Bring almost to a boil. Serve with bacon sprinkled on top.

Makes 6 – 8 servings.

Adapted from The Kitchen Diaries by Nigel Slater.

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