Friday, October 14, 2011

Sweet Potato Soup with Orange Crème Fraîche

Sure, if you want orange soup for Halloween, pumpkin is the obvious choice. But if you're suffering from pumpkin overload (maybe you're not yet, but give it two more weeks), then you might want to consider sweet potato soup (carrot soup is great too). Of course if you do make it for Halloween, you should probably use the crème fraîche to make a spider web or little white ghosts or something (instead of what I did, which looks like Valentine's Day must be right around the corner).

Serves 8-12

Orange Crème Fraîche:
1 cup crème fraîche (homemade or store-bought)
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange zest
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)

Sweet Potato Soup:
1 stick unsalted butter
3 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon maple sugar or golden brown sugar
2 large leeks, chopped (white and pale green parts only)
1 1/3 cups finely chopped celery
1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger
10 cups low-salt chicken broth or vegetable broth, plus more if needed
1 1/3 cups orange juice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

1.      Mix crème fraîche, 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger and orange zest in small bowl to blend. Cover and refrigerate (can be made 2 days ahead). Thin with cream if a thinner consistency is desired.
2.      Preheat oven to 400° F. Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in large pot over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add sweet potatoes and sugar and toss to coat. Arrange sweet potatoes on 2 baking sheets. Roast until very tender and starting to brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
3.      Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium heat. Add leeks, celery and 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger and sauté until leeks begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add roasted sweet potatoes and sauté 2 minutes. Add broth and orange juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until leeks and celery are very tender, about 20 minutes.
4.      Puree soup using an immersion blender. Thin with more broth, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
5.      Bring soup to simmer. Ladle into bowls. Spoon small dollops of crème fraîche atop soup. Draw skewer through crème fraîche to form design. Sprinkle with parsley.

adapted from Bon Appétit, December 1997
Obviously I grated the ginger right after the orange peel.
adding orange zest & ginger to crème fraîche (the ginger sank)

You don't need to add any cream if you don't plan on
making a design with your
crème fraîche (you can just
swirl some into your soup with a spoon).
sweet potato chunks
sweet potato chunks (already roasted)
chopped leeks
Make sure to clean the leeks really well, they can
be very gritty. I soak them in a bowl of water for
a few minutes and separate/move them around.
The dirt sinks to the bottom, then I scoop out the
leeks and give them a good rinse.
leeks, celery and ginger cooking
sweet potatoes added
broth and orange juice added
ready to blend
blended, thanks to the ol' thunderstick
garnishing with orange crème fraîche

You can use a squeeze bottle if you want
more control, but a spoon does the job too.
getting decorative with a skewer
sprinkled with parsley

The parsley seems superfluous to me. I think it's only
for color. I don't think you'll miss it if you leave it off.


Unknown said...

I always end up checking your website around 10-11 in the morning. That is the worst time possible to look at delicious food...just for the record!!!

I am always so impressed with how good everything looks. Sometimes my food tastes good, but never actually looks good.

Awesome job!!

Susan said...

Aw, thanks Jared! Maybe you can move your lunch hour to 11am. ;)

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