I adore soups and stews during the fall and winter. I don't know if there is a more cozy meal on cold days than a warm soup with crusty bread. As I said, this was an early recipe for me, from The Everyday Vegan. I don't post recipes from TEV often, simply because I don't have the electronic version of the final manuscript, and so posting recipes from this book requires retyping. When I made this soup again last week, though, I decided I'd take on the typing task to share it with you (ah, the sacrifices I make for you lovelies). :) So, please link through to find the recipe for this Pureed Squash and Sweet Potato Soup from TEV.
Here's a few extra tidbits about the recipe:
- First off, the original title uses "yam" instead of "sweet potato". Oh boy, I've talked about this before in my posts... essentially in the US use what you know as sweet potatoes - the orange-fleshed tubers. In Canada, our 'sweet potatoes' are labelled as yams - either garnet or jewel yams. I know that yams mean something different in the US, but in Canada, this is what we find in our grocery stores, and then sweet potatoes are the yellow-fleshed tubers much like a garnet or jewel yam, but with a yellow (and drier) flesh. So, the short of this explanation is use the orange-fleshed tubers, whether you know them as sweet potatoes, or yams. Got that? Okay. whew. On to the next tip...
- For this recipe, I prefer to first bake the butternut squash and sweet potatoes whole. Yep, stick 'em on a baking sheet lined with parchment and bake the suckers at 4oo for about an hour or until they can all be easily pierced with a skewer. Now, depending on the sizes of squash and sweet potatoes you use, one may bake more quickly than the other. I typically find the squash bakes quicker because I use fairly large sweet potatoes. If this is the case, you can either leave them baking together (if you estimate there's not much time left in the baking for both)... or remove whichever is baked throughout, and place on a plate to start cooling. Why do I use this method? First, I find it easier to use the softened squash/potatoes than to peel and cut through so much very hard veg. Second, I like the taste roasting gives the vegetables, and also the smell it brings to the kitchen. Whenever I make it, hubby says "it smells like Christmas in here"! And it does, because I roast squash for an entirely different dish that I make for our Christmas dinner.
- After roasting, you let the vegetables cool enough to handle, and then scoop the flesh away from the peel to add to the soup. (Bonus tip: use butternut squash - the flesh separates easily from the skin, and there are very few seeds to scrape away!) With that, you simply puree your soup with an immersion blender and you're done! (Anyone that has followed my blog knows my affection for the ever-handy immersion blender. Really, it's a must in your kitchen for pureeing soups, making salad dressings, sauces, and even smoothies. Get yourself one! You know, Santa is listening!) :)
I love this soup also for its flavors and texture. The sweet potatoes add a thick, velvety smoothness that you cannot get from the butternut squash alone. The spices are not heavy, instead they give enough of a savory balance to the sweetness of the squash and potatoes, and with notes of cinnamon and fresh ginger that are natural matches for these winter vegetables. Here it is again, with a piece of fig and fennel bread from a local bakery. Simplicity and comfort all in one. Yes, life is good with a great bowl of soup.