Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Dinner Tonight: Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup, plus a bonus recipe

Tonight, Mr. Fritz went out with the guys for dinner, so I had a lovely vegetarian-ish meal of Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup. (The "ish" comes from the chicken stock; everything else about it is vegetarian.) This soup, from the December issue of Everyday Food, has quite a kick to it. I'd never cooked with chilies in adobo sauce before, so I was surprised by how incredibly potent they are. The recipe calls for one-half to one chili. I used one half and made sure to discard the seeds before I added it to the pot.

The recipe also calls for the so
up to be blended, and for that I turned to one of my most trusted tools: my immersion blender. I truly think that every kitchen should have one of these; they're small and they are so incredibly handy for blending hot soups, smoothies, even making fresh whipped cream. I think I'm on my third one (they don't last forever, unfortunately, and my first two used rechargeable batteries, which I think just stopped charging. Now I have a plug-in model) and I can't rave about it enough.

I made this soup on Sunday afternoon and have been eating it all week for lunch (and, well, dinner tonight). It turned out velvety smooth and wonderful. It's garnished with a bit of sour cream, which helps to cut the heat from the chilies. I highly recommend it and plan to make it again!

Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup
Source: Everyday Food Magazine, December 2009
Serves: 8. Prep time: 15 minutes. Total time: 50 minutes
2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium white onion, chopped coarse salt and ground pepper 2 tsps. ground cumin 4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 to 1 whole chipotle chili in adobo, chopped 7 cups of low sodium chicken broth sour cream, for serving
toasted flour tortilla wedges, for serving (optional)

1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook until beginning to brown around the edges, about 7 minutes. Add cumin and garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in sweet potatoes, chile, and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce to a rapid simmer, partially cover, and cook until sweet potatoes can be mashed easily with a spoon, 20 to 25 minutes. (I let mine cook for probably 30 minutes longer than that, because I was busy with other things when the initial simmering window was up.)

2. Let soup cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids) (Of course, I just used my aforementioned immersion blender for this and pureed the soup in the pot. Less mess!) Return pureed soup to pot over low heat and season with salt and pepper. Top with sour cream or serve with tortilla wedges if desired.

Bonus recipe: Last night I broiled some salmon topped with dill and lemon, and served it alongside Spinach with Nutmeg and Lemon. The spinach recipe is from the October issue of Everyday Food and it was, as far as spinach goes, sublime. I was able to make dinner in all of nine minutes. And it was the best "fast food" that we've probably ever had! Definitely give it a try!

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