While visiting my sweet CSA farm a few weeks ago, the farmer shocked me with some intel: sweet potatoes ain’t actually sweet. After the farmers harvest them from the ground, they cure these roots for two weeks which develops their flavor (and nutrition). Well, sweet potatoes – your secret is no longer safe, but I love you all the same. Your firm, orange flesh, earthy sweetness, and hothouse of Vitamin A make you a godsend in my kitchen.
Actually, I’ve developed such a jones for these root vegetables that I’m dedicating the next several recipes to them. The first here is a rich, curried soup full of Indian spices and fall plants, ranging from spicy ginger to crisp pear. I adapted this from Love & Lemons, adding regular potatoes* to balance out the sweetness, along with a squeeze of fresh lime. (I love adding in citrus at the end of a dish to brighten up the flavors, a simple idea I learned via Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy.) So go stock up on some magical roots at the market before the cold winter whisks us inside.
I really love being cooped up at home, especially when friends come over to celebrate. I recently had some of these awesome people over where I tried out the dish below. The soup was a big hit, along with the chocolate-covered orange peels and fall spice sangria. To accentuate these dishes I used a great product called Simple & Crisp. I first tried their dried fruit creations at a ladies’ networking event, and pretty much fell “head over peels” for them (lol!). Their clean product and bright taste are most welcome in my kitchen, not to mention they’re just beautiful. (I always go for food that’s delicious, but to be honest, I’m also a sucker for pretty visuals.)
Simple & Crisp sent me several varieties to try, and I couldn’t have enjoyed them more. I garnished the Sweet Potato & Pear Soup with their pear crisps, which served as a tasty dipping utensil. During the party I topped the bowl of sangria with their green apple slices, which were fun to eat and also contrasted nicely against the deep red wine. For the chocolate snacks, I experimented with the citrusy orange slips. Dipped in melted, dark chocolate and dusted with sea salt, those were definitely my favorite. The dried fruit was a bunch of fun to use, and they looked great to boot.
If you’re interested in trying their delicious pieces, check out the different flavors here. They sent me their apple, orange, and pear packages, and now I’m downright curious to try their new blood orange crisps. Hope you enjoy.
By the way, if you have a hankering for more delicious soups, try out a couple of these:
1. Cream of Chickpea Soup by Stir, Sift and Savour
2. Kale, Lentil & Butternut Squash Soup by A Harmony Healing
3. Vegan Squash Apple Soup by me
4. Hearty Spinach & Lentil Soup by FrannycakesPrintsweet potato & pear soup – vegan, gluten-free
Yield: 4 hearty servings
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 small potatoes*
- 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1/2-in. knob of ginger
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 tsp. garam masala
- 1/2 tsp. paprika (smoked is even nicer)
- 2 pears
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk + more to taste
- 1/2 lime’s juice
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks. Puncture each piece randomly and deeply with a fork. Place in a greased baking dish (I love cast-iron) and roast for 45-50 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Finely dice the onion, and peel and mince the garlic and ginger.
- In a large pan (or cast-iron skillet), gently warm up the coconut oil. Add in the onion, lightly salt, and then sauté until the pieces start to turn translucent. If they start to dry out, drizzle in some water. Stir in the ginger, garlic, garam masala, paprika, and salt to taste; cook for another two minutes. Now add in all the potatoes, pears, cayenne, and 2.5 cups water – stirring to roughly combine. Bring the heat up to a simmer, and cook for 8-10 minutes. While the mix is cooking, gently break up the potatoes with a spatula. Generously salt to taste.
- Set aside and let cool slightly. Transfer to a blender or sturdy food processor and add in the milk and lime juice; pouring in more milk will make the soup creamier but also turn down the spiciness. Blend for five minutes, or until you have a consistency you like.
*When perusing for potatoes, try to buy the organic ones. These roots soak up a ton of pesticides when grown regularly, and you don’t need that in your and your family’s bodies.