sweet potato soup

lovely sweet potato soup

I was looking through some sweet potato soup recipes and as none of them were particularly to my liking, I made a bit of a Frankenstein concoction by taking from here and adding it to some of there and I was quite happy with what I came up with! The peanut butter might seem like an odd addition to some of you, but it gives a wonderfully nutty, sweet base to the soup and makes it very unique indeed! This soup could be adapted for vegans very easily by using olive oil instead of butter and coconut milk instead of the cream. In fact, had I had some coconut butter on hand, I probably would have used that anyway, but the cream worked out lovely!

Best Ever Sweet Potato Soup
2 ½ cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
1 large yellow onion
3 tablespoons butter
2 tblspoons curry
½ teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 whole fresh tomatoes
½ cup natural peanut butter
1 litre vegetable broth (or more to liking)
1 tblspoon brown sugar
3/4cup cream
salt to taste

1. Dice your onions in a food processor or very fine by hand.

lovely sweet potato soup

2. Melt the butter in a large soup pot and add the onions. Saute on medium until glassy, stirring occasionally.

3. Sprinkle spices evenly over onions and allow them to saute and become aromatic for just a few minutes, stirring frequently.

4. Add tomatoes, peanut butter, brown sugar and vegetable broth, using a whisk to blend the peanut butter until smooth.

5. Add the cooked, mashed sweet potatoes, and once again use a whisk to blend the ingredients as well as possible.

lovely sweet potato soup

6. Cook on medium low for ½ hour, stirring occasionally.

7. Blend the soup to completely smooth by either using a submersion blender or carefully putting the liquid into a blender in batches and being very careful not to burn yourself.

8. At the finish, add the cream and stir well. At this point I like to taste the soup and check its consistency- if it needs salt I add it, and if it is too thick I add a little more broth and heat on medium low for another ten minutes.

lovely sweet potato soup

This soup with its high protein content would make a fabulous meal with some naan or a slice of your favorite crusty french bread. Enjoy!

-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and organically for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife

photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller

sweet potato crumble casserole

lovely sweet potatoes

This is the sort of dish that you might think would be perfect for a thanksgiving or a Christmas dinner. And you would be right! But sweet potatoes are a delicious and nutritious vegetable (much more nutritionally and fiber-rich than their yellow-flesh cousin) and good any time of the year. My in-laws had turkey dinner for our Easter celebration recently and this was a perfect dish to contribute to the feast.

Sweet Potato Crumble Casserole
3-4 medium sweet potatoes
1 tblsp olive oil or melted butter
2 tblsp butter
2 tblsp cream
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1-2 tblspn honey

Crumble topping:
½ cup quick oats
½ cup crumbled walnuts
¼ cup melted butter
1/8 cup brown sugar

lovely sweet potatoes

1. Preheat oven to 350. Peel and slice sweet potatoes into thick, 2 inches slices. I a large mixing bowl, cover potatoes with olive oil and mix to cover. Place in a large baking dish or roasting pan. Add two tablespoons of water to the bottom of the dish, cover with lid or aluminum foil, and bake until tender, roughly 1 hour.

lovely sweet potatoes

2. Leave the oven on. Remove cooked potato slices to a large mixing bowl and add butter, cream, spices, and honey. Use an electric mixer to whip until smooth. Place whipped potato mixture in a small-medium casserole dish.

lovely sweet potatoes
lovely sweet potatoes

3. Assemble crumble top my mixing all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Pack the crumble topping onto the potato mixture in the casserole dish.

lovely sweet potatoes

4. Put casserole dish in the oven, uncovered, and bake until the crumble is brown and crisp, roughly 30 minutes.

lovely sweet potatoes

This is a great dish to serve with any meal, and for the more health-conscious, could even be a great, low-sugar dessert. It would also be easy to double and even tripple for a large family meal or church potluck! Enjoy!

-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and organically for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife

photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller

african sweet potato & peanut stew


Even if you not a vegetarian this is a great recipe using loft sweet potatoes.

It even tastes even better the next day (f you have any left-overs)!

1/2 cup water
3 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and finely diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 small carrots, thinly sliced
2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 cup dried garbanzo beans or chickpeas, soaked overnight and cooked until tender.
4 tbsp chopped fresh herbs
3 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp curry powder

Heat the soy sauce and water in a large saucepan.

Add the onions and sweet potatoes, mix well, and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onions are softened.

Add the carrots and bell pepper and cook another three to five minutes.

Add the tomatoes, water, beans with any liquid, herbs, peanut butter and curry powder.

Stir to mix, bring it to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender.

Sprinkle more fresh herbs on top, and serve hot over brown rice.

– Carol likes experimenting with new recipes for her family in Cambridge.

veggie chips


The Jerusalem artichoke has ties to neither Jerusalem nor artichokes. It’s actually a tuber, and a member of the sunflower family. You may have also heard it called a sunchoke. They’re potato-esque in texture but sweeter and nuttier in flavour. Do a Google search for recipes and you’ll find lots of soups.

I decided to try making chips out of them. First let me say that I never deep fry things. I don’t own a deep fryer or any type of frying equipment (i.e., oil thermometer, skimmer) so this was a bit of a departure for me, but the project was super easy and the results were friggin awesome and I will definitely do it again. The only thing you really need is a mandoline slicer. It gets the chips nice and thin. If you don’t have one, you can, of course, use a knife but some pretty awesome knife skills are required to get your sunchokes sliced really thin but also to get any kind of uniformity.

My inspiration was this recipe here. I don’t have the thermometer so I just heated the half-inch of oil in a deep pot over medium high heat until it really sputtered when I dropped a slice of sunchoke in. Then it’s just a matter of keeping watch and having tongs handy to fish the chips out quickly when they’re golden in colour.

The rosemary salt in the recipe is not, of course, mandatory, but man, so good. I used my mortar and pestle to muddle the salt and rosemary together and then sprinkled it on the chips as they blotted on paper towel.

Once the sunchokes were done (and it didn’t take long), I got excited about other possibilities and ended up slicing up a sweet potato, a golden beet and a yellow potato. Fried all those, too, and ended it up with a lovely little bowl of homemade root veg chips. They lasted about five minutes.

artichokes

Here are the sliced artichokes soaking in water…

frying

Here are the artichokes frying…

finished

Here are the finished sunchokes…

time to fry

A sliced beet, potato and sweet potato awaiting their fate…

veggie chips

And finally…the finished bowl of veggie chips. Yum.

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

more sweet potato action


Project sweet potato continued this weekend with sweet potato gnocchi. I found a great recipe in the lovely cookbook Earth to Table, by Ancaster Old Mill chefs Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann. Here is an online link to that very recipe.

This made a significant dent in my potatoes, both sweet and otherwise. In an attempt to avoid refined white flour and get some nice fibre into everyone’s systems, I used whole wheat. The result is pretty dense gnocchi, and I’m not sure that I’d recommend it. It also loses its lovely orange hue when you use whole wheat flour and ends up looking pretty brown and grainy, as you can see. It’s tasty with butter and parmesan but I think it’d be better with the white stuff.

gnocchi

Also made sweet potato soup with a bit of a Thai kick — so good. This recipe, from Anna Olson’s book Fresh (check out the recipe here) was super easy and is creamy and silky, as is usually the case with anything that contains coconut milk. Also used a whack of sweet potatoes and now I am back to having a reasonable amount of them in the pantry — yay for that.

sweet potato soup

Now for the beets!

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

project sweet potato


Anyone peering into my pantry my take me for a hoarder. There are all these little brown paper bags stuffed in there. Open them up and you’ll find sweet potatoes. I emptied them all out onto the counter tonight to see what I’ve got and there are 16 of them. Here’s what it looks like:

sweet potatoes

So clearly I have made meals with sweet potato a priority. Tonight we had Jamaican Beef Pepper Pot Soup, which used two sweet potatoes (and also a couple of Loft peppers and some onion) and, when I can find time this week, I have a batch of soup in mind, too.

I took a picture of the Jamaican soup and it looked terribly unappetizing. Beef stew does not photograph well, especially when an amateur like me is wielding the camera. I showed my husband the photo and said, “Would this picture make you want to eat this?” And he said, “No. Unless I was in jail.” So I’ve spared you. The soup was delicious. Don’t want to spoil that with my prison-esque food photos.

This is the slow-cooker version of the recipe. Click here for a stovetop version.

Jamaican Beef Pepper Pot
Serves 8 to 10
(from The Canadian Living Slow Cooker Collection)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 lb stewing beef cubes
6 slices bacon
2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups beef broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp each salt and pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 each sweet red and green pepper, chopped
1 tbsp wine vinegar
1 tsp hot pepper sauce

Place sweet potatoes in slow cooker.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; brown beef in batches. Add to slow cooker.

Add bacon to skillet; fry over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker.

Drain fat from skillet. Fry onions and garlic, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth to skillet; bring to boil, scraping up brown bits from bottom of skillet. Scrape into slow cooker along with remaining broth, 1-1/2 cups water, tomato paste, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Cover and cook on low until beef and potatoes are tender, about 7 to 8 hours. Skim off fat. Move meat and vegetables to one side of slow cooker. Whisk flour with 1/2 cup water and whisk into liquid in slow cooker. Stir in red and green peppers.

Cover and cook on high until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in vinegar and hot pepper sauce.

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

sweet potatoes


Much of what’s in my local bag lately is amalgamating amongst the staples already existing in the kitchen — leeks, carrots, peppers and onions for soups and stews; apples for lunches and snacks; beets, potatoes and sweet potatoes into the pantry for using here and there. The daikon is a fun challenge — look for a recipe here in a day or two using that as it’s on the menu for us tomorrow night.

The sweet potatoes are definitely accumulating, so I’m putting a bit of an effort into incorporating them into at least a couple of meals this week.

Dinner tonight was especially tasty and also made good use of a leek. It’s an easy and comforting weeknight supper. If you don’t eat meat, you could omit the chicken (and use vegetable stock instead), maybe adding some beans or chickpeas for a tasty stew.

Here’s the recipe (from an old issue of Food & Drink):

Chicken on a Bed of Sauteed Leeks and Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 tsp paprika
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 leeks, white and light green part only, sliced
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Combine 1 tbsp olive oil, thyme, mustard, lemon rind and paprika. Reserve 1 tbsp of mixture and brush the rest over the chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add chicken breasts and cook 2 minutes per side or until browned. Remove from skillet and toss in sweet potatoes. Saute for 1 minute, add leeks and saute for 2 minutes. Add stock, reserved mustard mixture and balsamic vinegar and bring to boil. Reduce heat, return chicken breasts and place over vegetables. Cover skillet.

4. Place in oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken juices run clear. Slice chicken breasts and sere over vegetables. Drizzle over pan liquid.

leeks
chicken

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

baby risotto


So, I call this baby meal “Baby Risotto,” but it isn’t, really. All it really is, is tarted-up rice cereal, but my boy loves it. And it’s a good vehicle for hiding vegetables when I feel he would reject them if presented with them straight-up, which is often. It’s a fast, foolproof little person meal.

To make this recipe, you’ll need some ground up rice. I buy organic brown rice and put it in the blender and grind it until it’s nice and fine. You can do this ahead and keep a jar of the stuff in your fridge. (I actually use a Magic Bullet for grinding, which was a gift to me and has turned out to be one of the greatest little kitchen appliances I’ve ever owned.)

To make, put 1 cup of water in a little pot and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer and stir in 1/4 cup of your ground rice and stir until you’ve got a nice, smooth consistency — just a few mintues. Stir in some grated cheese (or smooth cheese, like goat) to taste.

Here’s where you can get creative adding in whatever veg you’ve got in your fridge. Last night, I used some of this week’s spinach, which I chopped up into thin ribbons, and some tomatoes that I oven roasted, then froze. But you could use anything else, like maybe some of your broccoli, chopped up small, or grated beet, carrot or sweet potato (in which case you’d want to saute them first, until nice and soft, then add the water and the rice). You could roast some of your dumpling squash ahead and stir it in. For something breakfast-y, you could omit the cheese and add cinnamon and grated apple — maybe even a drizzle of maple syrup.

Irv, my 13-month-old, opens his mouth wide like a little bird for this stuff. He likes it so much he forgets to wrestle me for the spoon. I often save this idea for his Friday night supper, when I am fully out of ideas, ambition and want to just get him fed, and fast.

baby risotto

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

white bean, kale and sweet potato soup


I am a big eater of soup in cold weather. I make a pot, freeze it in individual sized containers, and I have instant lunches for work. Filling, warming, healthy. Really, the perfect food.

Tonight I made a big pot of soup with no real clue as to when it will get eaten, but it will. I might freeze this one in one or two larger containers — with some crusty bread, it would be a perfect dinner on some night when life is crazy.

I used Loft’s sweet potatoes, onion, kale and a leek for this recipe. Here it is:

White Bean, Kale and Sweet Potato Soup

1/2 cup dried cannellini beans

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

1 small onion, cut into quarters

1 head garlic

Salt

1/2 cup tubetti, (small tube-shaped pasta – I omitted the pasta, myself)

1 tablespoons olive oil

2 small leeks, rinsed, white and light-green parts cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced (I used one big one)

1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (I used three small, skinny ones)

1 bunch kale, (3/4 pound or however much you’ve got)

6 cups chicken or veg stock

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1.
Place beans in a large bowl, and cover with water. Let soak overnight, and drain.

2. Place beans, 1 sprig rosemary, onion, and 6 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until beans are just tender, about 25 minutes. Drain beans in a colander. Discard onion and rosemary; set beans aside.

3. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Wrap garlic in aluminum foil. Cook until soft, about 40 minutes. Remove garlic from oven, and allow to cool. Slice garlic in half crosswise, and squeeze, removing cloves; set cloves aside.

4. Bring a large stockpot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add tubetti, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a colander, drain, and set aside.

5. Place a 6-quart low-sided saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil; heat until oil is hot but not smoking. Add leeks, remaining sprig rosemary, and roasted garlic cloves. Cook until leeks become translucent. Add sweet potato; cook, stirring until the potato pieces just begin to soften, about 8 minutes.

6. Add kale; cook until kale begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. Add stock; cook until potato pieces are tender, about 10 minutes. Add reserved beans, pasta, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

kale soup

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.

last few things


Well I told you the cabbage was stressing me out and it remains in the fridge, untouched. Now I also have two weeks’ worth of beets in there. For some reason I’m not excited about the idea of eating beets lately, though I do love them. The good news is there’s one bunch of golden and one red, so they’ll make a beautiful dish of some kind when I get around to them. I refuse to let it any of it go to waste so I promise to have some ideas for you next week.

As for the rest, those gorgeous peppery radishes, crunchy carrots and green and yellow beans are tasting good just cut up with dip for lunches or to round out an easy supper.
If you try this dip here (which I’m going to make for a friend’s baby shower this weekend), you’ll also use up a couple of sweet potatoes. Super healthy, kid friendly, and yummy.

Speaking of sweet potatoes, I used a couple more of those — and that green onion bunch — making this recipe here. We had it with some marinated flank steak for dinner. Delish.

radish
green onion

– Dinah Murdoch lives, eats and writes in Kitchener.