Sweet Potato Soup with Brown Butter and Ginger

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Sweet potatoes disappear after the holidays for many people. If you live in the Midwest, it’s hard to imagine sweet potatoes served without marshmallows roasted in a bruleed glory atop a creamy mixture of white, dairy based ingredients. That has its place at the family table, and so does this recipe.

Where this application fits in like a hand to a pocket is Quick But Good Soups 101. It happened like this…

I talked about making a sweet potato peanut soup with all sorts of things in it for about two months. I had inspiration. I was fishing for interest. I received none. Not even a raised eyebrow. Not even a ”That’s nice honey.” So I listened. I had to be honest with myself. I had to tame the chef ego.

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With the ever increasing cost of food, we all become an opportunist at some point during grocery shopping. I watched the produce clerk slash the price on organic sweet potatoes to under $0.70 a pound from thirty feet away, and I saw opportunity. I raced over to the display like a crazed contestant in Super Market Sweep. My daughters, sitting in that ridiculous double-seated race car shopping cart I swore I’d never be seen with, shrieked with joy as we skidded into the display and sent a few potatoes awkwardly rolling away. It’s not the first time I’ve received funny looks in the produce aisle.

At home I roasted them up and against my inner chef; kept it simple. A few additions of balancing ingredients, and a soup was born.

I decided against the toasted marshmallow garnish; it’s a little too cute for me. I went straight for color contrast, as you can see. A little thinned crème fraiche, or a dollop of sour cream will do.  Cilantro adds a few bites of freshness. Depending on how much of a texture junkie you are, add some kind of chopped nuts, any kind, whatever you have in your cupboard. The quarter left over bag of sliced almonds? Yes. The pine nuts you have long since forgotten the purchase date? Yes. The one pound container of salted party peanuts that never goes away? Yes.

Sweet Potato Soup with Brown Butter and Ginger

Serves 4 in soup bowls, 8 in soup cups

4 pounds sweet potatoes (weigh them in store)
4 oz good quality butter
32oz chicken stock
Ginger (half the size of your thumb), peeled and microplaned

Roast the sweet potatoes at 350 degrees until soft in the center. It will take about 40 minutes. This is a good thing to do a day ahead of time. Let them cool and peel them. Set aside.

Brown the butter. This is the hardest part of the whole dang recipe. It takes about five minutes of spacing out, staring at a little pan (stainless steel so you can see the color change). Whisk until color starts to darken. Pull it off the heat and let sit for a minute.

Add all of the ingredients together in a blender and blend until smooth. Dump everything into a stock pot and add a big pinch of salt. Before serving heat the soup to a lazy simmer. Serve with the garnishes of your choice, mentioned above.

Let us know if there is a better soup out there with less ingredients! I hope there is and I want to try it!!!