Sweet Potato Soup
By: Kaitlin Hill
On a daily basis, my mom asks me to re-create something she's eaten in a restaurant, seen in a magazine or remembers from her childhood, with nothing but a vague description and imprecise instructions to go on. Her comments of "It may have had a little of this in it but maybe not," or "I remember it being creamy but not too creamy," are hardly helpful and make this task a challenging one. So recently, when she presented me with a typed-up recipe with exact measurements and detailed instructions, courtesy of a friend, I was pleasantly surprised and excited to try it.
The recipe for Sweet Potato Soup was straightforward enough, but I did tweak it to make it easier for my mom to cook on her own and more suited to her taste, with which I am very familiar.
Pricking and microwaving the sweet potatoes versus steaming them helps expedite the cooking process and blending the soup makes it velvety smooth. It is hearty enough to work as cold weather sustenance, yet light enough to be enjoyed year round. Better yet, it is gluten-free and can be made dairy-free, which makes it great for entertaining a waistline-weary or dietarily-restricted crowd. My mom and I are neither; but, we still make this soup any chance we get. I bet you will, too!
Makes 4 - 6 servings
3 ounces of prosciutto, roughly chopped
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of butter (sub olive oil for dairy-free option)
1 teaspoon of minced rosemary, more for garnish
2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and rinsed
2 1/2 cups of chicken broth
salt and pepper, to taste
Measure out all ingredients. To prep the sweet potatoes, prick them all over with a fork and microwave them for 10 minutes until soft. Set aside. Next, place a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the roughly chopped prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. This will take about five minutes. Remove the cooked prosciutto from the pot with a slotted spoon and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Set aside.
Next, add the butter (or olive oil) to the pot, followed by the shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the shallots until they are soft and lightly caramelized, stirring occasionally. Add the rosemary and cook for two more minutes.
Scoop the flesh of the sweet potatoes out of the skins and add to the pot. Break the sweet potato up using a wooden spoon or spatula.
Top the sweet potatoes with the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Taste the soup and adjust the seasoning if needed. Purèe the soup with an immersion blender or by carefully transferring the hot soup into a regular blender. Process until completely smooth.
To serve, ladle the hot soup into bowls and top with the crispy prosciutto and a sprig of rosemary. Enjoy!