This year, when my friends started posting photos of the leaves changing in the midwest, there was a part of me that wanted to go back (poor M thought I was nuts when I asked him if he thought he might find a job in Chicago or Minneapolis). While part of my heart will always be in the midwest, I think a large part of my “let’s move back’ drive was due to the fact that Northern California was boycotting the end of summer up until last week. It’s hard not to repeat myself when it’s fall. I’m a pretty simple creature this time of year- I just want a bit of cool weather, a chance to sit by the fireplace with a cup of tea on the brisk mornings, and to eat my weight in soup.
Luckily for California (and M), it actually feels like fall: I’m sitting by the fire with my tea and feeling a bit more settled with the season. And I’m also sharing soup recipes! I tend to like the flavor of butternut squash soup over sweet potato but there are occasions when I don’t feel like messing with the (sometimes) cumbersome butternut squash. This soup is simple but it’s really the toppings that throw it over the edge (I’m showing my bias towards fall and blue cheese.)
Smoked Paprika Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (roughly 4 cups)
- 1 pear, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (roughly 1 cup)
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Blue cheese, garnish
- coarsely chopped pecans, garnish
- Heat a pot over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, then shallots; saute until shallots are fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in sweet potatoes, pears, 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth, the smoked paprika, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until potatoes are soft, 15 to 18 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender (or transfer soup to a standard blender) and puree until smooth. Add more vegetable broth, if you prefer a thinner soup. Stir in heavy cream. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- Divide soup into two bowls. Top with crumbled blue cheese, pecans and freshly ground black pepper.
by Erin Alderson