Thursday, September 12, 2013

Spicy Sweet Potato & Corn Soup.

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

In Miami we really don't get to enjoy all four seasons. I use the word "enjoy" lightly, because I'm not really complaining. I honestly can't see myself out shoveling snow, anyway. I really do love seasonal things, but getting in the Fall-spirit for me usually just means switching to darker nail polish. It's usually not until October that I start to feel like things are changing just a bit.

This year has been a little bit different for some reason. I think it's the fact that I've been eating more fresh fruits and vegetables than ever before. I've seriously been eating peaches like they're going out of style. Every week, I've been going to the grocery store and picking up a bag full. Then my mom will go and do the same, and I'll eat all of mine plus all of hers. Another thing is fresh corn. I love me some canned corn, and a lot of the recipes that I post here make use of it, but there's definitely something to be said for the delicious abundance of sweet and crisp fresh corn in the Summer. This week when I went to the grocery store, though, the peach display was a shell of its former self, the corn stand was as bare as I'd seen it in months, and the berries were so expensive that I just opted to buy frozen instead. I even spotted a basket of tiny pomegranates, my number one favorite winter fruit. 

Summer to Fall soup

So, even though I like to think that it's just Summer forever here, there really are some clear signs of the changing seasons. To celebrate that, and because I know it really does feel like Fall for a lot of you out there, I decided to make a soup that would be a perfect transition between the seasons. The broth is a little bit spicy and smoky, balanced by the sweetness of the fresh corn and sweet potato, and it's all rounded out perfectly when topped with a little bit of guacamole and crushed tortilla chips. I did use a bit of cream in my recipe, but in retrospect I don't think it really needs it. It can easily be omitted, making the soup even healthier (and vegan). 



Spicy Sweet Potato & Corn Soup

Ingredients:

3 ears fresh corn, husks removed, charred on the grill (or in a skillet using this method)
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and very finely diced
1 red chili pepper (I used a Fresno pepper), seeded and very finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp.cumin
2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
Juice of 1 lime
Olive oil (2 to 3 tbsp.)
Kosher salt
Fresh cracked black pepper
6 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
Additional lime (optional), for serving
Avocado or guacamole (optional), for serving
Tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips (optional), for serving
Chipotle hot sauce (optional), for serving - recommended: Cholula Chipotle 


Instructions:

Heat a bit of olive oil in a soup pot over medium hot. Add in your diced onions and allow to saute for about 10 minutes. Add in the diced peppers, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and a pinch of salt and pepper, and allow to saute for 3 to 4 more minutes. 

Add in the diced sweet potatoes and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook covered for 20 minutes. 

Add in the corn and cream, and continue to simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Squeeze in the juice of 1 lime and taste for seasoning. 

The soup can be served as-is, but I used an immersion blender to blend it very quickly and lightly - leaving plenty of the sweet potato chunky.

Serve with your choice of toppings and enjoy.






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