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simplest sweet potato soup

Simplest Sweet Potato Soup | Delightful CrumbI hope this finds you on the way out of a restful, joyous and delicious Thanksgiving weekend! Though I wasn’t able to go home and be with family to celebrate, mine was, nonetheless, delightful. Here in finally-a-little-bit-chilly Oakland, there was plenty of great food, an incredible Thanksgiving dinner at the home of dear friends, a beautiful hike on Thanksgiving day, lots of rest, many glasses of wine, some early-holiday-season festivity, quiet mornings, a Christmas tree. Bliss.

I appreciated the weekend’s calm perhaps more wholeheartedly than ever before, having come off of a wonderfully chaotic month of work as Good Eggs geared up for the most food-centric holiday of this country. Along with my increased gratitude for sleep and the absence of turkey-themed dreams, I have a newfound understanding of how very hard folks in the food industry work during the holiday season. I was busy, but plenty of others are busier. It’s a weighty thing that this one particular day—and, zooming out just slightly, this time of the year—is so crucial to the success of a small food business. It’s easy to get wrapped up in our hard work, but I was reminded in these last few days that as good as work can be, we just can’t survive without leisure alongside it. Rest is essential, a gift when we get it handed to us, a thing we’d be better for prioritizing.

And in the midst of chaos, simple meals reign supreme. This is among my key strategies for finding calm on busy days. As we head into the thick of the holiday season, where parties and festivity abound, it is necessary to have simplicity interspersed betwixt the parties and cookies and glasses of champagne.

I reread Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal recently, taking away a different handful of ideas and inspiration than before. After the first time I read it, I had, on a few occasions, taken the author up on her suggestion to clean and cook all vegetables straight from the farmers market. But I’ve got to say that this doesn’t entirely work for me. First of all, we eat roast vegetables like champs. In this household, they do not last as long as Tamar suggests they might. I’m also not convinced of the time savings of this strategy. Since I like things warm, I end up dirtying dishes twice in pursuit of one dish. Plus, doing it all at once has the adverse effect of stressing me out, what with all the produce scraps that end up on the floor and the delayed gratification inherent in the task.

But the woman is most certainly right when it comes to roasting sweet potatoes whole. This is an amazing move. Time saving, delicious, almost-a-meal, etc. They’re delicious sliced cold and topped with olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped almonds and quick-pickled red onion, or cut into cubes and tossed into a salad for extra heft or, obviously, made into soup. I’d outlined a simple sweet potato soup in my most recent Edible San Francisco column, but I now have something even easier up my sleeve. This is simplicity at its finest. I hope it will fuel you through the coming busy days, and even slow you down a bit—warm soup has that effect, I find.

Here’s to peacefulness and good eats this holiday season!

Simplest Sweet Potato Soup | Delightful Crumb

Simplest Sweet Potato Soup

Inspired by Tamar Adler’s An Everlasting Meal

Serves about 4 hungry people

4 large sweet potatoes

Pepper flakes, smoked paprika, cumin, curry powder or other warm spices (optional)

Vegetable broth

Sea salt

Freshly ground pepper

1 lemon (or, try another acidic element: lime, apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar, etc.)

Olive oil, for serving

For serving (optional): Plain yogurt or coconut milk, soft herbs like parsley or chives, pesto, harissa

To roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the sweet potatoes well and poke them with a knife in a couple places so that they don’t burst as they cook. (I recommend cooking a few extra so that you have them around for last-minute meals all week!) Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet or piece of aluminum foil and roast until the skins pull away and the potatoes are very soft, about 1 hour. Allow to cool. The potatoes can be cooked several days in advance. Store in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed container.

When you’re ready for soup, put the sweet potatoes and any spices you’d like in a food processor. (You can leave the skins on if you like the added texture, want to get as much fiber as possible and/or are lazy. Personally, I leave them on. Peeling them will give you a smoother and more delicate texture, however, which is delightful.) Purée until very smooth.

Scoop the sweet potato purée into a heavy-bottomed pot and warm over low heat. As it warms, add vegetable broth one ladle full at a time until the soup reaches your desired consistency. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the juice of 1/2 lemon, taste again and adjust seasonings as necessary.

Serve topped with a long drizzle of olive oil and more cracked pepper. Other delicious toppings include yogurt or coconut milk, soft herbs like parsley or chives, pesto and harissa.

Simplest Sweet Potato Soup | Delightful Crumb

5 Comments (Add Yours)

  1. This looks great! Both the soup and the main dish salad. Gotta try it!

  2. we’re in a season of simple meals as well. There are always whole baked sweet potatoes as they are currans favorite so we go through a lot of mash around here. I usually mix the flesh into lentil soup but have’t thought simpler into a soup of it’s own. Thanks for the idea sweet lady. I’ve worked at a market many a holiday and I know it’s nutty – good luck!

  3. This looks like a lovely, nourishing meal. I totally agree with you about simple meals reigning supreme during the holidays.

  4. Stacy, looks like you are eating extremely well despite your busyness. Your soup and salad look delish!
    I can only imagine how crazy it must be at Good Eggs these days. I used to own a shop and this time of year was pure madness.
    Hang in there lady!
    xoxo
    E

  5. Nice blog and super menus!