Monday, March 23, 2009

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

Yeah, soup again. It may be spring officially, but things are still chilly enough in my part of the world that soup sounds good to me (the winter-spring divide in California is very fuzzy). I've made this soup twice in the last month for friends who have been in the hospital because it is a inexpensive meal that I feel like I can feed anyone. It has good flavor from the aromatics and dried herbs, but it is incredibly healthy - all vegetables, with a little bit of olive oil to draw out the onion and garlic. Unlike most soups, it doesn't require any broth/stock, so there is no chicken or beef stock to offend the vegetarian, and there's no vegetable broth to notch up the sodium content. To top it off, it's got a bright orange hue to liven up a cloudy March day. Time to pull out that immersion blender!

Vegan Sweet Potato Soup

From "A Simple Soup" on Chocolate and Zucchini

1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 medium carrot, peeled and sliced
3 medium zucchinis, sliced
dried herb blend, like 21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's (or fresh herbs if you've got some)
salt & pepper

1. Prepare vegetables according to ingredient list.
2. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion and garlic over medium heat until limp and translucent.
3. Add sweet potatoes, carrot, herbs, and salt and pepper.
4. Add water to just cover the vegetables (more water will make the soup thinner, less will make the end product thicker). Cover and bring to a boil. Cook covered for 15 minutes once it has reached a boil.
5. Add zucchini and cook for 5-10 minutes longer. Test vegetables with a fork or knife to determine level of tenderness (I prefer more firm zucchini, so 5 minutes is sufficient for me).
6. Taste and adjust seasoning.
7. Mash up the vegetables with a fork or potato masher, or blend with an immersion blender or in a food processor to desired consistency. It gets thicker the more you break up the sweet potatoes.

Make buttermilk biscuits (recipe to be posted later) to serve with the soup, and use the remaining sweet potatoes and buttermilk to make Sweet Potato Pound Cake with Buttermilk Glaze! Oh yeah, and the leftover zucchinis for Zucchini Pancakes. The possibilities are endless.

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