Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Mother Knows Best

Roasted sweet potato soup!

I have to say that my high expectations for all things food related comes from the outstanding meals and desserts I was given by my mother. My mom's love of food started with her own mother - when she would help make dinner for their family or try to tackle a pie recipe for a holiday meal.

The tradition continued when my Mom began educating me and Ariel on the proper ways to bake a cake. At the age of four, we were both able to recite all the steps in the process of cake making. As we grew older, we were able to help her cook Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. She makes the best stuffing in the world, courtesy of an old Gourmet Magazine recipe. She has saved every Gourmet since about 1986. My mom swears by Gourmet, and I have to agree, those recipes never fail to impress.

While my Mom has many tried and true recipes in her archives, she often goes in search of new and interesting dishes. In an email to her daughters, she shares her own original recipe for Roasted Sweet Potato and Garlic Soup. This is a great update on your standard chicken soup recipe. My mom really should have her own blog, but since she doesn't, here's a shoutout to my Moms!

Hi Ariel & Malia,
I thought I would send you a recipe for making soup that you might want to try out for your food blog. You can revise it if you like.

Roasted Sweet Potato and Garlic Soup

- 1 starter package for vegetable soup (from the grocery section of your supermarket)--contains 1 large carrot, two parsnips, two turnips, one small piece of celery, one small piece of leek, one small onion, and some fresh parsley and dilll

- 1 large sweet potato (with darker skin and deep orange flesh)

- 1 head of garlic

- 4 cups of water

- 2 chicken bouillon cubes

- 1 1/2 to 2 cups roasted chicken (I used leftover rotisserie chicken)

- 3 T. olive oil

- dried rosemary, dried basil, salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash all vegetables making sure that dirt is removed, especially from the leek and celery. Peel carrots, turnips, onion, and sweet potato. Cut sweet potato into large chunks. Toss with 1 T. olive oil and some dried rosemary and place in a glass 9 X 9 baking pan.

Prepare garlic for roasting by cutting off top of garlic head with a sharp knife. (Don't peel garlic. Leave the papery skin intact.) Place garlic head on small piece of aluminum foil and drizzle about 1/2 T. olive oil on the garlic. Fold up edges of aluminum foil and make a tight sealed packet. Place both the baking pan filled with sweet potato and the aluminum packet containing the garlic into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile coarsely chop your peeled carrots, parsnips, onion, turnip, celery and leek. Finely dice your dill and parsely with a sharp knife or cut with kitchen shears. Heat a large pot on the stove to medium high heat. When pot is hot enough, add the remaining 1 1/2 T. of oil. Saute chopped carrots, parsnips, turnips, onions, celery and leek for about 2 minutes on medium high heat. Turn temperature down to medium and continue cooking for another 5-6 minutes. Add fresh parsley and dill and 1 tsp. each of dried rosemary and basil. Stir for another minute or two. Add 4 cups of water and 2 chicken bouillon cubes Bring to a boil.

After the sweet potato and garlic have finished roasting, remove from oven. Cut roasted sweet potato into bite-sized pieces and add to soup mixture in pot. Squeeze roasted garlic cloves from the head and add to pot, as well. (If you like, you may mash the roasted garlic cloves first and then add to the pot.)

Finally, add the chicken and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for a few more minutes. Serve hot with a good loaf of bread. (We enjoyed this soup with a loaf of olive bread from T he Baguette Republic in Falls Church, Virginia. They have a variety of first-rate loaves of bread that are worth trying out.)
I hope you enjoy this recipe!



This soup is so flavorful with the lemony, earthy rosemary and basil. The garlic also really adds some nice kick. The hint of sugar from the sweet potatoes and the creamy texture are lovely with the celery, turnip and carrots. The shredded chicken is tender and absorbs the all the flavors of the herbs and spices. This is definitely the best soup I have had in a long time. It is the perfect cure for a cold, a bad case of the blues, or a rainy, chilly day.

3 out of 3 JAMS

No comments: