So happy you loved the Penne n' Cheese from last week - there are so many ways you can make that recipe your own - we do a LOT of pasta in this house and I am always trying to come up with ways to make it new again. But we'll get into more pasta soon - today is about soup! My mom made a lot of soup for us growing up, but I never loved it. To clarify - I now love my mom's soups and probably would have then if I did not have some sort of mental block against them. I really can't explain it - I just decided one day that I didn't like soup and that was that. I suppose then I should not have been surprised when Adie claimed out of the blue about two years ago she no longer wanted to eat pizza. Thankfully, she has recently revisited the idea and has come around.
And I too revisited soups at some point in my mid-twenties and learned that I do in fact love them. It was a divine lobster bisque - bordering on a religious experience - that brought me back and I still prefer my soups thick and creamy. This Sweet Potato & Ale Soup is a favorite - the pureed sweet potatoes thicken it up beautifully and the cream cheese adds depth and keeps it creamy.
SWEET POTATO & ALE SOUP
There are a few steps here and I thought it easiest to break up the ingredients accordingly... we make ours in a slow cooker, but you can adapt this for a pot on the stove as well.
Also, I am sure you'll notice that we use a lot of organic ingredients. We do this as much as our budget allows and try to always use organic chicken, natural pork, grass-fed beef and organic cage free eggs. It's just a few step we are taking in trying to educate our children about where their food comes from.
4c. organic chicken broth
1 bottle of brown ale
2 lbs. organic skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Set your slow cooker to 'Low' and add the stock, ale and whole breasts to the pot. If you are starting this in the morning, you can even use the chicken frozen. If you are starting this later in the afternoon, ensure the chicken is defrosted and set the slow cooker to Medium or High. Cover and let cook. If defrosted, the chicken should be thoroughly cooked in about 2 hours - if frozen, closer to 3 hours.
1T olive oil
1/2 lb. carrots (peeled and sliced into rounds)
1 medium white onion (chopped)
1 t. dry rosemary
1/2 t. cinnamon
salt and pepper
In a heavy skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots, and cook, stirring every so often for about 5 minutes. Stir in the rosemary, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste. Once the onions are semi-translucent and the carrots are soft, remove from the heat and set aside.
3 large sweet potatoes (skins peeled, chopped)
3 T butter
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. cloves
1/4 t. pepper
16 oz. cream cheese
1/4c. half & half
1 T rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
Once you have peeled and roughly chopped the sweet potatoes, add them to a large bowl of boiling water and cook until they are soft - about 20-30 minutes. Drain them and add them to a food processor, with the cream cheese, cinnamon, cloves and pepper. Depending on the size of your processor, you may have to do this in two batches. Once everything is combined, set this aside for a moment.
When the chicken is cooked, pull it out of the stock and chop it up into bite-size pieces. Before returning it to the pot, whisk in your sweet potato and cream cheese mixture, half & half and rosemary. Whisk gently until it's thoroughly combined. At this point, add the carrots and onions as well as the chopped chicken. Stir gently and let cook for another 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.
And an autumn playlist we listened to at diiner... for your pleasure...
Season of the Witch : Donovan
Becasue the Night : Patti Smith
Nightcrawlers : Widowspeak
This Modern Love : Bloc Party
Superstar : Sonic Youth
(Don't Fear) The Reaper : Blue Oyster Cult
The Long Black Veil : The Chieftains w/ Mick Jagger
Shadows Fall : The Coral
The Prowl: : Dan Auerbach
Open Hands : The Orphan
Vikings : The Black Angels
We Go : Thao w/ The Get Down Stay Down
Can't You Tell : Vetiver