Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Afternoon Sweet Potato Soup

potatoes needed to be used fast but they looked much better once peeled

our snowy driveway today

Afternoon Sweet Potato Soup

Thanksgiving brought us to the country for a few days where we have a little second home surrounded by tall evergreens and various other trees such as oak. It’s really our special place. The hammock out front stays up year round and after 8 years still looks pretty good despite it’s grungy gray color, and in the summer when I can squeeze in some downtime it’s my favorite place to be – I like to read and look out onto the rolling property. As I planned to pack things up and head back to the city today, I awoke to snow and lots of it – another day in the country sounds breathtaking with the landscape looking so poetic in white– and making a hot bowl of soup for lunch is a nice cozy compliment. I had the choice of pumpkin (not yet peeled and cut) or sweet potato and honestly sweet potato just sounded easier. I had some extra leeks and quite a few options for grain since I keep a good variety in the cupboard. I had brown rice last week and thought millet might be nice for a change – it’s got great texture and lots of minerals and protein and takes just 20 minutes to cook – the potatoes took about 15 minutes so this dish comes together quickly. The ingredients are pretty simple but all together were satisfying.

Lately if I’m serving a creamy thick soup with grain, I like to create a pretty presentation in the bowl where you can see everything rather than bury the grain under the soup –it’s fun to see the variety in a bowl. This soup is a little thick reminds me of split pea. If you want it soupier add another cup of broth.

Note: I didn’t use oil to sauté the leek just water. Cuts down on the fat.

Serves 4

1 medium to large leek sliced thin including light green parts
2 cloves garlic minced

1/8 tsp ginger powder

1/8 tsp allspice

pinch red pepper

4 cups vegetable broth  - or go straight to 5 if you like it soupier - 4 cups yields thicker consistency

3 sweet potatoes peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces

2 tbsp toasted raw pumpkin seeds

Millet Grain 18-20 minutes or Brown Rice - 45 minutes
1 cup millet rinsed – I use a strainer and run water over it
2 cups water
boil and then simmer on low for 18 minutes – when done keep covered until ready to eat.

1.Heat medium size pot add leeks and one 1 tbsp water sauté until tender about 4 minutes and keep adding tablespoon of water to prevent sticking
2. Add garlic, allspice, ginger powder and pinch of salt if using low sodium broth and sauté 1 minute
3. Add sweet potatoes and cook for 1 minute stirring constantly
4. Add the broth, bring to a boil and simmer on low 15 minutes covered – done when potatoes are tender.
5. You can use an emersion blender to puree or when it cools a bit use a blender. If using a blender it takes a few batches.
6. you can toast your pumpkin seeds in a pan on medium heat – toss until toasted just a minute or so and remove from pan.

Bowling Soup
If you like the presentation add the millet or rice to one side of the bowl creating a wall then spoon the soup on the other side, add your toasted pumpkin seeds and chopped cilantro if you like. Season with salt.



  1. This looks like a delicious dish...I should try and make it. If I do, will let you know how mine turns out. Pictures look great. Karen

  2. Thanks Karen
    yes let me know how you like!


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