Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Guest Post: Sweet Potato Soup with Chipotle

Erin joins us from Hot Dinner Happy Home, where she chronicles her adventures feeding a hungry husband and a hungry self.

As (relatively) intelligent beings, we take the advice of those around us who are wiser and more experienced in order to avoid undesirable consequences. We wear seatbelts. We say “No!” to drugs. We steer clear of young children at the mall wearing Heelys. But sometimes we just need to learn lessons for ourselves.

For me, pureeing hot soup in a blender was a life lesson that fell squarely in the second category.

The husband and I crowded into our postage stamp kitchen with a few friends to whip up a batch of Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup. Everything was going swimmingly. The soup was nearing completion, and everyone was laughing and joking. More importantly, all our digits were still attached and no one had sustained major burns.

Then I read this step in the recipe, “Let soup cool slightly. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and puree until smooth. (Use caution when blending hot liquids).”

Well, did I mention I was starving? Overconfident? And also impatient?

I loaded that blender to the tippy-top, slammed on the lid, and switched it on with a flick of my wrist and a cocky gleam in my eye.

And sweet potato soup exploded all over my kitchen.

So, when you make this soup (because you really ought to; it’s delicious), I implore you, take caution. When the recipe says to puree in batches, it ain’t kidding. Cover the lid of your blender with a towel and hold on for dear life.

Or, just do what I did and put an immersion blender on your birthday list. Because I’m still starving, overconfident, and impatient. I guess I’ll never learn…


If this looks good, imagine the following:

Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup
Serves 8.
Adapted from Everyday Food.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1” chunks
1 chipotle chile in adobo, chopped, plus 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth (feel free to use a bit more or less until the soup is the desired consistency)
Sour cream, for serving

1) In a large Dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion to pot and season with salt and pepper. Cook onion, stirring as needed, until softened and golden brown at the edges, about 7 minutes. Add cumin and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

2) Stir in sweet potatoes, 6 cups chicken broth, chipotle chile, and adobo sauce. Bring liquid to a boil. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until sweet potatoes are very tender, about 25 minutes.

3) Allow soup to cool slightly. Transfer soup to your blender in batches, being cautious not to fill blender to the top, and holding lid on tightly, and puree until smooth. Return pureed soup to Dutch oven. (Alternatively, puree using an immersion blender.) If the soup is too thick, add last 1 cup chicken broth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. At medium-low temperature, heat soup until it is warmed through. Serve with a dollop of sour cream.

NOTE (from Kris): For a vegan/vegetarian version of this soup, simply replace the chicken broth with vegetable broth, and leave out the sour cream.

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