It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered the wonderful flavor of sweet potatoes when NOT prepared in the traditional super-sweet casserole – hidden under marshmallows or corn flakes or tons of brown sugar and pecans. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the buttery brown sugar topping my mom makes every Thanksgiving, but I don’t think I would eat that more than one day each year!
I was actually eating in an Italian restaurant when I saw sweet potato ravioli on the menu. It was prepared with sage and browned butter, similar to how I have seen butternut squash and pumpkin. It was delicious!
The ravioli dinner made me curious to research other ways to eat sweet potatoes, and I ran across a version of this sweet potato soup recipe from my friend Courtney. She had given it to me a few years ago, and honestly, I forgot I had it until now.
The healthiest way to enjoy a sweet potato is plain, of course. And honestly a plain baked sweet potato has tons of flavor without adding any butter or brown sugar. One regular-sized sweet potato will add about 100 calories to your day’s diet – and less than one gram of fat. It’s loaded in Vitamin A and healthy carbs too.
The soup recipe below also works great if you’ve baked a few extra sweet potatoes. Just skip the boiling part and add the cooked, peeled potatoes when you add the broth.
Texas-Style Sweet Potato Soup
5 lb sweet potatoes, cleaned and quartered
1/2 cup unsalted butter
4 slices bacon, finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup pickled sliced jalapenos
2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup half-and-half (fat free works too)
Salt and pepper to taste
Place sweet potato quarters in large pot. Add water to cover, and boil until potatoes are softened. Drain water, and peel potato skins when cool enough to handle. Meanwhile, melt butter in another large pot. Add bacon, onion and garlic. Sauté on medium-low heat until bacon is cooked through. Add chicken broth, cover and bring to a boil. Add potatoes and puree with a hand blender – or blend in a regular blender in small batches. Stir in jalapenos, cumin, cilantro and half-and-half. Taste for salt and pepper. Heat through and serve warm.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 751, Total Fat: 27.7 g, Sodium 1298 mg, Carbohydrates 111.0 g, Protein: 17.0 g