Sweet Potato, Chipotle and Apple Soup

soup2

I saw this recipe in the paper and thought the combinations a bit odd, but maybe they might just work.

They do—this is a winner. (I changed some amounts to suit my taste, added the shallot and changed the apples to Honeycrisp or Pink Lady from the ones suggested in the paper—I’m sure mine’s a bit better.)

We were invited to our friends’ home to say goodbye to another couple who are part time residents up here on the mesa. It was time for them to return to their other lives in the big city. So we did a pot-luck. My contribution was the soup.

The soup is easy—easier still if you have one of those hand held blending stick things to get it all done in one pot.

The recipe 
2-3 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large shallot, minced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and cut
1 Tbs fresh ginger, grated
2 Pink Lady or Honeycrisp apples, peeled cored and roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 qt low sodium chicken stock
3 cups water
1-2 chipotle in adobo sauce (from a small can), seeded and minced (depends on your heat tolerance)
¼ cup cream
Salt and white pepper
3 corn tortillas, cut in half and then thinly sliced
oil for frying tortilla strips
cinnamon sugar

Note: To honor our departing friends, I added an adjustment to the ingredients. Since he’s Persian, I added a slight sprinkling of ground sumac. It has a tart, lemony taste. He loved it. You can see in the image above I didn’t need to add much. Another nice addition, which we used last night is diced avocado which tempers the heat a bit from the chipotle. Depending on the guests’ heat tolerance, I’ll normally add just one chipotle pepper, cut in half with seeds and ribs removed before adding to the soup prior to blending.

Instructions
In a medium or large soup pot heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onions and minced shallot and saute over medium heat until edges are translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for 2 minutes more.

Add the apples and celery, stir to combine. Cook, reducing the apples in volume a bit—about 5 minutes.

Add the sweet potato slices and cook, stirring occasionally, for another five minutes.

Add the chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 45 minutes. Add the chipotle.

Using a blender or a blender stick, purée the soup to creamy smoothness. Add cream and stir to blend. Add salt and white pepper to taste

Fry the cut tortilla strips for a few minutes until almost golden. Do this in batches. Transfer cooked strips to a couple of layers of paper towels to drain, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Toss, sprinkle again.

Serve in shallow bowls with tortilla strips on top. Will make about six hearty servings.

This is great for a chilly winter day.

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