Sweet Potat-Oh! Polka-dot Soup

SweetPotatoPolkaDotSoup_NerdsAndNomsense_Featured

Sometimes you’ve got a soup that is brothy with chunks of various tasty things floating about, and then other times you’ve got a soup that is thick and smooth throughout. The other day, a TEDx video found its way into my feed with a pull quote of “Given the choice between two things I always choose all three.

Yes. Why pick just one sort? Especially when soup is concerned?! Have your chunks, and opacity, too! Confession, I’ve never been much of a potato-person, but make that sweet potatoes, and I’m all in. And it’s still cold and snowy where I am, so let’s put those sweet potatoes into a soup warm our tummies.

SweetPotatoSoup_Laura_NerdsAndNomsense-8

The Stuff
(aka Ingredients)

  • 32 oz. Stock/Broth (I used chicken, but vegetable would work just as well!)

  • 1 cup Israeli couscous

  • 2 peppers, Red or Orange, seeded and halved

  • 1 apple (I used a Braeburn), quartered and seeded

  • ~1.5 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped to 1/2″

  • 2 medium onions, chopped

  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/4 tsp allspice

  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder

  • 1 Tbs Maple syrup

  • Salt & Pepper to taste

  • Olive oil

Other than standard kitchen equipment, an immersion blender is recommended, but any sort of blender-like device should do the trick—food processor, blender, whatever! A slow-cooker can’t hurt either, but is not necessary.

 

The Doing
(aka Directions)

  1. Preheat your oven to 450°, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper (or line with nothing if you like to consider your kitchen clean-up duties part of your work-out for the day).
  2. Set the slow-cooker to high, and empty the broth into it, and add the couscous. Place the cover on. (If you don’t have a slow cooker, you can cook the couscous stovetop, in a pot large enough to add many more things to later on.)
  3. Wash the peppers and apple. Cut each pepper in half, like a cross-section rather than like a hamburger bun. Trim off the stem and seeds, and place open side down (skin side up) on a baking sheet. Quarter the apple, remove the seeds and stems, and likewise place the apple pieces skin side up on the baking sheet. Toss that sheet into now heated oven, and bake until the peppers’ skins becomes charred and soft (20 minutes, varies per oven).SweetPotatoSoup_Laura_NerdsAndNomsense-1

    Meanwhile…

  4. Wash and peel your sweet potatoes, and then dice into 1/2″ size pieces, and then put into a baking dish with ~1 Tablespoon of olive oil, and ~1 teaspoon of salt, mix this all around so the potato pieces are coated, and then place into the oven along with your peppers and apple which should be starting to smell delicious from the roasting! Stir occasionally.SweetPotatoSoup_Laura_NerdsAndNomsense-4
  5. Next up, wash, peel, and chop your onions. Add about a Tablespoon of olive oil to a saucepan, add the onions, and also ~1 teaspoon of salt. Make sure to stir early and frequently, the salt helps to keep the onions from burning. Cook the onions over medium heat until they’re fairly translucent in appearance. Remove from heat, and put half of the onions into the slow-cooker, and half into a separate mixing bowl.
  6. Add the spices (cinnamon, allspice, garlic powder) to the slow cooker, as well as the maple syrup, stir.
  7. When your peppers have achieved proper roasted status, remove them and the apples from the oven, let them cool a few minutes. Once a bit cooled, you should be able to peel the skin right off the peppers. Chop the skinned peppers, and put half into the slow cooker, and half into the bowl with the onions.SweetPotatoSoup_Laura_NerdsAndNomsense-2
  8. Peel the skin off the apple pieces in the same manner, and place all  of the apple pieces into the bowl with the onions and peppers.
  9. When the sweet potatoes have gotten to be cooked through, divide them between the slow cooker and the mixing bowl as well.
  10. Ladle some of the broth mixture from the slow cooker into this bowl (try not to take any couscous though) enough to cover the contents.  Blend with the immersion blender until smooth (or put into a blender, food processor, whatever you’ve got). Add the blended mixture to the slow cooker, and stir it all together.SweetPotatoSoup_Laura_NerdsAndNomsense-5
  11. At this point, the couscous should be cooked as well. Let the entire batch cook together for ten minutes. If serving immediately, switch the slow cooker to Low.

Serve with a good crusty bread, and enjoy!

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Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 32 oz. Stock/Broth (I used chicken, but vegetable would work just as well!)
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2 peppers, Red or Orange, seeded and halved
  • 1 apple (I used a Braeburn), quartered and seeded
  • ~1.5 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped to ½"
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbs Maple syrup
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Other than standard kitchen equipment, an immersion blender is recommended, but any sort of blender-like device should do the trick—food processor, blender, whatever! A slow-cooker can't hurt either, but is not necessary.
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 450°, prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper (or line with nothing if you like to consider your kitchen clean-up duties part of your work-out for the day).
  2. Set the slow-cooker to high, and empty the broth into it, and add the couscous. Place the cover on. (If you don't have a slow cooker, you can cook the couscous stovetop, in a pot large enough to add many more things to later on.)
  3. Wash the peppers and apple. Cut each pepper in half, like a cross-section rather than like a hamburger bun. Trim off the stem and seeds, and place open side down (skin side up) on a baking sheet. Quarter the apple, remove the seeds and stems, and likewise place the apple pieces skin side up on the baking sheet. Toss that sheet into now heated oven, and bake until the peppers' skins becomes charred and soft (20 minutes, varies per oven).
  4. Wash and peel your sweet potatoes, and then dice into ½" size pieces, and then put into a baking dish with ~1 Tablespoon of olive oil, and ~1 teaspoon of salt, mix this all around so the potato pieces are coated, and then place into the oven along with your peppers and apple which should be starting to smell delicious from the roasting! Stir occasionally.
  5. Next up, wash, peel, and chop your onions. Add about a Tablespoon of olive oil to a saucepan, add the onions, and also ~1 teaspoon of salt. Make sure to stir early and frequently, the salt helps to keep the onions from burning. Cook the onions over medium heat until they're fairly translucent in appearance. Remove from heat, and put half of the onions into the slow-cooker, and half into a separate mixing bowl.
  6. Add the spices (cinnamon, allspice, garlic powder) to the slow cooker, as well as the maple syrup, stir.
  7. When your peppers have achieved proper roasted status, remove them and the apples from the oven, let them cool a few minutes. Once a bit cooled, you should be able to peel the skin right off the peppers. Chop the skinned peppers, and put half into the slow cooker, and half into the bowl with the onions.
  8. Peel the skin off the apple pieces in the same manner, and place all of the apple pieces into the bowl with the onions and peppers.
  9. When the sweet potatoes have gotten to be cooked through, divide them between the slow cooker and the mixing bowl as well.
  10. Ladle some of the broth mixture from the slow cooker into this bowl (try not to take any couscous though) enough to cover the contents. Blend with the immersion blender until smooth (or put into a blender, food processor, whatever you've got). Add the blended mixture to the slow cooker, and stir it all together.
  11. At this point, the couscous should be cooked as well. Let the entire batch cook together for ten minutes. If serving immediately, switch the slow cooker to Low.
  12. Serve with a good crusty bread, and enjoy!
 

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