Dishing It: Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup

February 7, 2011 at 5:18 pm , by

There is something special about a hot, thick, body- and soul-warming soup, especially on frigid winter days when your house is surrounded by more than four feet of snow and ice and your roof carries almost as much—plus icicles everywhere. Yep, when it is so cold that even pets don’t want to go outdoors, that is the time for something like the Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup featured in “Slow-Good Soups” in our February 2011 issue (page 124). Truth be told, this numbered among the easiest soups I have ever made, and my wife, Lindsay, would rank its degree of preparation for beginning cooks. But on the scale of satisfaction (more on that in a moment) it definitely merited a perfect 10.

Preparation: We followed the recipe to a tee except we used two Knorr vegetable bouillon cubes in lieu of chicken broth (we eat no meat) and we had only dark honey purchased locally in Fairfield County, Connecticut, so we used that (not clover honey). And since we had our woodstove cranked up the entire weekend, we decided to slow-cook this soup on top of it instead of in a slow cooker. Why not? That was how our forebears used to make dishes like this, and we had all day long to let it heat.

Service: Lindsay decided to top our steaming bowls with a dollop of sour cream and decided that the next time we make this soup we would add some spinach, both for flavor and nutrients. We broke out some baguettes to go with this heart-warmer and decided that a newly popular white wine from Argentina, Torrontés, would bring out the soup’s sweetness as well as highlight its peppery spiciness. We chose the inexpensive 2009 Catena Alamos Salta Torrontés ($14), a full-bodied wine that features both a flowery bouquet yet has a little citrus in its flavor, sort of like a sauvignon blanc.

Special notes: This soup recipe works perfectly fine as written up and Lindsay and I will serve it again, both as a stand-alone dish with baguettes for ourselves and as a hearty side dish for company. As noted above, the recipe lends itself to adaptation and experimentation (adding spinach, for example). It might do with a touch of cayenne pepper, too, for some added spice. —Tom and Lindsay Claire

60 Responses to “Dishing It: Carrot-Sweet Potato Soup”

  1. Wonderful recipe! Loaded with beta carotene and fiber. Warm and delicious on a cold winter day! I used vegetable stock and added some turmeric. Thanks for posting it!

  2. Dear Suzy: Thanks for sharing and I love your adaptation of adding turmeric (plus the fact that you spelled that spice’s name correctly!)—that might even be better than my thought for adding cayenne pepper. Great idea. Please share as well—what did you serve this soup with—bread, sandwich, salad, anything? And did you have a beverage of choice? I almost think that a nice stout or porter would go with it pretty well too if wine is not on someone’s menu. Ciao, more later, Tom

  3. That soup sounds like the perfect fireside supper on a cold winter’s night. Can’t wait to try it!

  4. Dear Lisabeth: Thanks for the encouraging words and there is a slight misunderstanding in the write-up: It turns out that Lindsay said she wanted to make that soup the next time SUBSTITUTING spinach for the cilantro. Mybad . . . Ciao, more later, Tom

  5. The soup, the bread, the wine–yumm. And cooking on your wood stove–makes me want to be snowed in again. I will definitely try this soup and I’ll look for the wine, too. (And not being a cilantro fan, I will use your suggestion to substitute spinach.) Thanks, Tom.

  6. Sandi—thanks for the warm thoughts and I hope that this dish works out for you, with or without cilantro. If you shop around you might be able to find that wine for $10 or so; I listed the suggested retail price. Ciao, Tom

  7. Dear Charity: I am happy that you are happy. When everyone is happy—especially my wife, Lindsay—the world is a better place. Happy cooking, great dining, ciao, Tom

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