Perhaps it's the gnarly shapes I can't resist, but at this time of year, every time I go to a farm stand or market, I come home with sweet potatoes. Sometimes I have a plan; more often than not, I don't. I leave the potatoes on my counter for a few days or even longer, while I wait for inspiration. And more often than not, those sweet potatoes morph into soup. This particular roasted sweet potato and apple soup, a family favorite, draws on pantry ingredients, especially the warm peppers (smoked paprika and cayenne) and the Moroccan spice blend ras-el hanout that adds subtle tastes of more than thirty additional spices, including cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. This rich and creamy soup, which has no cream at all, freezes well, so keep the recipe in mind for Soup Swap.
Roasted sweet potato and apple soup
Serves 4-6; can be multiplied.
4-5 cups cubed peeled sweet potato (2-3 very large potatoes)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled, cut into large chunks
1 large tart apple, cut into large chunks (no need to peel it)
1 tsp ras-el hanout
1 tsp pimentón dulce (sweet smoked paprika)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
4 cups vegetable stock or water
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
Fresh lime juice (juice of 1/2 lime, or more to taste)
Preheat oven to 425F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the sweet potato chunks in a single layer, and roast for 45 minutes, until the potato is aromatic and the pieces are just starting to brown. Remove from oven.
In a 5-quart Dutch oven, heat the oil over low-medium heat. Add the sweet potato and onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the apple, and cook for another minute. Then stir in the ras-el hanout, smoked paprika and cayenne. Cook for one minute, stirring frequently, to toast the spices.
Pour in 3 cups of the stock or water, and stir well to release any bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Cover, and cook for 20 minutes. The squash and apple should be collapsed.
Remove the pot from the stove, and purée the contents with an immersion blender (or let cool for a few minutes, then blend in batches in a standing blender). If the soup is too thick, add as much of the remaining 1 cup of stock or water as needed to achieve a nice consistency.
Add the juice of half a lime, and taste the soup. Adjust seasoning with salt, pepper, and more lime juice, if needed.
Serve hot. Can be cooled completely, and frozen.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Squash, sweet potato and carrot soup
African-inspired squash and peanut soup
Butternut squash, apple and vadouvan soup
Sweet potato, lentil and raisin stew
Vegan black bean and sweet potato stew
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Spicy roasted butternut squash with smoked sweet paprika, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cumin-scented sweet potato hash, from Pinch My Salt
Smoked paprika and chickpea soup, from Leite's Culinaria
Sweet potato gratin with smoky breadcrumbs, from The Kitchn
Red lentil vegetable soup, from Jeanette's Healthy Living
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