Hello November! It’s Colleen here again. I don’t know about you…but my favorite part of this time of year is making soups! Creamy, broth based, simple or complicated, I like them all! Soup is incredibly versatile, you can make a nice big batch and feast on it for days, it makes a fabulous brown bag lunch and often soup is the cornerstone of a satisfying meal.
One of my absolute favorite things to do when making soup is to make a double batch, fill a quart-sized mason jar or two with some and “gift” it to a family member, neighbor or a friend. Why not? That simple act of delicious kindness make both the giver and the receiver happy. Why not make a big ‘ole batch of your favorite soup this week and surprise and delight someone that could use a happy moment with it! Wait until you see how good that feels!
This year, I will be teaching my kids the basics of soup making. My son, who turned 12 last week, will go along with it because he knows it makes me happy. My 9 year old daughter, however, is a cooking machine. She almost never “let’s” me cook without her and often when she comes home from school, dance or a playdate, she kind-of puts her hands on her tiny little hips and says “Mom…you cooked without me??” I am always like “oh, honey…I um….welllll, I had to, err I mean I..” Then I give up and just own up to it. It is hilarious! And you know what, I love it! I love that she loves cooking, I love that we talk SO much when we are making and baking together, I love that my little chef will say things like “Mom, can I get a chicken and make chicken stock tonight?” Or “Mom can you put out ingredients for me and my friends and can we do a challenge and you pick a winner?” These, I know, are memories that will stay with her forever.
The soup I am sharing with you all today, I made all by myself…twice…Shhh! Mum’s the word!
I adore this soup, my husband is crazy for it as well. I have made this a few times after tasting something very similar at a local restaurant we often go to. They have had it on the menu for years, and this fall I finally ordered it and became instantly smitten! Their addition of cinnamon and sugar croutons put this Sweet Potato Soup over the top!
I didn’t ask them about the soup, I really don’t know if they used sweet potatoes or yams in their recipe or if they had carrots in it. I just went by taste when recreating this and I think that what I ended up with is pretty darned close to what they offer. It’s a definite keeper and new favorite for me (and I hope for you too)!
This Sweet Potato & Carrot Bisque is pleasantly sweet with a kick of heat to it just after you taste the sweetness. The texture and flavor that the cinnamon & sugar croutons add is just perfect!
- 3 TBS butter
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 cup chopped sweet onion
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 2 heaping cups diced sweet potato or yam (see notes)
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Red pepper (Cayenne) to taste
- 20 1-inch cubes of Ciabatta or French Bread
- 1 TBS sugar
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 2 dashes of black pepper
- Melt the butter in a large pot, add in the olive oil and onions and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until your onions are translucent and wilted.
- Add in your stock, water, carrots and sweet potatoes and bring to a boil; continue to boil for about 20 minutes or until the carrots and sweet potatoes are mostly tender.
- Remove from the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly (about 10 minutes).
- Carefully puree the soup with your immersion blender or transfer it to a blender and puree it there. If you removed the soup from the pot - rinse the pot out before you return the pureed soup to it.
- Add in the cream, maple syrup, salt, pepper and red pepper. Heat the soup through but do not bring it to a boil (since you added in cream).
- Serve with a few of the Cinnamon & Sugar Croutons overtop and serve.
- Combine your sugar, cinnamon and pepper in a prep bowl; add in the bread chunks and toss them all around. Lightly rub the bread chunks into the sugar mixture.
- Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, add in the bread and cook each side until it is golden brown and crisp.
- Sprinkle any leftover sugar mixture over the bread as it cooks. Sugar can quickly burn, stay with the pan the whole time and use tongs to flip the bread from side to side.
- When all sides are crisp, remove them from the pan and allow them to cool completely on a baking sheet or plate. They will firm up even more once cooled.
- When fully cooled and crisp, you can store these in a sealed container or baggie for days,
Look for a large sweet potato, when you dice the potato and fill your measuring cup the pieces will create excess space - so look to overfill your measuring cups a bit. If your sweet potato or yam yields more than 2 heaping cups...throw it in so you don't waste it - cut the carrots down a bit to compensate or add a little more liquid.
I have made this soup with baked sweet potatoes/yams as well (a great use if you have leftovers) with the same results. Just scoop out the flesh and add it to your soup once the carrots are almost tender.
You can substitute brown sugar for the maple syrup and chicken stock for the vegetable stock. We like heat so I add in quite a bit of red pepper - taste as you go for both the maple syrup and red pepper to get the flavor you enjoy.
Here are 2 of my favorite soups to make this time of year. This Tortellini and Spinach Soup is my #1 go to soup. It comes together so fast and it explodes with flavor. People will think you slaved over this soup for hours – it’s our little secret that you didn’t! A close second (and my son’s favorite) is this Easy Chicken Pho. I seriously think a person’s first bowl of Pho aka Vietnamese Noodle Soup is life-altering!