Rich sweet potatoes, apples, and chicken stock blend into a creamy soup that’s finished with a fresh squeeze of orange.
By Jennifer Abbott
Soups are enjoying a season ticket at my table these days, for their warming qualities, but also their inherent thrift. With a few seasonal vegetables, aromatics like leeks or onion, and some homemade or store-bought stock, you can blip up a healthful, cleanly flavored bowl of autumn’s finest offerings. Add a rich grilled cheese sandwich with bacon and a crisp, vinegary salad, and you’re set.
- 3 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, whites only, cleaned and sliced thinly
- 2 stalks celery, sliced thinly
- 3 large sweet potatoes (larger than a fist), peeled and cut into large dice
- 1 tart green apple, peeled, cored, and diced
- 7 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ cup half-and-half or light cream
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- extra thyme leaves for garnish
- Heat the oil in a medium to large soup pot over medium heat.
- Saute the leeks and celery until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add potatoes, apple, stock, bay leaf, thyme, and spices, and bring to the boiling point.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer about 20 minutes, or until potatoes are very soft.
- Puree soup in the pot with an immersion blender, or transfer in batches to a standard blender and puree until smooth (if using a standard blender, leave the hole in the lid uncorked and cover the hole with a kitchen towel for safety). As each batch is pureed, pour into a large bowl; when all soup is pureed, pour contents of bowl back into your soup pot.
- Stir in half-and-half and salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat gently over low heat. Add orange juice and adjust seasonings to taste.
- Garnish with extra thyme leaves and a good grind of black pepper.
Jennifer Abbott is a writer, music teacher, Southern food enthusiast, and soup aficionado. She lives in New Orleans and blogs about cooking and dining at Food Orleans.