Wednesday, January 27, 2010

North African Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

The spicy heat of this soup is great for warming you during frosty weather. In Montreal we are having light snow and the temperature just rose above freezing - 1°C here (Dad, that's 34°F). My dad has a slight obsession with weather - his favorite station is The Weather Channel. During our Christmas stay at my parents my husband was quite surprised when my Dad went for a second helping of the same "Wake up with Al" show in one morning. This healthy soup will make you want more of the same, also.

The spices used in seasoning this recipe are a traditional North African blend called ras el hanout. Each cook has his or her own mixture of these aromatic spices. The one I use in this dish is a basic blend, but there are blends available that contain more exotic ingredients like saffron and rose petals. It is typically used for meat rubs, but works fantastically to flavor this hearty soup. Try this creamy blend of sweet potatoes and unique spices at your table.       

2 large sweet potatoes
1 yellow onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon safflower oil
Sea salt, to taste
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Fresh cilantro
Plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 425°. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut in large chunks. Rinse with cold water and dry them on a clean towel. On a rimmed baking sheet covered in parchment paper evenly coat the sweet potatoes, onion and garlic in oil and salt. Roast for 45 minutes.

In a large pot combine roasted vegetables, stock, lemon juice and spices. Add salt and pepper to taste. Puree mixture with either an immersion blender or a food processor. If using a food processor, you may need to process this soup in batches. The soup does not need to be silky smooth. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro and a dollop of yogurt before serving.

Serves 6-8 

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  1. Yummy. Sounds great.
    By the way, your dad also likes Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives on the Food Network.

    Aunt Deb

  2. We did catch a few episodes of "Diners" while we were home - I thought he was attempting to "share" the television programming with me by turning on Food Network. Lol :D