sweet potato soup + browned, buttered cashews
I can’t explain it, but something about my life feels different lately. It’s not because of my New Year’s goals (because we all know how that went down) — no, it’s something you can’t really pinpoint. It’s like that feeling you get when you finally break in your new boots. Or when the wine pairs perfectly with dinner. Or when you try browned and buttered cashews on top of sweet potato soup for the very first time and you realize, yes — this is exactly what I needed.
Whatever it is, I’m going with it. And I’m taking the buttered cashews with me.
For someone who has a wild, uncontrollable obsession with cookbooks, receiving a healthy stack of additions to my already extensive collection this past Christmas caused a rather schizophrenic reaction in me: I was elated, naturally, but also completely overwhelmed. Where. Do. I. Start. Do I start with Joy’s kitchen sink carrot cake? Do I kick things off with Deb’s wild mushroom tart? Do I go crazy and make my own cheese and preserves a la Home Made?
Finally, I didn’t decide on a recipe but rather, one chose me, and it was this sweet potato soup. Let me tell you, it was the perfect place to start.
I’m not going to sit here and tell you that a sweet potato soup is the best thing you will ever make in your kitchen — even one topped with creme fraiche and buttered cashews — but I will suggest that this may be the best soup I have ever made. It’s every bit warm as it is unique, every bit crunchy as it is smooth, every bit savory as it is sweet, every bit comfort as it is surprise. It’s the best celebration of winter vegetables and pantry goods I’ve tasted in a long time, maybe ever. It’s the kind of soup you make because you really want soup but you don’t want to do it up too fancy — and the result is something so basic, yet so elegant and satisfying.
And in case I haven’t completely bored you away with all this talk about how much I love a soup, may I remind you of the browned, buttered cashews on top? Nothing short of life-changing — in the best possible way.
Sweet Potato Soup with Buttered Cashews
Recipe adapted from Home Made
Yields: 6-8 servings
1 white or yellow onion, diced
2 leeks, washed and white parts cut into rounds (discard green tips)
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
pinch of paprika (to taste)
1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
4 tablespoons salted whole cashews
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
sour cream or creme fraiche, for serving
Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add onion, leeks, sweet potatoes, garlic and butter; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are fork-tender and have started to brown, about 10-12 minutes.
Add white wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add broth, bay leaf and paprika and stir to combine. Reduce heat to low and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Using a ladle, remove half the vegetables from the pan and reserve. Using an immersion hand blender, blend the remaining vegetables and broth in the pot into a puree. Return vegetables to pot and add chickpeas and the leaves from a few sprigs of oregano; stir to combine. Ladle soup into serving bowls.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add cashews and 1 tablespoon butter. Fry cashews in butter until warm and just lightly browned on the edges, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle cashews over soup in bowls. Top each bowl with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche; garnish with more fresh oregano, if desired. Serve immediately.
Oh this is gorgeous!!
Claire — Thank you!
whoah. I love this idea. This is happening today in my kitchen. yum.
Heather — Thank you! Hope you like it 🙂
What a pretty soup! Love it.
Shea — Thank you so much!
This sounds incredible! Sweet potato soup is so often just a sad, thinned out liquid – the result of adding too much broth, a mean amount of sweet potato, and unnecessary dribbles of honey or maple syrup to create a sweetness which jars with what these tubers have naturally going on for them. But this soup sounds so hearty! I love the combo of leeks and sweet potatoes, and I looooove a chunky soup. I am pinning this recipe.
Oh also – homemade cheeses. They’re on my to-do list for 2013. Unfortunately I’ve just discovered that it’s illegal (!) to sell raw milk in Scotland, but hopefully unhomogenised/ unpasteurised should do the trick. I’m hoping for homemade mozzarella dollops sprinkled amount homemade tomato sauce on some homemade pizza dough.
Rebecca — Thank you! I’m so with you on the thin vs. chunky soup… this one is definitely chunky. 🙂 And regarding the homemade cheese… it’s on my to-do list, too! Once I get over the fear that I’ll make something inedible and/or potentially life-threatening, haha. 🙂
I love this post and your soup looks fabulous. It is such a relief when you feel like something needs to happen and you’re missing something and then poof! Your relief shows up at the doorstep. I’m a huge soup junkie so I’m pinning this to try it soon!
Julia — It’s so true. I hope you like the soup! Thanks for the comment 🙂
I feel like whenever I make a home cooked meal, I get that huge sense of accomplishment. Like YES everything WILL be okay! I have a strong feeling this soup would have that effect on me. I LOVE the buttered cashews! Those are just an addiction waiting to happen.
Joanne — I completely agree; I love that feeling after making something homemade, like everything is right with the world. And the cashews? Definite addiction. 🙂
This looks just wonderful! Cashew nuts definitely going on the weekend shopping list!
Sarah — Thank you; I hope you like it!
This is a really gorgeous soup. And the cashews + brown butter = total genius!
Cassie — Thank you!
This looks SO good!! I like cashews, but haven’t had them in soup, I’ll have to try this out!
Claire — It’s one of the best things ever, truly. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!
What a lovely dish! We have a ton of sweet potatoes that I know my son is tired of eating in the form of baby food. I know us parents woud love a good dinner made from them in the form of this soup! 😀
Caroline — Thank you! It’s a pretty tasty “grown-up” dish 🙂
I made this soup over the weekend, and it was so good. Thanks for the recipe. ps. love the new blog design.
Heather — Oh good, I’m so glad you liked it!
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Hi-I know this is post is almost a year old so I hope u see this. I recently had a sweet potato soup at an event. My husband & I loved it. It tasted exactly like a baked sweet potato, no extra sweetness just the great potato taste. It had a seperate dried cranberry & chopped pecan topping, but I like your topping much better. Don’t really like pecans but love cashews & creme fraiche. I can’t wait to try this. Any hints to get that pure sweet potato taste would be appreciated. I’ve never tried a soup like this.
Deb — Hi! Thanks for stopping by. I think the key to getting that pure sweet potato taste is to simply use real, fresh sweet potatoes and make sure they’re the star of the soup — so their flavor doesn’t get lost in the other ingredients. I’d say this recipe does that, if you want to try it. 🙂
My, oh my. I was at a polish store that always has the best homemade soups. I picked up a container of sweet potato soup and fell in love with it. I then knew I had to make a pot. I found your recipe and knew this recipe was ME…. sweet potatoes, chickpeas and cashews…who can go wrong with this soup????. I made your recipe and it is out of this world. I didn’t use my immersion blender as we like larger vegetables and I didn’t use the cream for serving, our preference. This recipe is from heaven. We loved it. So delicious and a true dream come true. Thank you so much for sharing, Stephanie.