Right now I am craving good hearty soups. I know a lot of you are too as the weather cools off. There is nothing like a steaming bowl of soup for cozy dinners in the fall and winter. I was in search of some good recipes that were hearty yet healthy to make for dinner (with leftovers for lunches) so I turned to my back issues of Cooking Light to find some good ideas. I saw this recipe for Creamy Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup and the ingredients and the gorgeous golden orange color immediately caught my attention. I liked that it contained both sweet potatoes and carrots. Not only is it full of beta-carotene but sweet potatoes and carrots are inexpensive and readily available in the fall/winter. Good, healthy, cheap= major win-- am I right?? :)
I made a batch of this soup last weekend and both my husband and I loved it. This soup is creamy with just a hint of spice and a little sweet from the sweet potatoes, carrots, and Vidalia onions. While you can use regular onions, I thought the mild Vidalias worked really well in this soup. The recipe calls for a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkling of parsley for a garnish which added a nice tang and was a good contrast with the sweetness from the soup. I think creme fraiche would also be great option. Instead of using parsley (because I didn't have any fresh at home) I added an additional sprinkle of cinnamon-- I think I actually preferred it to the parsley so I'll probably just use that instead for the future.
This soup was so easy to make, especially if you have an immersion blender so that everything can be mixed in one pot. It makes 8 1-cup servings so it made enough for several meals for my husband and me. It's also low in fat and calories and high in fiber which makes it a great Weight Watcher's option. I included the points value below.
Creamy Sweet Potato and Carrot Soup
3 tbs. butter, divided
1 cup chopped onion (I used Vidalia onions)
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
4 3/4 cups cubed peeled sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 1/2 cups water
3 cups fat-free, less sodium chicken broth
3 cups chopped carrot (about 1 pound)
1/4 cup half and half
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Melt 1 tbs. butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Move onion mixture to side of pan; add remaining 2 tbs. butter to open space in pan. Increase heat to medium-high; cook 1 minute or until butter begins to brown. Add sweet potatoes, carrots, 3 1/2 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 35-50 minutes or until vegetables are tender ( I found I needed to simmer mine about 50 minutes in order for the carrots to soften).
2. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until completely smooth. Or if you don't have an immersion blender, place half of soup mixture in a regular blender. Remove center piece of blender lid to allow steam to escape. Secure blender lid. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid to prevent splatters. Blend until smooth. Pour into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining soup mixture.
3. Stir in 1/2 and 1/2, salt, and pepper and serve.
*Note: You can make this soup several days in advance and reheat over medium-low heat.
Serving size= 1 cup.
Weight Watcher's Points Plus: 1 cup= 4 points (3.6 grams Protein, 25.7 grams Carbs, 6.7 grams Fat, 5 grams Fiber)
Recipe from Cooking Light