I don’t want to whine about the weather, I really don’t. I mean, I don’t necessarily have to live in Washington State. It’s a free country. And these dreary, gray winters are the price we pay for stellar spring days, glorious summers, and amazing autumns.
But if I were to whine, I would mention that winters here stink, and I am in desperate need of a little sun, a lot of light, and the feel of warm sun on my skin. Ugh. Desperate need.
I know, I totally know, that winters are the best time (and a wonderful excuse) to get cozy in front of the fire (or cuddle in bed in front of the TV and season 2 of Downton Abbey pretty much right as soon as the kid goes to bed at 7:30 p.m., as the case may be, not that we know much about that…).
And I guess since we are talking about the positives of winters and not whining about day after day of depressing damp gloom, I can also mention that soup – nice, piping hot, hearty, creamy, delicious soup – is also a bonus that the season brings.
Oh hey! Like, say, this soup, for instance!
If this soup could talk, it would say, “Hello! I am the perfect winter soup!”
But if it could talk, and if you’re a vegetarian, you might have a problem with eating it. So no worries – this soup does not talk. And because this soup has vegetable stock instead of chicken, it is especially perfect for you.
A little about how it tastes: good. Really, really good. Sweet potatoes and rosemary, pureed with a hunk of cream cheese (light if you prefer, it works great) make for a rich, velvety soup. It’s a perfect example of how a few choice ingredients in a simple, easy recipe can really shine.
Plus, it’s a pretty, orange-y, sunshiney color. Maybe I can hover over the bowl and squint really good and pretend it’s the sun.
Desperate times! Desperate measures!
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large shallot, thinly sliced (about 1 cup sliced) (can substitute ½ cup diced yellow onion)
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 pound (about 1 large) sweet potatoes, peeled. trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 ounces light cream cheese (room temperature)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil. Once the butter has melted, add the shallots (or onions). Saute, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, until translucent and tender. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 more minute.
- Stir in the rosemary, sweet potatoes, and vegetable broth. Continue heating over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 – 25 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Let cool until it’s safe to puree.
- Using an immersion blender or working in batches with an upright blender, puree the soup.
- Return soup to pan and add the room temperature cream cheese. Whisk briskly over low heat until cream cheese is completely dissolved.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.