‘Tis the season for cookies and soup. I have a feeling I will be making an abundance of both in the next few months, and as mentioned in previous posts, soup is one of my all-time favorite meals. (And yes, we’ve concluded it IS a meal 🙂 ).
So this recipe is slightly adapted from A Cozy Kitchen‘s new cookbook, The Year of Cozy and it does not disappoint! This was the first recipe I flagged because the warming nature of the spices found in chorizo is perfect for these cooler months. There was also an air of familiarity that drew me to this chorizo-spiced soup as well. My husband’s family is Mexican, so chorizo was a staple in their household. I fondly remember squeezing around my in-laws’ tiny kitchen table with his sisters and their husbands, all sharing a big skillet of his mother’s chorizo con huevos and her homemade flour tortillas for breakfast. I had never had chorizo prior to meeting my husband and I was hooked after my first taste. These family breakfasts happened quite often and I was reminded of those meals while making this soup. Funny how much food connects you with cherished memories in your life.
So even though those moments are too few and far between now that we’ve moved across country, it gave me great pleasure to hear, “What smells so good?” when my husband walked in the door yesterday evening. I like to think just the scent of the spices mingling with the sweet potatoes in this soup took him back there too.
“chorizo”-spiced sweet potato soup
The original recipe calls for a whole roasted acorn squash and one cup pumpkin puree, however I had a lot of sweet potatoes on hand so I felt the need to substitute those instead. It worked beautifully. I did use closer to 4 cups of vegetable broth because the sweet potatoes were pretty thick, but I don’t feel it made a difference in the flavor. You can certainly add more spice if you wish. So, go ahead and make this soup if you want to feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
- 2 lbs peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 tsp chipotle chile powder
- 1/2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp fine-grain sea salt + additional, to taste
- freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- teeny pinch of ground cloves
- 3-4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- juice from 1/2 a lemon
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chile powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- crème fraîche or Mexican crema
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place cubed sweet potato on top. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle sea salt and cracked black pepper on top. Roast for 30 minutes, or until mostly tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
In a medium pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, cooked sweet potato, chile powder, chipotle chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander cloves and 1 teaspoon salt salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the spices are fragrant.
Pour in the water or vegetable broth and lemon juice. bring to a simmer over medium-high heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until the squash is completely softened. Using an immersion blender, pulse until smooth, approximately 30 seconds. Set soup over low heat to keep warm; taste and adjust the salt as needed.
In a small skillet over medium heat, add the pipits, oil, chipotle chile powder, cumin and salt. Toss to combine and toast for about 3 minutes or until the pepitas’ edges have turned slightly golden brown.
To serve, divide the soup among bowls and drizzle the crème fraîche or Mexican crema over the top. Top with pepitas. Though the soup is pretty thick as is, I spooned some warmed brown rice into the bottom of my bowl first and ate it that way. Yummy and filling!