RECIPE SPONSORED BY RIVERBEND GARDENS
keep the soup base simple
I'm of the opinion that every ingredient on a plate, or in a bowl, deserves it's time to shine! Now, I love a good soup or stew packed to the brim with all the veggies as much as the next gal, but there's something about blended soups (potage for the food geeks among us) that has me drawing the line at a handful of ingredients.
I feel that this way, it allows each ingredient to lend a hand to the others instead of competing for space and flavor. This particular recipe could be done with even less ingredients by going entirely in one direction with the sweet potatoes or the butternut. In both cases, it results in a similarly luscious texture and gives the primary veg just that much more space to showcase its complex sweetness.
What grows together goes together
Making potage is, I think, is as old as the world. Well perhaps at least the french world, and then maybe a little bit beyond that. In Europe, people often planted potage gardens or potager which were vegetable gardens named this way because if you were to harvest everything and boil it together it would make good soup. Pretty nifty right?
In today's day and age, I'm not sure I'd want to blend together everything in my garden. For one, there are way too many herbs. However, CSA baskets (or farm stands) are a great place to start exploring the potential of doing one or two main ingredient potage because if they old addage is right, if it grows together it goes together.
toppings make the soup shine
I think you've now figured out that I really play by the keep it simple silly approach, but there's one more thing that we really need to have a quick chat about. Creating a base that doesn't compete with itself opens the door to some really fun topping options. I usually dig through with what ever I have in the pantry at that moment, looking for a little punch of salt or acidity to add on top. Sometimes, salt flakes is all it takes but in this case I was really craving a salty & herbaceous blend to cut through the sweetness of the base.
I went for cilantro + feta, with a few sliver of almonds (because they're pretty but also complement the earthy goodness of this soup). I know everyone isn't a huge fan of cilantro, so if that's not your jam, consider parsley or a tiny bit of rosemary or sage. Be warned though, they go a mighty long way!
4C sweet potato
1 small butternut
2 small yellow onions
1/2 head of garlic
4C vegetable stock
2 T coconut oil
Fresh cilantro or parsley
10 MIN PREP + 25 mins cook
Peel & chop onions & sweet potatoes roughly.
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add the coconut oil & the onions.
Cook them until they begin to caramelize then add the sweet potatoes, garlic & stock.
Bring up to the boil & cook until the potatoes have softened.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup, it should be thick & creamy.
Serve topped with almonds, feta & fresh herbs.
WASTE LESS TIP
Storing most varieties of winter squash is as easy as keeping them on the counter. They tend to hold up quite well for a few weeks if the kitchen isn't crazy hot and steamy most of the time. If you'd like to hold on to them longer, consider storing them in a cool dry place (basements are usually ideal) where they can keep for a few months.
Pro tip: Rotate them from time to time and check for moisture to keep them from rotting.