If you guys follow my blog, or you know me personally – you know that there was a time where I really despised most root vegetables. Sweet potatoes, yams, beets, parsnips, turnip, and carrots were at the top of my no list. It’s because of the sweet factor; I couldn’t wrap my head around something that in my mind should be savoury but in fact was more sweet.
This has been true since I was a little kid, and honestly moved with me until my mid 30s. I wouldn’t eat any of those things if I didn’t have to – except raw carrots.
Fast forward to today and as you’ve probably noticed my tastes have changed lightly. The thing is, I worked hard on that; sounds strange but I did. For years I owned and operated a catering company and I developed the menu and all the recipes. As you can imagine, you can’t really operate a successful business if you model it only after your own personal tastes. I worked with ingredients that I didn’t like constantly to make sure that I had an arsenal of recipes in my back pocket, as catering menus require variety and versatility. Although I didn’t enjoy these ingredients personally – I was still able to create a great tasting dish with something I didn’t like. That’s a weird talent of mine, whether I like something or not I am able to create balance in the flavours and textures.
Creating and testing all those recipes meant I was constantly tasting root vegetables. And, after a few years of using these items regularly, I became more interested in what I could do with them; and the more I ate them, the more I liked them. Your taste buds are like a muscle in that way and you can train to be receptive to different flavours. When I was a kid, I would gag at the thought of a beet or when I was forced to actually eat cooked carrots. Funny thing is I still have moments every once in a while where those nostalgic feelings invade my tastebuds and I get grossed out again. But for the most part these days, my tastebuds send a more positive message to my brain.
The result – I’m kind of loving sweet potatoes these days.
For me that’s a great thing. Sweet potatoes are a great ingredient – they’re versatile, they contain some great healthy vitamins and minerals, they are relatively easy to grow and they are an inexpensive item that goes a long way.
So last week for our meal plan sweet potatoes were one of our main ingredients and I created a few recipes around them.
I decided to make a couple of soups – I posted the recipe for my sweet potato, lemongrass and coconut soup a couple of days ago, and the other one is todays recipe – sweet potato and tomatillo soup.
You guys what I love about this, is although the base for these soups is the same (sweet potato)m they have wildly different flavours. The Thai style one I’ve already posted is sweet, rich and fragrant. This one is earthy, tangy and definitely packs a punchy flavour. But I LOVE them both. They also happen to be gluten-free, and (depending on your garnish) they are both vegan too.
So here you go:
YIELD – 6 to 8 servings, depending on size
- 4 cups of roasted, mashed sweet potato
- 1 lb. tomatillos*
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup white onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 5 cups vegetable broth*
- 1/2 cup sherry (or dry white wine)
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp coriander
- 11/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- salt and pepper to taste
- quick-pickled red onion
- sliced, pickled or fresh jalapeño
- pumpkin seeds
- crumbled feta
- sour cream or greek yogurt
- fresh lime wedge
*Special Note: For the sweet potato, 2 average sweet potatoes will give you about 4 cups mashed. If you have extra sweet potato mash, add a little cinnamon, and maple syrup and top your oatmeal or chia pudding with it in the morning – it is to die for. I will also provide a recipe for that soon. If you can’t find tomatillos, you can substitiute unripe tomatoes with an extra squeeze of lime) but, they are relatively easy to find. Superstore or any latin, mexican market will have them. If you find your soup to be too thick you can add hot water to it as it simmers to thin out. You may need to adjust your spice if you do.
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Scrub, rinse and dry sweet potato. Cut in half lengthwise and roast open side down for about 45-50 min. on a parchment lined baking sheet. Remove from oven, let cool, then scoop sweet potato out.
- Rinse and dry tomatillos and lay out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Roast for about 25-30 min or until soft and starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy bottom pot (see below for some of my favourites)
- Add the onions and saute until translucent about 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another 2-3 minutes.
- Next add the cumin, coriander, and cinnamon and toss until the spices have dissolved into the oil. Let cook for a minute.
- Add the lime juice and sherry and let simmer for 5 min. Add the vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Then add the tomatillos (as they are), and the mashed sweet potato and stir heavily until the sweet potato and tomatillos have broken up into the soup. Let soup start to bubble again, then reduce heat and simmer for half an hour.
- If you have an immersion blender, use that to blend the soup. If not pour the soup into a blender (you can do it in a couple batches if need be) and blend until pureed. Add the soup back to the pot, add salt and pepper to taste and let simmer for another 10-15 min.
- Serve garnished with your choice from the suggestions above.
If you like a spicy soup – add in one, seeded, sliced jalapeño after you add the garlic, or if you want just a bit of heat, but not a ton, garnish with a couple of slices of fresh or pickled jalapeño.
We garnished ours with a healthy dollop of greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, pickled red onions and toasted pumpkin seeds and I loved the different flavours and textures it added to the soup. If I was going to add anything else – I would definitely crumble some feta cheese over top as well.
But feel free to get creative with the toppings, that’s the fun part!
If you don’t have a good heavy bottom pot, here are a few that I like. Having a good pot makes a big difference when making soup, especially when using an immersion blender. You want to have something that will hold up and won’t get all scratched up.
As always season your soup to taste, if you love the cinnamon, add a little more – if you’re not a coriander person, don’t worry about it. It’s my recipe, but it’s your soup.
If you’re interested I will be posting a little more about our meal planning journey later this week; so keep your eyes peeled, because it was an all sweet potato week.
I hope you guys have a fantastic rest of your weekend.
Till the next recipe,