Sunday, December 6, 2009

Beat Cold and Flu Season with a Warm Bowl of North African Inspired Sweet Potato, Peanut Butter, and Paprika Soup

African inspired sweet potato, peanut, and paprika soup

Cold and flu season is upon us. I know. It's only December 6th, and I have been sick three times.

Like most people, I try to pinpoint when I got sick. Was it the day I forgot to use the disinfectant wipes on the grocery cart handle? Was it that sneezy kid in the elevator? Ooh, I know who it was -- that guy who hacked all over the coffee counter at Starbucks.

I realize that this line of investigation is futile, but when I can't swallow, my ears ache, and my nose looks like Rudolph, I'm looking for retribution.

Fortunately, this North African Inspired Sweet Potato, Peanut Butter, and Paprika Soup calms me right down. Roasting the potatoes first ehances their natural sweetness and adds a touch of smokiness that contrasts deliciously with earthy peanut butter and fragrant sweet paprika. After a piping hot bowl of such goodness, looking like Rudolph doesn't seem so bad after all.

roasted sweet potato DSC_0193

Want to share in our big, festive Eat Christmas Cookies event? Find out how here. (Several Santa prizes will be given out throughout the event.) And check out the stash of Christmas cookies we've gotten so far.

North African Inspired Sweet Potato, Peanut Butter, and Paprika Soup

Serves 4
Print recipe only here.

2 large orange skinned sweet potatoes or Garnet yams, scrubbed and sliced in half lengthwise
6 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy salted peanut butter
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup cream or half n' half
Juice of ½ lime (about 1 – ½ teaspoons)
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
Sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, chopped, optional garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with tinfoil (for easy clean up). Brush the flesh of the sweet potatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil; roast flesh side down for 40-45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Cool. Scoop out the flesh, and discard the skins.

2. In a deep pot over medium heat, sauté onion in remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add cooked potato flesh and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce to low, and add brown sugar, peanut butter, sweet paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook 7-8 minutes. Turn off heat, and cool 5-10 minutes before pureeing.

3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth; return to the pot over low heat. Add the cream, lime juice, and cilantro; stir occasionally until the soup is thoroughly heated, 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. If you prefer a thinner soup, simply add a bit more broth until desired consistency is reached.

4. Garnish individual bowls with thinly sliced fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts.

These Food Blogga soup recipes might also help ease a cold:
Italian Lentil Soup
Italian Chicken and Escarole Soup
Creamy Cauliflower Chestnut Soup
Fennel Spiked Roasted Red Bell Pepper Soup 

You might also enjoy these sweet potato soup recipes:
Caribbean Sweet Potato recipe at Lisa's Kitchen
Chipotle Sweet Potato Soup recipe at Homesick Texan
Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Apricots recipe at Serious Eats
Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Fried Sage recipe at Local Lemons