. Holiday Soup Redux Part Two—Christmas: Sweet Potato/Cranberry Soup Seriously Soupy

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Soup Redux Part Two—Christmas: Sweet Potato/Cranberry Soup

Sweet Potato/Cranberry Soup - Seriously Soupy

For the second installment of the Holiday Soup Redux series, I created a recipe that is my take on a traditional Christmas meal. However, figuring out exactly what makes a traditional Christmas meal can be rather daunting task, especially since every family has their own unique dishes, and those that are considered traditional (ham, fish, and turkey) didn't really inspire me nor could I choose which one was considered more traditional over the other. So, using Mel Torme's and Bob Well's 1944 classic "Christma's Song" and their famous opening line, "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire" as inspiration, I fell in love with the idea of doing something with chestnuts (what's more Christmas than chestnuts?!?)  However, this inspiration came to me the day before Christmas Eve and finding chestnuts the day before Christmas Eve proved to be yet another daunting task.  Moving on, I thought to myself, "what else just screams Christmas?"  Cranberries!  This resulted in a twist on a sweet potato soup that was infused with ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon to create a hearty and rather delicious soup that was also really quick and easy to make. Here's how to make this seriously soupy Christmas soup:

Sweet Potato and Cranberry Soup
6 cups of water (2 cups of water for the cranberries)
* 1 cup of heavy cream (optional)
6 sweet potatoe, peeled and chopped up
2 cups of fresh cranberries
1/2 yellow onion, chopped up
1 whole parsnip, chopped up
1 piece of ginger,minced
1 tablespoons of nutmeg
1 tablespoons of cloves
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of brown sugar
salt and pepper to taste
* used for the cranberry and potato mixture

Sweet potatoes and ginger for the soup

Cranberries for the soup
Put water in a pot and set to medium boil. Chop up the sweet potatoes, onion, parsnip, and ginger into squares and place in the slightly boiling pot of water for 30-45 minutes. In a separate and smaller pot, add 2 cups of water and add the cranberries (if using fresh). Set to a low flame and cover. The cranberries will start to pop as they open up, when this happens (about 5 minutes later) add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and some sugar. About 10 minutes later the seeds will be released and the water will turn red. This indicates that the cranberries are ready. Turn off the flame and set aside this mixture. Add the heavy cream, nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, salt, and pepper to the sweet potato mixture. Cover for another 10 minutes and check with a fork to check if the potatoes are soft. If soft, blend the mixture together with a hand blender until it turns into a puree. With a slotted spoon scoop up the cranberries and place them in the soup (try to use all of the cranberries). I also added about a cup of the remaining cranberry/water mixture and blended again. I also left my puree slightly chunky with some cranberry pieces because I like it chunky, you can puree to taste. I also topped the soup off with a few cranberries for a garnish.

Cranberries boiling
P.S. I used the heavy cream, partially because I still had it from the potato and leek soup recipe, but also because I wanted to create a creamier soup. It can be omitted, based on your dietary restrictions and preferences.

Seriously Soupy Serena

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