You may have noticed that sweet potatoes are on sale right about now. I certainly did, which is why I picked up a few extra while shopping for Thanksgiving. I’ve made a lot of sweet-potato-based soups in the past (sweet potato and regular potato, sweet potato and lentil, sweet potato and squash…), but this one—adapted from one I saw a long time ago in The New York Times—is by far my favorite. It’s spicy and sweet, with little bursts of flavor from the pieces of whole corn. You could even cook another jalapeño separately and serve sprinkled over the top if you want it really hot. It’s not only simple and quick enough to make the week of Thanksgiving, it would also make a wonderful Thanksgiving first course.
As a meal, the recipe below serves 4 , especially with bread served on the side. As a first course, it could serve 6.
• 2 large sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 lbs. @ 59 cents/lb.), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes: $1.48
• 1 T canola oil: 3 cents
• 1 cup corn kernels (left over, frozen, from an ill-fated corncob wine experiment in July): 10 cents
• 1 jalapeño, seeded & chopped: 9 cents
• 1/2 an onion, chopped: 12 cents
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped: 12 cents
• 4 cups chicken broth (or vegetable broth, to make it vegan): 24 cents
• Pinch ground cinnamon: 3 cents
• 2 T molasses: 10 cents
• Cayenne, salt & black pepper to taste: 3 cents
• Minced parsley, or green onions: $0
TOTAL: $2.34/4 = 59 cents/serving
Add the sweet-potato cubes and chicken broth, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the sweet potato is softened. Remove the lid and mash any extra-large cubes against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Puree with an immersion blender, or in batches in a regular blender, put the puree back in the pot and reheat. Add the corn and molasses, and salt, cayenne, and black pepper to taste. Once reheated, serve in bowls, garnished with the parsley or green onions. (Don’t skip the garnish; it definitely adds another layer of flavor and texture to the soup.)