The colors of Spring are very inspiring at times. In addition to all the wonderfully vibrant flowers popping up in every neglected patch of grass, even the vegetable section at the grocery store seems suddenly brighter these days. The colors appealing to me lately are all the brilliantly rich ones — red, purple, orange — which is what led to the decision to serve up my most recent decoction of red peppers, sweet potatoes, and red onions. Throw it all in a pot, cook for about an hour, blend to smoothness, and you arrive at a conglomerate of flavors. I often forget how wonderful soup is until I make it again, so tasty, healthy, and easy while existing on a comfort level to humans everywhere. Imagine, we’re eating and rehydrating at the same time 😀

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks, appropriately titled the Soup Bible, and is amazingly simple to make and equally delicious to eat (I feel like I use that word a lot)…I may have embellished the original version a bit for reasons of my own creativity (that, and two garlic cloves is never enough). Admittedly, this is a short post as my energy wavers these days in the weeks before I bring this little human into the world, but short is sweet as they say, and the great thing about soup is that it cooks itself, all you need is the right combination of vegetables to begin with (and there are marvelously numerous options to choose from). What results with this blended recipe is a delightfully red soup that has a fresh, peppery initial taste with a round, rich aftertaste.

The star ingredient at work in this soup is the sweet potatoes. I wouldn’t have originally thought they’d be so contributive in flavor, but these ugly-skinned tuberous roots are not only full of nutrition, they add a unique taste to any dish they’re utilized in. Taking the time to peel them in the beginning was tiresome (not to mention messy..) but starting out with vegetables in their raw state is probably the best way to go about making any meal. Another reason they’re the star ingredient is because sweet potatoes are so cheap 🙂 Granted, don’t confuse them with yams (labeled similarly in the States), which aren’t in the same family and are often much starchier. I’m going to try and make use of these rooty relatives of the potato, as there’s a reason they’re considered kitchen staples!

Sweet & Savory Red Pepper-Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

5 red bell peppers, seeded & coarsely chopped

5 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed

2 red onions, coarsely chopped

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup white wine

6 cups chicken broth

1 cup milk

salt & cracked pepper

(1) Put all of the sweet potatoes, red onion, bell pepper, and garlic into a large pot. Pour in the white wine and broth until veggies are covered, adding more wine if not. Bring the pot to a boil over medium-high heat. (2) Once boiling, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour until veggies are soft and the sweet potato begins to fall apart. (3) Remove from heat and let cool 10 minutes. Using a hand-held blender, puree the soup in the pot until smooth. (4) Stir in the milk and season the soup to taste with salt and plenty of cracked pepper. If desired, serve with toasted bread and/or grated cheese.

Serves 6

So that was my brief excursion into the comforting red and rich flavors of making soup. I froze a portion of this deliciousness for later and I have the sneaking suspicion that just sitting around may make it even more tasty than it already is.

For now, while I can still move with (slow) relative ease, I’ll be cooking more fresh and flavorsome food in attempts to fatten this baby up in the meantime. Ahhh….what a task 😀

My question: What is your favorite red vegetable based on taste?

4.16.12

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