Disclosure: I received free samples of California sweetpotatoes mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Sweetpotato Council and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
Tuesday I woke up to a BIG change! Cold. Rain. Wind. It was a far cry from the beautiful weather we’ve been enjoying in Coastal North Carolina this fall. Feeling very unmotivated, but unable to convince Brody otherwise, my assistant and I managed to walk around the Loop at Wrightsville Beach. As we hurrily walked across the bridges with the wind blowing my hair and Brody’s ears, I could only think of 2 things:
1. I can’t wait for a hot shower.
2. I need something warm and comforting to eat.
Once home, I began a pantry search for ingredients to make something hot and delicious. Then it hit me, I’ve been coveting 2 of the O’Henry variety California sweetpotatoes for a day that calls for soup. Well, today is that day!
But before I share my recipe, I want to tell you about the key ingredient in my soup, the California sweetpotato. About now you’re probably thinking I can’t spell. Or maybe I just forgot to spellcheck my post. Because sweetpotato is two words, right? Not in this case. California sweetpotatoes are one word to emphasize they are NOT your ordinary sweet potato. When I received this box of samples, their superiority was all too obvious.
These sweetpotatoes are visually a higher, quality potato as a result of their growing conditions; they’re grown in soft sand and are hand sorted during harvest to minimize scarring and scratching. They are also a “nutrition bang for the buck” with 4 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, a good source of vitamin C and a day’s worth of vitamin A. So you get it, they’re the bomb, eh?
While I’m clearing up confusion, here’s one last point: sweetpotatoes are not yams! There has been confusion because there are varieties of sweetpotoatoes called yams, but sweetpotatoes are moist and sweet, yams are dry and starchy and not grown in the U.S.
The O’Henry California sweetpotato was everything I had hoped for; sweet and creamy. So creamy in fact, I was able to use fat-free milk instead of cream in my California Sweetpotato Fennel Soup. The resulting heart healthy cream soup is surprisingly light and would make a perfect first course. But today I’m warming up with this soup at my desk, attempting to work for a few solid hours with Brody resting at my feet. I earned this!
Please check out the bottom of this post for more interesting recipes using California sweetpotatoes.
California Sweetpotato Fennel Soup
Ingredients (serves 8)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 large fennel bulb, chopped
- 1 cup sweet onion, chopped
- 2 medium O’Henry California sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup skim milk
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted and crushed
- 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon
- fennel fronds for garnish
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the fennel and onions. Saute until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add sweetpotatoes, chicken broth, skim milk, lemon juice and seasonings. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or puree in batches using a blender or food processor. Return the soup to pot and heat until warmed through. Ladle into individual bowls and garnish with fennel fronds.