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 am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time and all opinions expressed about California sweetpotatoes are my own.
I mentioned in my last post that sweetpotaotes are kind of a staple in my house. In fact, they are my favorite vearch –vegetable that’s also a starch. (Before you start googling vearch, it’s really a made-up word, so you won’t find it). Other vearches include white potatoes, corn, peas, and most winter squash. In a dietitian’s world, they all count as a starch because they are higher in carbs and calories than regular vegetables. However, I give sweetpotatoes extra points, because they are full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber- more like vegetables.
I am especially fond of the taste and soft, moist texture of sweetpotatoes, and the fact that they’re loaded with heart healthy potassium, and cancer protecting beta carotene and fiber. I also love that you can eat them in so many different ways – Stuffed and served as a main dish, as a side vegetable and/or starch, baked, grilled, roasted, mashed, and also in soups, stews, muffins, desserts, or even fruit leather. I’m pretty sure the other vearches aren’t quite that versatile.
In case you’re wondering why I’m spelling sweetpotatoes as one word, it’s because this variety comes from California, and they’re a little bit different looking – pretty and smooth as compared to other varieties of sweet potatoes. California sweetpotatoes are especially interesting because they are available in several different varieties, each of which has a subtle taste difference. They also come in a range of colors – from the tan skinned with white, but still sweet flesh (O’Henry), to red skinned with deep orange flesh (Diane). Kind of like a fashion show for your plate!
One last bit of trivia – Sweetpotatoes are not yams! Yams are actually grown in the Caribbean, and are not readily available in the US. They are also dry and starchy, unlike sweetpotatoes, which are sweet and moist. Sweetpotatoes (and sweet potatoes) are grown in the United States, and there are varieties of sweet potatoes which are called Yams, but not all yams are sweet potatoes. Just in case you’re ever on Jeaopardy 🙂
I love sweetpotato soups, but most are sweet, and usually have apples as an ingredient- not a bad thing, but I wanted something different. I decided to play with a spicy, savory version which is seasoned with curry powder, and I love the result! Hope you do too!
Curried Sweetpotato Bisque
- 2 Tbs canola oil
- 1 large carrot peeled
- 2 leeks cleaned carefully
- 3 medium to large sweetpotatoes 2 lbs, peeled
- 8 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tsp curry power
- 1/2 tsp Chinese 5 spice powder available in the spice section of the grocery store
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Kosher salt
- toasted pepitos optional garnish
- Heat oil in a large stockpot.
- Cut carrot and sweetpotatoes into 1-inch pieces, and leeks into 1/4 round slices.
- Add leeks and carrots to oil in stockpot.
- Saute approximately 10 minutes, or until leeks are starting to turn golden.
- Stir in spices and let toast for about 30 seconds.
- Add sweetpotatoes and chicken stock. and bring to a boil.
- Turn heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until sweetpotatoes are tender.
- Remove pot from heat, and puree soup until smooth, with an immersion blender or in a regular blender.
- Add cream and stir to combine. Add salt to taste
- Serve garnished with pepitos if desired.
Don’t forget to check out the other California Sweetpotato creations from the Recipe ReDux!
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