Monday, January 24, 2022

FOOD FOR THE SOUL – SWEET POTATO SOUP

Chef Jeff Henderson

Sweet potatoes are such a versatile starch and a regular on many folks’ table year-round. Growing up, we ate sweet potatoes candied, whipped and as a pie with vanilla ice cream. I love turning the sweet potato into a smooth, hearty dinner soup — especially during the cold winter months. In this dinner recipe, it’s the turkey smoked collard greens that set it off. I use smoked turkey drumsticks or wings to season the greens. After puréeing the soup until smooth, I pour it into a bowl and spoon in a large portion of greens and turkey right in the middle. Chef’s tip: Use the cooking liquid from the greens to purée the soup.

RECIPES by CHEF JEFF HENDERSON

Serves 4 to 6

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups of cubed, peeled organic sweet potatoes or garnet yams
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

WHAT TO DO

1. Heat the oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, thyme and bay leaf and cook until the onion is softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the chicken broth and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and cook until the potatoes are fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
2. Pour off the cooking liquid, reserving 2 cups liquid and the potatoes. Discard the bay leaf and thyme.
3. Place the potatoes, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon and brown sugar in a blender or food processor. Slowly add the reserved cooking liquid while processing until desired thickness is achieved and all of the ingredients are incorporated.
4. Slowly add the cream, then season to taste with salt and pepper and add the maple syrup. Serve immediately.

TURKEY SMOKED COLLARD GREENS

Serves 6 to 8

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 1/2 pounds smoked turkey wings
1 large yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
2 bunches fresh collard greens, washed, stems removed, leaves cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons sugar
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste

WHAT TO DO
1. Bring the chicken broth to a slow boil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the turkey, onion, collard greens and vinegar.
2. Let the greens cook uncovered for a few minutes, then cover the pot and turn the heat down to low. Simmer until the greens are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the butter and sugar and season with salt and white pepper.
3. Serve with slotted spoon.

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