Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup


My Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day arrived in the mail this week and, after shrieking out loud and tearing open the package, I promptly sat down and read it almost cover to cover without moving. After that, it's a miracle that any food other than bread has made it out of the kitchen and onto the table since visions of rye, flatbread, pita, challah, caramel rolls and beignets have been dancing through my head. Soon, everyone in the household was getting used to walking through the front door and smelling freshly baked bread and I was getting used to receiving their accolades. Nobody, not even a teen (well, maybe some teens, but not my teens... much), can be in a bad mood for long when they're greeted by those warm smells.
But we knew that man (and this woman) cannot live by bread alone so we needed to find something delish to eat alongside it...
When Maddie was home for a sick day on Tuesday and we spent a leisurely afternoon together alternating between watching reruns of Glee and Food Network, we saw the beautiful Giada whip up a winter soup of sweet potatoes and decided this would fit the bill. Really straightforward and quick... we all liked it but probably could have amped up the flavour a bit, but not sure how. The rosemary didn't add much oomph so any and all suggestions welcomed.


Creamy Sweet Potato and Rosemary Soup
From Giada at Home, Food Network

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 large or 6 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds (about 2 to 3) sweet potatoes, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 (6-inch long) stems fresh rosemary
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup

In an 8-quart stockpot, melt the butter and oil together over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, rosemary and chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are very tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and remove the rosemary stems. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture until smooth and thick. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese and maple syrup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Keep the soup warm over low heat until ready to serve. Garnish with some cooked bacon and grated cheese.
The soup can also be pureed by ladling, in batches, into a food processor or blender and blended until smooth.


Brioche
Makes about 4 loaves

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast (2 packets)
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
7 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Mix the yeast, salt, eggs honey and melted butter with the water in a 5-quart bowl, or lidded (not airtight) food container. Mix in the flour, using a spoon until all the flour is incorporated.
Cover (not airtight), and allow to sit at room temperature for about two hours.

The dough can be used as soon as it is chilled. This dough is way too sticky to use after the initial rise, but once it is chilled it is very easy to handle.

Grease a 9X4X3-inch nonstick loaf pan. Dust the surface of the dough with flour and cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit size) piece. Dust with more flour and quickly shape it into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides, rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go.

Elongate into an oval and place in the prepared pan. Allow to rest for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you're not using a stone in the oven, 5 minutes is enough.

Using a pastry brush, brush the top crust with egg wash.

Place the bread in the centre of the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a medium golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing or eating.

The dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. After that you can freeze the dough.
Rest of the week

Feb 15 Scrambled eggs on cheddar dill biscuits with sauteed spinach

Feb 17 Sweet Potato Soup with Rosemary

Feb 18 Pasta tossed with sausage, spinach, cauliflower and goat cheese (my kitchen-sink pasta version of Carole's kitchen-sink pizza)

1 comments:

mamashack said...

Holy smokes, that brioche looks incredible! You are beating me at my own game!

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