Oct 31st, 2010

Not Too Sweet - Sweet Potato & Apple Soup

This sweet potato, apple and carrot soup is seasoned with cinnamon, cloves and fennel. Hot, spicy and comforting – but definitely not too sweet to enjoy a whole bowl.

I love sweet potato fries and mashed sweet potatoes, but I wasn’t inspired to try a sweet potato soup until we ate mashed sweet potatoes as a side with our Apple-Cider Braised Pork Chops. For that recipe, I placed a few sweet potatoes in the bottom of the slow cooker and let them cook in the juices from the pork chops and apple cider – those sweet potatoes turned into the best mashed potatoes ever!

The key flavours that infused the potatoes came from the apple cider, cinnamon and cloves. To make this soup, I decided to tone down the sweetness by mixing in a few Yukon Gold potatoes, carrots, fennel seeds and beef broth (chicken or vegetable should work too).

This fun, little experiment worked out perfectly! The carrots, and fennel not only reduced the sweetness of the soup, they added their own delicate flavours to mix. This soup makes an amazing winter appetizer or lunch.

I’m submitting this soup to Souper Sunday Kahakai Kitchen).


Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Apple Soup

Prep: 35 minutes
Cook: 6 hours (low) or 3 hours (high)
Yield: 8-10 servings (prepared in a 6.5 quart slow cooker)

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups peeled and sliced carrots (1-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup peeled and sliced apple (I used Royal Gala)
  • 12 cups peeled and sliced onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 5 whole cloves (or 1 tsp of ground cloves)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (or ground fennel)
  • 1 tsp salt
  •  12 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • cinnamon stick (8 cm long)
  • 2 lbs peeled and quartered sweet potatoes
  • 12 lbs peeled and quartered Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes
  • 2 cups apple cider (unfiltered if you can find it)
  • 4 cups beef broth (you can substitute chicken or vegetable)

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat. When it stops foaming add the carrots and sliced apples. Cook until the carrots begin to brown and the apples start to soften. About 5 minutes.

Add the onions and cook until they soften, about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, cloves, fennel, salt, pepper, bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Stir in the potatoes, apple cider, and broth. Turn the heat to high and bring to a simmer. Allow the mixture to simmer for about 5 minutes before pouring it into your slow cooker insert.

Cook on low for 6 hours (or high for 3 hours).

Remove the bay leaves and cinnamon stick. Purée the soup using a blender or food processor.

Garnish with an apple wedge and top with chopped walnuts.