We’ve had an unbelievably beautiful spring in British Columbia, and many few days that feel like summer is already here. We are definitely weather-blessed this time of year, and I know many of you are still coming out of winter. I grew up in Newfoundland, so I’m no stranger to those drawn-out wintery days and how downright crooked that can make us feel!
So, I thought I’d deliver a scrumptious soup to help get you through! For me, this soup is perfect for spring. It’s not too heavy in texture or seasonings, and in my opinion, it is well suited to be served any time of the year.
I use a technique in this soup that I created in my oil-free cooking. Often, when sautéing vegetables and other foods without oil, people use water. I prefer to infuse more flavor into the food. One of the ways I love to do that is with a touch of balsamic vinegar. This oil-free sauté technique works wonders in this soup, because it helps create the flavor base with the seasonings and onions. You can use this cooking tip in other recipes, just be mindful of how it works with the flavors and elements in your dish. Balsamic vinegar doesn’t always work with certain ingredients, so you may prefer to use other flavor-infusing liquids for oil-free sautéing, like wine, vegetable stock, or juices.
This soup has a slightly (naturally) sweet base, once the sweet potatoes meld with the sautéed onions and red peppers. Our girls absolutely love it, and always go for seconds – and thirds. Hopefully your family will enjoy it as much as our does. Do let me know!
p.s. Belated thanks for all your comments on my last post. You helped me narrow down my choices. It was between crazy brownies and sweet potato cake. I went with the crazy brownies because I decided they would be a little less messy to serve, and also already gluten-free and nut-free. They were a huge hit! I barely had enough as VegExpo was insanely busy. I’ve never been to an event that crowded. Vegan is the future, kids!
Balsamic-Sauteed Sweet Potato Bisque with White Beans
Don’t let the term “bisque” throw you off as too sophisticated for family fare. Our girls LOVE this soup, and yet it is elegant enough to serve for a dinner party or other special function. The flavor tastes deep and layered, yet it is extremely simple to prepare! Serves 4–5.
2 cups chopped onions
1 cup chopped red pepper (can use roasted or raw)
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 1/4 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste if desired)
1 tsp dried rosemary (or 2 tsp fresh, roughly chopped)
1 tsp paprika (can substitute smoked paprika for extra flavor)
freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 – 3 1/2 cups cubed/chopped yellow sweet potatoes (peeled first)
1 1/2 – 2 tsp dijon mustard (to taste)
4 cups water
2 cans white beans, drained and rinsed (remove 1 cup for pureeing)
In a soup pot over medium-high heat, add onions, red peppers, vinegar, salt, rosemary, paprika, and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium/medium-low and let cook for 8–9 minutes until onions are softened and starting to caramelize. Add peppers, sweet potatoes, and dijon, and stir through with a splash of water. Cover and let cook for a few minutes. Add water, turn heat to high to reach a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15–20 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through. After this time, turn off heat and add just 1 cup of the white beans. Puree using an immersion blender, until smooth and silky. Add remaining beans, and let simmer covered for 5-10 minutes. Serve!
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Sweet Potato Bisque photo credit: Nicole Axworthy