Curried Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup

DSC_2031Creamy, fall-flavored soup is like a warm, sweater-y hug, isn’t it? For this soup, curry, sweet potatoes, carrots, and shallots are all that you need. It won’t take more than an hour to make, and just goes hand-in-hand with warm socks and friends. We had this soup for dinner tonight, right before carving pumpkins and drinking hot cider.

DSC_2035For the first time this year, we have the heat on tonight. I’m snuggled under a blanket with warm socks and leggings on–it’s supposed to get down into the low 40s tonight, and I kind of love it. I usually look forward to the weather turning cold–it means that Thanksgiving is close–but this year, it seems like it’s all happened just too fast. I feel like summer slipped by, and suddenly it’s nearly November and I don’t know why.

DSC_2044This soup is sort of like a remedy to that. It undeniable that fall is upon us, but with curried sweet potatoes and carrots, it’s okay. Because its creaminess comes from the pureed vegetables, the soup is totally vegan (minus the yogurt topping) and packed with veggie goodness–pretty well completely guilt-free.

Curried Sweet Potato & Carrot Soup
{Print Recipe}

Soup:

3 large sweet potatoes, cut into ½ inch cubes

2 shallots, sliced

1 pound carrots, cut into ½ inch chunks

6 cups vegetable broth (use good quality broth, and be sure it’s low sodium)

2-4 teaspoons curry powder

salt and pepper to taste

Serve with pistachios, croutons,** and a swirl of Greek yogurt and olive oil

In a large, heavy bottomed pot, heat some canola, grapeseed or olive oil until shimmering. Cook the shallots until transparent and fragrant. Pour the cubed sweet potatoes and carrots into the pot along with the curry, salt, and pepper. Toss everything around, the pour in the vegetable broth. Bring the broth to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.

If you have an immersion blender, use that to purée the soup while still in the pot. If not, use a blender to purée the soup in batches. Return it to the pot and check the seasoning. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Serve in bowls with homemade croutons, pistachios, Greek yogurt and olive oil.

**To make homemade croutons, cut a loaf of fresh or slightly stale bread into cubes (½ inch square), toss them with olive oil (and some grated parmesan!), then bake them at 350 degrees F for around 20 minutes or until crispy.

This soup freezes excellently; I usually put it into pint-sized mason jars and freeze them. It’s easy to grab one from the freezer and heat it up in the microwave at lunchtime. It’ll be as creamy the second time around!

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Blue Corn Muffins with Honey Butter

DSC_0131Growing up, my mom made corn muffins and my dad made cornbread. There is so totally absolutely a difference–cornbread is not sweet, it pretty dry, and you make it in a cast iron skillet. Corn muffins, however, are a little sweet, more moist, and can have actual corn kernels in them. I love both cornbread and corn muffins. They both serve their own purposes, and I appreciate both for their own qualities. These corn muffins, made with blue cornmeal, are soft on one hand, crunchy on the other. They have a little bit of sweetness from the corn and a tiny bit of sugar. They’re breakfast or dinner. And the honey butter, oh my God. Honey and butter belong together. It’s a match made in heaven. Continue reading

Tortilla Soup

DSC_0586A few months ago, Jason and I went out for dinner at the Mexican place here in Carrboro. It’s sort of a hole in the wall (hole in the strip mall?) and we had never been, so we gave it a try. I was planning to order some kind of standard Mexican restaurant combo plate, but saw tortilla soup on the menu. Now, to explain my decision, I have to say that there is a Mexican restaurant in Wilmington that has tortilla soup that is to. die. for. It’s cheap, cheesy, a little spicy, a perfect for weeknight dinner. It comes with chunks of avocado and it’s always exactly the right thing. Always. Admittedly, I chose it with high expectations from the little place in Carrboro that I have no previous experience with. I didn’t know how disappointing it could be.  Continue reading