Photo Credit: Abby Sasser
This is a soup that mixes all the weirdness that I am about. I am from Canada, live in the South, and am a citizen of the world. This is a soup that encompasses all of that: Simple and pure, nutritious and fun. The sweet potatoes show the kinship between my Southern home and the continent of Africa, a vital part of our world community. That sweet potato can become a little treasure of nutrition to empower, while the maple gives a little beautiful Canadian smile that everyone loves. It’s also easy as pie, so get cooking.
2 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
1 garlic clove, scored
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
3 springs fresh thyme
4 cups Chicken Stock
1 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons dried currants
Preheat the oven to 425°F.
When oven is ready, place the sweet potatoes directly on the rack. Roast for 30 minutes, or until quite soft. Place aside to cool and then peel (skin should come off very easily) and then dice the potatoes into large chunks.
In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the sweet potatoes, garlic, cinnamon, thyme, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes.
Season with 1 teaspoon of salt. Puree the soup in a blender and then pass through a strainer.
Pour the heavy cream in a large bowl and whisk until soft peaks form. Whisk in 1/4 teaspoon salt. Fold in the maple syrup.
Reheat the soup if necessary and serve in bowls. Top each a spoonful of maple-whipped cream and sprinkle the currants on top.
—Hugh Acheson, Top Chef Master