Author Notes: I often make a version of this soup in the oven. It is a no brainer (pair a sweet potato or kabocha with a variety of onions and garlic), really easy (just peel, cut, anoint, roast and blend), very satisfying (depthy caramelized bits meld with earthy sweetness) and versatile (top with a flavorful drizzle of just about anything). I decided to try it on the grill which turned out great. I also wanted to make it a bit more substantial and settled on chorizo which pairs so nicely with sweet potatoes. By spreading the chorizo thin onto some thick slices of bread, I was able to toast the bread and get some nice char on the meat. The bonus was that the juices from the sausage then dripped into the bread. I chose a cilantro, lime, avocado drizzle and buttermilk, the tanginess pairing perfectly with the sweetness of the soup. I also have leftover chorizo which makes brilliant migas for breakfast.
The chorizo is best after it sits for a day but is plenty good day of. The veggies can be grilled ahead of time or even made into soup a day or two in advance and then everything pulled together at meal time. - savorthis
Sweet Potato Soup
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut in 1/2" slices
- 8 ounces shallots, peeled
- 6 garlic cloves with skin
- 4 cups broth
- olive oil
- 1/2 cup cilantro (leaves and stems), packed
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 teaspoon cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup buttermilk (plus extra for drizzling)
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 2 ounces dried chiles (I used a random assortment medium to spicy)
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled, chopped
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 pound ground pork (I use shoulder and belly if I grind my own)
- good loaf of bread
- Toast cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and cumin in a dry skillet for a few minutes until fragrant. Put in spice grinder and let cool. Add dried chiles to pan and toast, turning a couple times until fragrant. Add water just to cover, bring to simmer, turn off heat, cover and steep until very soft. Save steeping liquid and put chiles, oregano, thyme, flakes, paprika, onion, garlic and vinegar in a blender and blend until very smooth. Mix with salt and pork until well incorporated. Chill. Rinse blender.
- Heat grill. Toss sweet potatoes, shallots and garlic with olive oil, salt and pepper. Wrap garlic in foil. Grill veggies over medium low heat until softened and slightly charred and until garlic is soft. Blend sweet potatoes, shallots, chile steeping liquid and broth until very smooth. Season to taste with salt. Put soup into a pot to heat on stove and rinse blender.
- Blend cilantro, lime, vinegar, buttermilk, grilled garlic and avocado with a pinch of salt. Add water or more buttermilk a little bit at a time until the consistency can be drizzled on soup.
- Heat grill and be sure grate is well oiled. Cut thick slices of bread. Spread chorizo on bread about the thickness you would cream cheese covering the entire surface. Grill the toasts bread side down over medium low heat with the grill lid down until the bread is browned. Carefully flip toasts and cook until chorizo is browned and cooked through.
- Ladle soup into bowls. Drizzle with cilantro sauce and buttermilk and serve with toasts.