Sweet Potato Soup…

Happy November!!! I hope everybody had a fun, safe Halloween and lots of yummy snacks and candy were eaten! I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a leftover bag of Reese’s minis sitting on my nightstand just waiting for me. ;)

But now the fun of Halloween is over and it’s time to start thinking about Thanksgiving! Yippee!  In fact, it was a Thanksgiving side dish that inspired me for this soup- mashed sweet potatoes with brown sugar, butter, a splash of orange juice and a sprinkling of pecans. I had four very large sweet potatoes I wanted to use and the idea of soup just popped into my head. I made it just like I make my mashed sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving, except I pureed the whole thing until I had a silky smooth, creamy soup, just perfect for a chilly fall evening. This came together so quickly and easily, and it made a pretty big pot of soup, so we had delicious leftovers to look forward to! I’d even recommend this for a Thanksgiving soup course; it really is a breeze to throw together and it’s easily customizable – you can add any number of seasonings or toppings to suit your tastes!

Sweet Potato Soup

4 large sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped into chunks
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
salt
pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/3-1/2 cup brown sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
splash orange juice
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

In a large pot, bring the sweet potatoes, chicken broth and water to a boil; cook for approximately 20-30 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are very soft. Using an immersion blender (or a regular blender in 2 or 3 batches), puree the soup until very smooth and no lumps remain. Add the salt, pepper, butter, brown sugar, orange juice and cayenne pepper. Check for seasoning. Garnish with chopped toasted pecans, if desired. Serves 4-6.

Recipe source: Sing For Your Supper original

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Home Fries…

I love french fries. Everybody loves them. You can find them all over the world – in Germany, I ate them served up alongside wiener schnitzel; when my friend Lindsay and I were in Italy, she was served a “french fry sandwich” of sorts (a pretty funny story, really, but I won’t go into it right this minute). They’re everywhere, and they’re delicious. But let’s face it, french fries aren’t the healthiest way to eat a potato. Unless……

Yep, you guessed it – sweet potato fries. They’re baked, they’re delicious, and they’re good for you! I, personally, can’t get enough sweet potatoes. I’ll take them anyway I can get them – baked, with butter and brown sugar; in the “sweet potato soufflé” my mom sometimes makes, topped with coconut and chopped pecans; even the kind you get out of a can – in college, when I didn’t have an oven, I’d heat up canned sweet potatoes in the microwave for dinner; and, my new favorite: sweet potato fries, baked up crispy in the oven, served up with a garlic aioli for dipping.

These fries really are awesome. They’re incredibly easy to make and they’re versatile, too. You can add any seasonings you want – the possibilities are endless! I opted for simplicity and seasoned with garlic powder, salt and pepper. De-lish.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch sticks (this serves 2-3 people)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

(I really didn’t measure – I just threw it all in, so these are just estimates – use as little or as much seasonings as you want)

In a large bowl, drizzle the sweet potato sticks with the olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper; toss to coat evenly.

Spread evenly on a baking sheet lined with foil (you might want to spray the foil with a little olive oil spray or Pam, just to ensure nothing sticks)

Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until crisp and slightly brown. Serve with garlic aioli (recipe below)

Garlic Aioli

-Giada DeLaurentiis

¾ cup mayonnaise

1 clove garlic, grated (you could just chop it if you want to, but I don’t like “chunks” of garlic, so I used my microplane)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise, garlic and lemon juice; stir to combine.

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