I'm really excited to share this recipe with you. One, because I just love soup. Two, because I love spicy soup. And, three, because the flavors in this spicy soup just got so well together. (On the other hand, I'm not so excited about the photograph of the soup. But I cooked, snapped and ate so by the time I realized how poorly the pictures had turned out it was too late.)
Andrew likes a good bowl of soup but he doesn't share the all-I-want-to-do-is-put-on-a-cozy-sweater-and-sit-down-to-a-big-bowl-of-soup kind of affinity. When I tell him we are having soup for dinner as the main course (which I do quite often), I can tell he is doing his best to mask a tinge of disappointment when he replies, "Oh, ok, that sounds great." This soup, however, he loved. Closed his eyes for a second, loved. The flavor combination is just right on. Sweet sweet potatoes meets savory cumin meets spicy chipotle. Plus a little touch of lime to really make all the flavors sing.
By following these recipe quantities you'll end up with more chipotle lime aioli than you'll need for this dish. But its really not worth making less, so save the rest. It will keep for up to a week and would be wonderful spooned on top of a baked sweet potato, fish tacos or crab cakes.
Cumin Sweet Potato Soup with Chipotle Lime Aioli
Serves 4 as a main course or 6 as a starter
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1-1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon flour
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 cup sour cream
1 canned chipotle pepper, minced (or a little less, depending on your spice preference)
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cubed sweet potatoes in olive oil on a large baking dish and spread out in a single layer. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until slightly caramelized and tender.
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Saute the onion until transparent. Add in the flour and stir for 1 minute to cook off the raw flour taste. Add in the stock, roasted sweet potatoes and cumin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Carefully puree the soup with an immersion blender, or working in batches, puree in the blender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Prepare the garnish by stirring together the sour cream, minced chipotle pepper and lime juice. Serve hot soup topped with a dollop of the aioli.