This brightly colored soup is perfect for chilly fall evenings and is ready in just 40 minutes.
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
1 cup diced cooked ham (such as Cumberland Gap)
1 1/2 cups sliced leek (about 1 large)
2 tablespoons water (optional)
3 cups refrigerated cubed peeled sweet potato (such as Glory)
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 (5-ounce) can evaporated fat-free milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Thinly sliced leek (optional)
Thinly sliced green onions (optional)
How to Make It
Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add ham; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until browned, stirring frequently. Remove ham from pan; set aside.
Add leek to pan; coat with cooking spray. Cook leek, covered, 5 minutes or until very tender, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tablespoons water to pan, if needed, to prevent burning.
Add sweet potato and next 4 ingredients, scraping pan to loosen browned bits; bring mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until sweet potato is very tender. Place half of potato mixture in a blender or food processor. Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Process until smooth. Pour puree into a large bowl. Repeat procedure with remaining mixture. Return pureed mixture to pan. Stir in 3/4 cup reserved ham. Ladle soup into bowls; top servings evenly with 1/4 cup reserved ham. Garnish with sliced leek and onions, if desired.
Prechopped sweet potato is now available in most grocery stores. If you're unable to find it, peel and cube two small sweet potatoes to measure about 3 cups.
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This soup is great with a few tweaks. First, it needs more liquid; approximately 2 cups more. I initially used 3 cups of water with one Knorr chicken stock tub. I had to add another 1.5 cups of water because it was so thick. Second, I couldn't find leeks so I used half Vidalia onion and half green onion. I sauteed the veggies in my dutch oven for a few minutes; the yams were slightly browned and the Vidalia onion transparent. After pureeing, the flavour was good but needed something extra so I added a little slug of maple syrup, a bit of salt to taste, a half teaspoon of pureed chipotle pepper, a squeeze of lemon and some fresh ground pepper. Fast and delicious. I topped it with chopped green onion, served with some fresh sourdough and a salad. My kids loved it.
I sautee'd all veggies prior to adding to the base. I did not bother to puree' the soup, as I like more texture. I felt the soup came out very sweet, so I added some ground chipolte pepper and some fresh lemon juice to balance it out. Yum!
The flavor turned out okay on this, but the leeks turned the puree a sickly green color; not at all the orange depicted. I'm surprised nobody else had this problem. Next time I would saute the ham and leeks together, then remove both before cooking (and pureeing) the sweet potatoes. It's nothing spectacular but a good, quick winter soup to throw together when I have the ingredients on-hand.
I love this soup!! I used homemade veggie and chicken stock and plain yogurt instead of the milk. I used chipotle and nutmeg salt and pepper for seasoning. I fried some leeks and green onions dredged in cornstarch for garnish. I actually omitted the cheddar cheese...first time ever:>