Hello, friend. 

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Are you ready? This time of year calls for warm wool sweaters and baking all things squash. With autumn well under way, the cool weather demands a bowl of soup! This Creamy Turkey & Roasted Sweet Potato Soup is definitely one to hit the spot. Sweet potatoes are slow roasted in the oven, allowing the flavors to mellow and develop. Once cooled, the potatoes are puréed to a smooth paste before being added the soup.

This soup is rich, creamy, and comforting on a chilly autumn day. It makes me want to curl in a blanket, drink some coffee, and read a cookbook. Now that sounds like heaven! 

When thinking of how to garnish this soup, I took to Pinterest, actively stalking some of my favorite bloggers for inspiration. What did I come up with? Croutons! Toasted croutons on soup add not only a unique textural experience but a flavor element as well. For my recipe, I decided to make some Italian herb croutons, using a blend of basil, parsley, thyme, and oregano. The smell coming from my oven as I pulled out the croutons was divine. The Aunt Millie’s Texas Toast-style bread worked wonderfully in this recipe. These croutons were crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. Not too hard, but not too soft either. The perfect balance, kind of like autumn!

INGREDIENTS  

For the roasted sweet potatoes

4 sweet potatoes, halved

1/8 cup olive oil 

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper 

Pinch of nutmeg 

For the soup

2 cups raw or cooked ground turkey

2 tablespoons olive oil 

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 yellow onion, diced 

2 garlic cloves, minced 

1 pinch of red pepper flakes 

¼ cup flour 

3 tablespoons bourbon (optional) 

2 cups sweet potato purée

2 cups stock of some variety (I used chicken stock, but vegetable stock would work just as well)

2 cups of beer or water 

½ cup half and half or coconut milk 

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper 

For the toasted croutons

3 cups Aunt Millie’s Texas Toast, diced 

¼ cup melted butter 

3 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated 

1 tablespoon Italian seasonings (I used a combination of basil, parsley, thyme, and oregano) 

¼ teaspoon garlic powder 

¼ teaspoon salt 

Black pepper to taste 

DIRECTIONS 

  1. For the roasted sweet potatoes. Preheat the oven to 450° F. Place the halved sweet potatoes, skin side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Brush oil mixture over the tops of the potatoes. Loosely cover the pan with foil and bake until browned and fork-tender, between 35-45 minutes. Allow potatoes to cool completely before peeling them and scrapping into a food processor. Process until smooth. 
  2. For the soup. Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. If you are using raw turkey, add it with the onions, pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and cook until onions become soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. If you are using cooked ground turkey, add it with the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute. Pour in the bourbon and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring well. 
  3. Add the sweet potato puree, stock, beer (or water) to the pot. Cover and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. Add in the half and half and salt and pepper to taste. 
  4. For the toasted croutons. Preheat the oven to 375° F. Spread the cubed pieces of bread out evenly on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the pieces of bread and toss to coat evenly. In a small bowl, stir together the parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle mixture over the pieces and toss to evenly coat. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until each piece is golden brown and crispy. Remove croutons from the oven and top over bowls of soup! 

Nathaniel Crawford is a college student (studying Hospitality Management), amateur recipe developer, budding photographer, learned culinary writer, and a person who stutters. For more of his recipes, check out Terminatetor Kitchen.

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