Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sweet potato and pear soup

On the Italian side of my family, no meal is complete without a soup course. In a pinch, soup can be the whole meal. Just don’t try to get away with not serving any. That is especially true for festive meals. My husband and I had so much fun testing our sweet potato and pear soup that we made it twice in one week and competed for the last drop. We couldn’t believe our good fortune to find this easy treasure. Everyone seems to love it. It’s easy to make and yet doesn’t taste easy. It’s healthy too, but still yummy! That’s my favorite kind of recipe.

This is part of our easy Thanksgiving meal here at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen, but it works for Christmas and also for any fall day when you feel like celebrating or any gloomy rainy day that you need something to lift your spirits. Pears and sweet potatoes are plentiful in the autumn, but available all year long. I would like to try to freeze some (up to but not including adding the cream), but there’s never enough soup left.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you:
Sweet Potato and Pear Soup
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped carrot
  • ¼ cup chopped celery
  • 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 pears, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 5 cups chicken broth (low salt canned or homemade) I think it would be good with vegetable broth too. I hope someone will test and let me know!)
  • cup whipping cream, optional
  • 1 tablespoon of maple syrup (or a bit less if you don’t like sweetness)
  • Juice of half a lime, or to taste (if you want a bit more acid to balance the sweetness)
  • Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. In a pot, heat butter on medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté for 1 minute. Add sweet potatoes, pears and thyme and sauté for about 2 minutes. Add paprika and chicken broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until sweet potato is soft.
2. Purée with immersion blender right in the pot (or use a food processor or blender and then return to the pot.
3. Add cream, maple syrup and lime juice. Simmer for 5 minutes. If soup is too thick add a little extra broth, cream or lime depending on your taste test.
4. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve in large or small bowls. It looks good in anything!

Wherever you are and whatever you are eating on Thanksgiving, may it be a joyous day for you and yours.

Charlotte Adams and her friends have something to be thankful for by the end of The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder. I'm thankful for that! They've had a rough ride getting there. And I'd be thankful if you'd drop in to anytime to see what else I'm up to.


  1. I want to try this for my book club on Monday night. How many does it serve?

  2. MJ - What a fantastic recipe. It looks delicious and beautiful. Marc and I are looking forward to making it for our Thanksgiving!

    We're both thinking of you, your husband, and family this morning; sending positive thoughts and prayers up North to Canada (and even farther north than that).

    ~ Cleo

  3. Thank you, Booklady! It is supposed to serve six. We would actually double it for Thanksgiving at our house. Let me know how it turns out.

    I like a book club with food! Lucky ladies (and possibly gents?)


  4. Thank you, Cleo. We have had some good progress this week, but not consciousness. I hope that by the Big Day, we really have something to be extra thankful for.

    I appreciate all your support and good wishes.



  5. Mary Jane, this sounds delicious!

    I hope by that Big Day, you do have things to be thankful for. Sending good wishes to you and your husband and family. Be strong and confident.


  6. Thank you, Avery! I forgot to say that it's gluten free (or I think it is!)



  7. Mary Jane, this is going on my menu this year. I can just smell it. How clever to use pears in it for a fresh note.

    We're all thinking of you.


  8. Thank you, Krista! I hope it's well received. I'm thinking of making another batch just to have.

  9. Mary Jane,
    This looks fabulous...will be sure to make it this week and begin our meal with prayers for all of you...