From overindulgent holiday meals to something healthier in 24 minutes – or less!
Perfect after rich holiday meals, this soup — decadent tasting but completely wholesome — is the ideal detox. Creamy and vibrant, it’s naturally sweet from ripe pear. Even better: It takes less than 24 minutes to make from start to finish! If you use vegetable broth, the Paleo, gluten-free dish is also vegan.
Sweet Potato and Pear Soup With Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
Makes 5 cups soup plus 1/4 cup seeds (4-6 servings)
1 large orange-fleshed sweet potato (about 1 pound, 5 ounces), pricked multiple times with fork
Nonstick cooking spray, divided
1 small red onion, finely chopped (about scant 1/2 cup)
1/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1 ripe, relatively soft pear (ideally Comice), finely chopped (about 1 cup, 2 tablespoons)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup plain unsweetened cashew, almond or coconut milk
1 tablespoon fresh, strained lime juice (about 1/2 small lime)
3/4 plus 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup raw unsalted pumpkin seeds
Place sweet potato in microwave and microwave until very soft, about 13 minutes.
While sweet potato cooks, spray medium nonstick saute pan with cooking spray and heat over medium. When warm, add onion and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and saute for eight minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add pear and saute until onion and pear are soft, about another four minutes.
While onion and pear saute, add broth, milk, juice, ¾ teaspoon salt and pepper to blender. Once onion and pear are cooked, add to blender.
Wipe out saute pan and place back on medium heat. Add seeds, remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon. Saute, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to turn golden brown, about four minutes. Immediately transfer to cool surface.
Once sweet potato is cooked, carefully slice open with knife and, using a large spoon, scoop out flesh. (You should yield about 2 cups.) Add flesh to blender. (Discard or eat skin.) Puree until very smooth, about two minutes.
Ladle soup into serving bowls, and sprinkle servings with seeds.
To save time, first place the sweet potato in the microwave, then proceed with the recipe, including cutting up the pear. You’ll likely even have time to clean up while the ingredients cook!
You don’t need to peel the pear, meaning you save time and glean extra fiber! Do remember to remove the produce sticker, though.
Feel free to customize this soup. Add some cumin to lend it a Middle Eastern flair, garam masala to make it taste Indian, or chili powder for a Tex-Mex spin. If you don’t have pears, try apples. (Just cut in fine dice and saute a bit longer to fully soften.) Substitute yams or even carrots for sweet potatoes.
To make this dish into a meal, stir in some drained and rinsed canned chickpeas.
Photo credit: Thinkstock, iStock, anakopa.