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Great winter soup.

Sweet Potato Soup with Buttered Pecans

Creamy sweet potato soup.

Ingredients

3/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped leek,
1 large garlic cloves, minced
3 large carrots, sliced thin (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 lbs (about 3 large) sweet potatoes
1/2 pound russet (baking) potato
5 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups water
For the Buttered Pecans;
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Accompaniment: crème fraiche or sour cream

Instructions

Make the soup:
In a kettle cook the onion, the leeks which have been washed well and drained, the garlic, and the carrots with the bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste in the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened. Add the sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin, the russet potato, peeled, halved, and sliced thin, the 5 cups broth, the wine, and the water, simmer the mixture covered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender, and discard the bay leaf. In a blender puree the mixture in batches, until it is very smooth, transferring it as it is pureed to a large saucepan, add the additional broth if necessary to thin the soup to the desired consistency, and season the soup with salt and pepper. The soup may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated.

Make the buttered pecans:
In a skillet cook, the pecans in the butter with salt to taste over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown, and transfer them to paper towels to drain. The pecans may be made 2 days in advance and kept in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.

Divide the soup among bowls and top each serving with a dollop of crème fraiche and some of the buttered pecans.

Gourmet, November 1992
Makes about 11 cups, serving 8 to 10.