Sweet Potato and Pecan
- 2 oz butter
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of your favorite curry powder
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
- 5 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- 1/2 cup crème fraiche or sour cream, optional
- 1/2 cup dry sherry
- local sea salt
- white pepper to taste
- candied pecans for garnish, optional
- In a soup pot, melt butter, and sauté onions, carrots and curry powder until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and 1/2 cup of stock, reduce heat to low, cover and sweat for about 20 minutes.
- Add the rest of the stock, cover and simmer for about 15 more minutes. Check that the potatoes are soft all the way through, then puree with an immersion blender or a food processor. If you use the processor, wait for the potatoes to cool. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Add the ginger, crème fraiche and sherry and season to taste with sea salt and white pepper and garnish with candied pecans.
One of my absolutely favorite foods is the humble, yet proud, sweet potato. It is my go-to super food. It is so super in my home state of North Carolina, in fact, that we have a Sweet Potato Commission. Well, why not? Sweet potatoes are serious business and we know that when we have serious business, we need serious meetings and committees with serious names. This appears to be the case with the good ole sweet potato and the serious business of growing, distributing and marketing one of our country’s oldest crops.
Just how serious is this business you ask? Well, we did too and learned that North Carolina is the top sweet potato producer in the United States. Yep, with over 600 million pounds grown annually, North Carolina crops represent 45% of our nation’s supply.
According to the Commission’s website, we should celebrate. Sweet potatoes ARE a super food. In addition to a dramatic splash of color on your plate, the nutritional benefits definitely make it a rock star vegetable.
A fact sheet provided by the commission reminds us that one cup of cooked sweet potatoes provides more beta carotene (Vitamin A) than 16 cups of broccoli and that they are a great source of vitamin E, Vitamin B6, potassium and iron and fiber.
For diabetics, it is especially good to know that sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate. Compared to white potatoes, they digest more slowly and will not cause blood sugar to spike. Sweet Potatoes are delicious when baked and topped with good butter, are a great change of pace from white mashed potatoes and definitely live up to the hype when baked into a pie.
To honor the sweet potato we offer a recipe for a simple sweet potato bisque with a crunchy surprise; perfect for a mid-winter supper.