Sweet potatoes owe their beautiful color and disease-fighting benefits to beta-carotene, the powerful antioxidant that helps slow down the aging process and protect against chronic diseases. Beta-carotene is converted by the body to vitamin A—just one medium sweet potato provides over 400% of the daily recommended amount, in addition to fiber and potassium. Though they have more natural sugars than regular potatoes, they're richer in nutrients and can actually help regulate blood sugar. We love the sweet potatoes from Halsey Farm.
Sweet Potato Soup with Cannelini Beans and Rainbow Chard
(You can also make this soup with butternut squash in place of the sweet potatoes)
8 cups water or low sodium vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons sun dried tomato powder
2 leeks, thinly sliced
2-3 large sweet potatoes (2 pounds), peeled and cut into uniform cubes
2 cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 lb rainbow chard, chopped
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice (with zest from lemons)
In a large soup pot, bring the water or broth to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and add the leeks. Cook for about 8 minutes until soft. Add diced sweet potato and cook another 8-10 minutes until tender. Add the beans and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Remove soup pot from heat and stir in chard so that it wilts. Stir in lemon juice and sun dried tomato powder. Sprinkle chopped Italian parsley on top, if desired, and garnish with a fresh lemon twist.
The preparation for this soup can be done in advance. It takes only 20 minutes to cook and the recipe can be easily doubled.
*If you can't find rainbow chard, you can use any green that you choose. If you can't get sun dried tomato powder, simply buy sundried tomatoes that are dried and not packed in oil or water and grind them in a blender to a powder.
Easy Roasted Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
3 pounds acorn squash (or your favorite or available winter squash)
3 sweet potatoes
1 apple, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3-1/2 cups vegetable broth
2/3 cup coconut milk (optional)
Sautéed kale garnish (optional)
Microgreens garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Slice the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and guts. Place cut side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Add a touch of water to the baking sheet. Peel the sweet potatoes and slice them in half lengthwise. Place cut side down on the baking sheet along with the squash. Roast for 45 minutes to an hour, or until both the sweet potato and squash are fork tender and very soft. Remove from oven and when cool enough to handle, remove the squash from the skin and set aside in a large bowl. Discard the skin. In a soup pot, steam sauté the onion and apple over low heat until soft. Add the vegetable broth, roasted squash, and sweet potato. Bring to simmer, cover, and cook for an additional for 10 minutes. Puree in a blender in batches or blend with an immersion blender in the soup pot. Note: only fill a blender container halfway with hot liquids, and be aware of the steam
when you remove the lid. Put the blended soup back in the pot. Reheat the soup over low heat. Add the coconut milk and stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with sautéed kale and microgreens.