Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m the weird one for loving sweet potatoes to the point of obsession. Sweet potato fries. Mashed sweet potatoes. Sweet potato pie. Sweet potato casserole. Baked sweet potatoes. The list goes on, and on, and on. Seriously, I could talk your ear off about how much I love the subtly sweet notes that lie within that rough brown skin, the versatility of the vibrant orange flesh, the variety of sweet potatoes that exist…
But I won’t. At least not today. Let me back track and say that the reason I’m posting about sweet potatoes in the first place is that in The Color Purple by Alice Walker, a character named Henrietta is forced to eat yams every day so she’ll get over her illness.
Have you ever read The Color Purple? If your answer is no (like mine was up until a few days ago) you should get the book, get a steaming mug of coffee, hot chocolate, or pumpkin spice tea (that may just happen to be my favorite right now), and cuddle up under a blanket and read. Because that’s what fall is for: reading, sipping, comfort food, and crisp walks amongst the falling leaves.
The recipe I came up with for today fits nicely with many themes. It is full of fall flavors and I would almost say it’s good enough to be labelled “comfort in a cup”. Or a bowl. Or a mug. Or just straight out of the pot. It’s pretty darn good.
Why soup? Why not yam tuna casserole, or yams with peanut butter? These are two concoctions that I’m planning on trying sometime in the near future. I mean peanut butter and yams? What could be better? Oh, I know – maybe yams, peanut butter, chocolate, and a healthy dose of ice cream! Anyway, although these are also ideas mentioned in the book, I figured I’d go with soup because of this:
“Us do what you say the peoples do in Africa. Us feed her yams every single day. Just our luck she hates yams and she not too polite to let us know. Everybody for miles around try to come up with yam dishes that don’t taste like yams. Us get plates of yam eggs, yam chitlins, yam goat. And soup. My God, folks be making soup out of everything but shoe leather trying to kill off the yam taste.” -The Color Purple
I didn’t add shoe leather, but I sure did add some delicious ingredients. Enjoy!!
1 Can Pumpkin
1 Can Black Beans
1 White Onion, chopped
16 oz. Vegetable Broth
1 Sweet Potato, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (more to taste)
1 Teaspoon Ginger
1/2 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Cumin
Add a slosh of vegetable broth to the bottom of a medium sized pan. Add onion and put lid on the pot. Let cook over medium heat until onion is nearly translucent. Meanwhile, on a greased pan, put chopped sweet potato in the oven and cook at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until potato is tender enough to eat. When onion has become translucent, add the remaining broth and the can of pumpkin. Stir until pumpkin is mixed well. Drain the can of beans and then add to the soup. Turn the heat to low. Stir occassionally. When sweet potatoes are ready, add them to the soup and stir. Then, add the assortment of spices. Be sure to taste after you’ve added them all to determine how much salt and pepper is needed.
The best step: Ladle soup into vessel of choice (vase, cup, candy jar, glass, bowl, etc.) and proceed to enjoy! Or better yet, grab a spoon and dig into the pot like I did. For some reason, it just tastes even better that way sometimes.
I hope you have a cozy fall day, book in one hand and soup-spoon in the other!