food & drink: Peggy Lampman's Friday dinnerFeed: Roasted sweet-potato pear soup
Peggy Lampman | Contributor
If I could manufacture time, I'd make caramel apples or some other sweet treat. It's not going to happen. Many years of experience has taught me the goblins appearing at my door on Halloween, at least in my neighborhood, don't want my lovingly hand-crafted treats. They're not impressed; they want the hard stuff (a.k.a. store-bought candy bars.)
It's a good thing my family prefers craves the savory to the sweet. I can use the time to make a good soup. Yesterday's Transylvanian goulash over pumpkin polenta has vanished. It was that good.
'Tis the season for squash and sweet potatoes. In particular, I've seen some interesting varieties of sweet potatoes this week at the farmers market. The grower tells me though the shape and color are different, they taste and cook up the same.
In this recipe you can switch apples for pears, sweet potatoes for butternut squash, or combine everything in one happy pot. When processing the soup, add a bit of gorgonzola to the blender. It's transports the soup to a different plateau!
Hiller's has pre-cut squash and available, on sale, two packs for $4. They are featuring apple cider as well, $2.49 per half gallon.
Halloween Recipe Links
Transylvanian goulash over creamy pumpkin polenta Savory squid over squid ink pasta Curried beef stew in a pumpkin shell Trick or trout: crispy corn trout Halloween salmon with squid ink pasta Black bean and corn salad with cumin-lime dressing Roasted pumpkin tostados with curried pumpkin seeds Sugar and spice pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 leeks, coarsely choppedâ€¨ 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunksâ€¨ 2-3 ripe pears, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 3 cups vegetable stock 2 cups apple cider Pinch of allspice or nutmegâ€¨ CrÃ¨me fraÃ®che for garnish*, optional
1. Melt butter and sautÃ© leeks in a large pot for 5 minutes.â€¨ 2. Add sweet potatoes, pears and stock. Bring to a boil over medium heat.â€¨ 3. Reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes. Add the allspice or nutmeg.â€¨ 4. PurÃ©e the hot mixture in the pot with an immersion blender or in a food processor.â€¨Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.