This is a great recipe for using up yams and other root vegetables, especially in winter when they are in abundance. What really makes it work is the smoked paprika, giving the whole soup a warm, smoky flavor. The recipe was originally conceived as a clever way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. I learned about it thanks to my former vegetable delivery service, Beachgreens.
We decided to make this recipe the other night since we were in the mood for a hearty soup and had most of the ingredients already. A few different bounties from the Rittenhouse and Fitler Square farmers’ markets went into the making of this, including carrots from Z Food Farm (pictured below), butternut squash and sweet potatoes from Beechwood Orchards, parsnips from Rineer Farms, and celery root, fennel, red bell pepper, and leeks from Highland Orchards.
When you use yams as the recipe calls for, between the yams, carrots, and paprika you’ll get a lovely bright orange colored soup in the end (as with the photo at the top of this post, taken earlier this year). Our version from this week was less colorful, but just as tasty. Instead of yams, we used a mix of yellow sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnip, and celery root. We used fennel instead of celery, since that’s what we had on hand, and half a red bell pepper rather than lipstick peppers. We also used Oolong tea instead of turkey broth (using tea to substitute for broth is a trick we learned from our class at COOK with Alexis Siemons of Teaspoons & Petals, but we’ll blog more about that later).
Here are the leeks, carrots, peppers, and fennel:
And now with the mixed root vegetables added in:
Then mixed with the smoked paprika:
And now with broth:
After it was cooked, we blended it with a stick immersion blender:
We served our soup with a simple salad and some toasted Three Seed bread from Big Sky Bread. Delicious!