Thursday, October 25, 2012

Texas Week Post 2...Kristi's Incredible Harvest Soup

         My friend Kristi is something else.  She lives in Dallas where she runs her own business finding "real people" for clients in Advertising and Marketing. She's the best in the business so she's in perpetual motion.  She travels all over the place for her job but when she gets home, she loves to cook.  One day last week, an email arrived from Kristi, heralding the arrival of Fall.  As near as I can understand it, Fall is when the temperature in Dallas drops below 80 degrees for the first time since the previous April.   But Kristi insists that when autumn’s in the air, she makes soup.   And that’s what I did when her recipe hit my in-box.  Kristi’s own invention, Harvest soup is a warming puree of carrots and leeks and onions and sweet potatoes. But what really sets it apart is Kristi’s use of Indian inflected spices—Cardamon, turmeric and cinnamon.  There’s a little chili powder too –how could it come from Texas without it? 

Add an open-faced sandwich and you've got dinner!
         I am going to print Kristi’s recipe verbatim.  But I will confess that when I saw the mountain of sweet potatoes that the recipe called for, I doubled the quantity of spices.  I loved the smell of this soup cooking away on the stove so I let it simmer considerably longer than Kristi called for. The result was that when I put  the vegetables and the chicken stock they’d cooked in in the blender, I ended up with what was far closer to a puree than a soup.  I brought it back to town and when I reheated four cups of it, I added two cups of Chicken stock.  That made the soup the perfect consistency.  I couldn’t find the radish sprouts Kristi recommended.  I followed her suggestion and used sour cream.  And I topped the soup with parsley for color. I did not serve the soup in miniature pumpkins as Kristi suggested.  I put it in bowls and served it with  Open Faced Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Sandwiches.  The contrast of the sweet soup, the salty prosciutto and the tangy goat cheese was all we needed for a lovely light supper. Here’s Kristi’s recipe and her introduction to it:

Recipe for Kristi’s Harvest Soup

Kristi's Harvest Soup...before it's pureed
Ok...that time of year...FALL!!!  All my best recipes are for this season......I love the warm, spicy, comforting aromas of Fall cooking...reminds me of being a child in the Northeast and looking forward to all the wonderful Fall holidays- Halloween, Thanksgiving... So wanted to share with you my all time fave Fall soup.

FALL SOUP (kids LOVE this soup too-just alter the chili pepper a bit)
AMAZING soup that I "accidentally" made a few years ago...and it is one of the best soups I have ever made..I didn't have all the ingredients and so I improvised ( and thank goodness wrote down my improvisation! )....we call it HARVEST has amazing flavor and chock full of healthy antioxidants....

Serves 10

This soup can be refrigerated in airtight containers for up to three days or frozen for up to three months.

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, roughly chopped, washed well (1 cup)
1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

A mountain of Sweet Potatoes convinced me to
double the spices. 
6 sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 quarts chicken stock
Coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper
•Radish sprouts, for garnish (optional)
•sour cream or creme fraiche (optional).  I put cream in a bowl with some spices and mix...then I spoon into soup and use a •chopstick to make a "swirl" of cream before I serve.
•several mini  "sugar pie" pumpkins- I have also scooped out baby pumpkins, roast for 30 min.. and serve soup inside.
1. Combine spices in a small bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add leeks and onion; cook until translucent, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with spices; add sweet potatoes, squash, and carrots. Stir well to combine.

2. Add chicken stock to the mixture in the saucepan, and simmer over low heat, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

3. Transfer soup to a blender, working in batches, if necessary, so as not to fill jar more than halfway; process until smooth. Return puree to saucepan; place over low heat until heated through. Serve hot; garnish each bowl with a handful of radish sprouts, if using.


  1. I am going to try this recipe this weekend!I have been inspired to use up the lovely freezer bag of fresh pumpkin I was recently given and am now in the mood for Soup! And by the way, So. Calif. is at 87 degrees today - Fall weather! C: Thank you Monte and Kristi!

    1. This is excellent Ana! I do add more chicken stock when it's cooked. I liked it a little less 'puree' and more soup. The spice mixture will fill your house with a wonderful aroma. Let me know what you think once you've made it. XOX M