I love the cookbook Splendid Soups by James Peterson. I have made many delicious soups from this book. My favorite just might be Sweet Potato, Chili and Lime Soup. This is a great recipe for a cold or rainy day. The contrast flavors of the sweet potatoes with the spice of the poblano and jalapeno along with the tart acidity brought by the lime makes this a deep, complex soup that tantalizes your taste buds. Each bite leaves flavors lingering in your mouth until you just have to have another bite. Here is the recipe exactly as found in Splendid Soups:
Sweet Potato, Chili, and Lime Soup
2 medium sized onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 T unsalted butter
2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 4, peeled and slice 1/2 inch thick
1 quart chicken broth
2 jalapeno chilies, cut in half lengthwise, seeded and finely chopped
3 poblano chilies, roasted, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup corn oil
4 corn tortillas, cut into 1 by 1/4 inch strips
juice of 2 limes
3 Tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 Tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup sour cream
Gently cook the onions and garlic in the butter in a 4 quart pot over medium heat until the onions turn translucent, about 10 minutes.
Add the sweet potatoes and broth to the onion mixture; bring to a simmer, cover the pot, and keep at a slow simmer until the sweet potatoes have softened and are easy to crush against the side of the pot with a fork, about 20 minutes.
Add the jalapeno and roasted poblano chilies to the soup and simmer, covered, for 5 minutes more.
Heat the corn oil over high heat in a medium sized skillet until its surface ripples. Turn the heat down to medium-low and fry the tortilla strips for about 1 minute. Drain them on paper towels.
Puree the soup in a blender or put it through the fine disk of a food mill and strain it through a medium-mesh strainer. Stir in the lime juice to taste and season with salt and pepper.
Combine the chopped cilantro with the olive oil
Ladle the soup into hot bowls and drizzle the top of each one with the cilantro/olive oil paste, sour cream, and the tortilla chips. Serve with extra sour cream and lime wedges.
Poblanos can be roasted on a grill, over a gas stove, or under a broiler. Turn the chiles as needed until all sides have been blackened by the flame. Once the entire Poblano is blackened, put the chiles in a sealed ziplock bag or in a bowl tightly covered with cling film for a few minutes so they can steam. The blackened skin should then peel off easily.
When we make this soup, we save ourselves the trouble of transferring all the hot soup to a blender and simply use an immersion blender directly in the pot we made the soup in. Once blended, running the soup through a fine mesh sieve takes time, but vastly improves the texture of the soup. Use a ladle to push the soup through the sieve and discard the pulpy reside left over.
Turning soup into finger food: Last week we served this soup as an appetizer at a party. We put the hot soup into a pitcher and then easily and quickly filled 4 ounce cups. Once garnished with the tortilla chips, sour cream and cilantro, guests were able to sip the soup as they mingled. It was a cold, rainy day and the hot, spicy soup was a huge hit.