FALL, FRIENDSGIVING, SIMPLY ELEVATED

Fall Inspired Soup: Simply Elevated

The first weekend in November, I will be hosting my annual Friendsgiving luncheon for ten guests. Inspired by the warm fall colors of a floral bouquet with shades of plum, burgundy, purple, and cream, I decided on a Figgy Plum menu. Figs and plums are both at the end of their season, naturally just before my scheduled date. I managed to find some plumcots, a few plums and dried figs to make this menu work.

A couple of days before my scheduled luncheon, I’ve made the soup, stopping after the purée process. I will add the cream and lime after rewarming just prior to serving.

Roasted Sweet Potato & Fig Soup with Crab

This recipe will serve 4 to 6 depending of the thickness you choose and the size of the bowl.

4 medium sized sweet potatoes 

1 medium onion (sliced) 

1 head of garlic (pre- roasted) **

Olive oil

4 – 6 dried figs (chopped)  – if you can’t find dried figs, a ½ cup of fig preserves can be substituted

4 -6 cups chicken or vegetable stock

1 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)

Ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (spiciness to your liking)

½ cup heavy cream or half and half

2 large limes

Crème fraiche (1 container about 4-6 oz)

1 plastic condiment squeeze bottle with screw on top

Parmesan (crisps) can be purchased or made *** see link below for recipe (can be made ahead)

Lump crab meat (optional)

Fresh edible flowers, microgreens and/or fresh herb leaves such as flat leaf parsley or mini Thai basil leaves (optional)

This recipe requires some time, but results in added flavor.  I keep a jar of garlic confit (**garlic cloves roasted in olive oil until sweet and soft) in my refrigerator that helps speed up the process and I caramelize my sliced onion is a non-stick pan on the stove.  But if you don’t have roasted garlic and would rather not caramelize the onions on the stove you can do the following.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Drizzle olive on lightly on to a rimmed, foil lined baking sheet. ( If everything does not fit in one even layer, a second prepared sheet can be used).

Cut sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place face down on the tray. Pierce each potato on the skin side several times with the point of a knife.

**Place a head of garlic into aluminum foil, drizzle generously with olive oil and tightly close and seal the foil around the garlic, place on baking.

Peel and slice the onion into about ¼ inch slices and spread (one layer) on baking sheet.

Lightly drizzle everything with olive oil.

Bake for 25 minutes and check onions (they may require stirring to ensure roasting or they may be golden enough. If golden remove and place in the blender –waiting on the rest of the ingredients and to limit dirty dishes).

Continue to bake potatoes and garlic for another 15 to 20 minutes. ( Time may vary based on size of potatoes and differences in ovens, until potatoes are soft when pricked and garlic is soft.)

Meanwhile – prepare Crème fraiche

Zest one lime onto a board (or turn the microplane upside down and zest, the zest will remain on the microplane to easily slide into the opening of the squeeze bottle)

Scoop the Crème fraiche into a small zip bag.  Cut one of the bottom corners, twist the top tightly and press contents like a pastry bag into the squeeze bottle. (easier method than using a spoon to transfer to the bottle.)

Cut the lime in half and add the juice of one half of the lime.  Reserve the other half for later.

Close the squeeze bottle tightly and with finger over the pointed top hole, shake until well combined.

Squeeze onto a piece of the foil to check consistency and determine if loose enough to swirl on top of the served soup. (It should not be watery just loosened to easily squeeze out. If too watery, place in the refrigerator the it to firm up a little).

Next:

Remove roasted potatoes, garlic and onions if still on the sheet, from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature (or cool enough to handle)

Using a teaspoon scoop the flesh from the skins and place in the blender with the onions.

Squeeze the soft roasted garlic from their skins on to the foil (to ensure no skins get into the pulp) and then place the roasted garlic pulp into the blender

Add chopped dried figs, some of the stock and puree. 

Add salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes.  Process.  Add additional stock to achieve the thickness you prefer and continue to season to taste.

Pour the pureed vegetables into a large pot and simmer to warm to preferred temperature, stirring frequently to avoid sticking to the bottom on the pot. When completely warmed until fully combined. Here’s where I recommend tasting the soup and adding any additional salt if needed.

Add the juice of the remaining 1½ limes just before serving.  Taste for seasoning and taste make sure there was enough lime to brighten the soup up.

Parmesan crisps: (optional – serve with the soup or a side salad)

Parmesan Crisps Recipe | MyRecipes

To serve:

Ladle pureed soup into bowl

Squeeze a swirl of lime crème fraiche

Stick in a parmesan crisp

Add 1 ½ tablespoons of crab (float on top)

Garnish with edible flowers and microgreens or fresh herb leaves

To serve Erin French style: (The Lost Kitchen)

A wider shallow bowl would be required for this presentation (rather than a cup sized version).

Swirl lime crème fraiche into the bottom of the bowl

Place small mound of crab to one side / sick parmesan crisp into the crab mound

Garnish with edible flowers/ microgreens/herbs

(Place bowls in front of each guest)  Pour pureed soup from a pitcher into the bowl until just below the crab mound.)

I will share the rest of our Friendsgiving Menu in my next post, until then enjoy this beautiful Fall weather wherever you may be! Thank you for stopping by!

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