My favorite part of the weather getting colder is getting to eat more soup. I could do without it being dark when I wake up. And when I walk to the subway. And eventually when I walk home from the subway as well. Maybe I could do without the inevitable subzero temperatures and icy sidewalks. Bur a nice bowl of soup when you get home makes everything better.
This soup warms you up with ginger and star anise. The original recipe had gingered creme fraiche on top, but since I tend to have the leftovers for lunch during the week, and taking creme fraiche to school in a little container just doesn't seem worth the effort, I left it out. You may notice that the soup is not a totally uniform color. I had some very thin-skinned sweet potatoes (so thin that the skin peeled off a bit as I was scrubbing the potatoes). If you have that variety, feel free to leave them unpeeled. Or peel everything if you prefer.
On a totally unrelated note: I passed my certification test. Only a few more hoops to jump through before I'm certified to teach Special Ed (in addition to the other areas I'm certified to teach).
Sweet Potato Soup with Star Anise and Ginger
Adapted from a recipe I found in the Metro (free morning newspaper) last winter
2 T butter or olive oil
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
2 t grated fresh ginger
2 1/2 lbs sweet potato, roughly chopped (and peeled if the skins are thick)
4 star anise pods
4 c vegetable broth
1 c water
1/2 c milk or soy milk (optional)
Heat butter or oil in a large Dutch oven. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger, sweet potato and star anise. Stir. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Fish out the star anise pods then puree in batches (or with a hand blender) and return to the pot. Add the milk, if you're using it, and stir. Warm over medium low heat, but don't let it boil.