“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” – Irv Kupcinet
We held our 10th annual Friendsgiving on Saturday and it was a hoot. A far cry from my very first Friendsgiving when I was a wee lass of 18 in college which consisted of me under cooking 8 sad looking Cornish hens and burning the candied yams. At least, I’d like to think the food was better this year 🙂 We had about 12 dinner guests and we stuffed everyone around 1 table which made for a fun and intimate dinner with loads of team work and flying food.
Turkeylurkey (yeah, I named him)
Brown Sugar Ham
Sourdough Sage and Sausage Stuffing Cups (easier than passing a bowl)
Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Mom’s Wine Potatoes
Green Salad with Pepitas
Green Beans with Bacon Bits
Roasted Acorn Squash
Candied Yam Soup (Sweet Potatoes in disguise)
Pumpkin Pie and Pumpkin Pie and Bacon Pepitas Brittle Ice Cream
Graham Kerr (The Galloping Gourmet and one of my personal heroes) once said something about trying one new dish during a dinner party for two reasons; one being that since you are cooking for others you are more likely to go ahead and buy the expensive ingredients and two if your dish fails then you still have the rest of dinner to fall back on. I felt like this was invaluable advice for someone like me who will try new dishes the way some women change their nail polish. What has this got to do with Friendsgiving you may ask? (or not since I’m probably the only person who reads this blog) Well I have been making the SAME Thanksgiving dinner for YEARS. I like a cheeky Thanksgiving once in a while. Last year I served turkey legs in place of a full bird and loved watching my friends devour dinner caveman style.
This year I wanted to attack one of the tough dishes, the dish that almost no one in my family likes (save for myself), Candied Yams. I have dumped yams out of a can and I’ve made them fresh from the market. No matter the origin my family will almost always pass. So this year I decided to try it as a soup. I searched and searched and to date I could not find a candied yam or candied sweet potato soup so I had to wing it and I am SO glad I did! I tried it on my willing friends at Friendsgiving and it seemed to be a hit so we’ll have to see what the fambam says on Thanksgiving!
Now I know that Yams and Sweet Potatoes are not even in the same family however the tubers we usually enjoy at Thanksgiving are sweet potatoes sold as yams. In this house I refuse to discriminate against a tuber that identifies as a different type of tuber :). So the moniker, no matter how incorrect, remains attached to this soup.
Warning! This soup is full of flavor and yumminess…and all of the fat and calories that go along with that. It’s certainly a Thanksgiving treat 🙂 and not for the faint of heart.
The only ingredients not shown below are the water and sugar for the base of the soup and salt.
You’ll want to wash and peel your tubers and cut them as close to even sizes as possible to ensure they cook at the same rate. You can leave the peels on, it’s totally up to you but for the creaminess of the soup, I chose to remove them.
Once peeled I sautéed them in a little butter until browned and fork tender. This gives them a much richer flavor than just boiling them. This takes about 15 min. While your pretend yams are sautéing you’ll want to get your water on to boil in a stock pot with the granulated sugar.
Once your yams are fork tender you’ll pour them into the boiling sugar water along with the butter and yam “juices” in the pan. Those are important to getting a rich yammy flavor. Let this boil for about 15 minutes or until your yams are pretty much mush.
I hate with a passion transferring soup from a pot to a blender and then back again so a while ago I made the leap to immersion blender (also known as a hand blender or a stick blender) for about $25. A regular blender works perfectly well if that is what you prefer.
Once the soup has been blended to a smooth consistency I add in a little cream for that thick silky texture we love so much. I also stir in brown sugar and salt to really make those yams pop!
Once finished this soup looks and tastes great all on it’s own…
…however the candied part is pretty important! So I topped with small marshmallows and toasted with a kitchen torch.
My dirty little secret is that I actually used this soup as an excuse to purchase a kitchen torch. However, I had planned on using my regular ol oven to brown the marshmallows just as you would standard candied yams.
There you have it. Candied Yam Soup to dazzle your Thanksgiving guests with and only you will know how easy it really was.
Candied Yam Soup: The Recipe
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 40 min
- 8 cups of water
- 1/4 cup of granulated (caster) sugar***
- 6 large yams (or sweet potatoes) peeled and chopped
- 1/4 cup of unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (dark or light)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (half and half would work as well)
- Salt to taste (1 to 2 teaspoons)
Toppings: marshmallows (also optional: toasted pecans)
*(if you are using an oven to toast the marshmallows preheat oven to 350 deg)
*** You can skip the extra sugar in the water if you are looking for a less sweet version. I skipped it this year and LOVED it!***
1. Wash, peel and chop your yams as evenly as possible.
2. In a sauté pan melt your unsalted butter. Once melted add your yams and coat evenly with butter. Allow to brown and cook until fork tender.
3. While your yams are sautéing add your water and granulated sugar to a stock pot and bring to a boil.
4. Once your yams are fork tender pour the yams, butter and yam juices into the boiling water. Carefully! Now allow your yams to boil until they are completely soft almost mushy or about 15 min.
5. Using a blender of your choice, blend the mixture until it is smooth all the way through.
6. Stir in cream, brown sugar and salt and let the soup heat back up for about 2 to 3 min.
7. Place in oven proof bowls and top with marshmallows or toasted pecans (let’s be real…or both marshmallows and toasted pecans) and either place in the oven for a few minutes until the tops have browned, or torch those bad boys!
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!