sweet potatoes and sara

today Sara whisked me off campus to make this amazing sweet potato soup.  it was the most complex, layered, sophisticated soup I've ever eaten.  please make it.  and follow howsweetitis; the lovely cook (and author of the recipe bellow)!
Loaded Baked Sweet Potato Soup
serves about 4, can be easily multiplied
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (I had 2lbs total after peeling and cubing)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 sweet onion, diced (about 1/2 cup chopped)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2-3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 1/2-2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
for garnishes: bacon, mascarpone cheese, crumbled goat cheese & crispy shallots
Prepare potatoes: peel and cube sweet potatoes, then add to a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high power for about 10 minutes or until fork tender, tossing 2-3 times during cook time. If you do not want to use the microwave, throw the potatoes on a baking sheet with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper (you can omit/add less salt and pepper later if this is the case) and roast at 400 degrees for about 35 minutes. Using the microwave will help this soup come together in 30 minutes. Roasting the sweet potatoes adds a bit more “caramely,” deep flavor.
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add butter and diced onions and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook for 1 minute more, then add flour and whisk continuously to create a roux with the onions. Cook the onion roux for about 2-3 minutes, until it starts to golden in color a bit and smell nutty. Add in stock, milk, smoked paprika and potatoes, then bring to a boil. Simmer for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, stirring often – especially scraping the bottom. The potatoes will begin to bread down at this time – if they are not as broken down as you’d like, mash a bit more with a fork. Turn heat down to low and add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings according to preference. If you’d prefer a thinner soup, add more stock to thin it out. You can also throw the soup in the blender to make it super creamy.
Serve hot with garnishes of crumbled bacon, mascarpone cheese, goat cheese, and crisped shallots.
Note: to crisp the shallots, I sliced 2 whole shallots very thinly, add a little canola oil over medium-high heat, and once hot added the shallots. I cooked them for about 2 minutes, then removed with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel. So good.

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