Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup with the Easiest Homemade Crackers Ever

I have only recently discovered just how amazing sweet potatoes are.  I know, I know– what have I been doing with the first 23 years of my life??  Trust me, I ask myself that question ALLL the time.  But I’m trying to make up for lost time– I’ve only got 3/4 of a life left to eat as many sweet potatoes as I can!  Now, sweet potatoes are amazing in every form, but I’m especially partial to sweet potato soup.  Using these bad boys in soup creates a filling, creamy-without-cream meal that warms your soul and makes your tastebuds happy.  And adding spicy sausage and a bit of cayenne pepper gives it a little kick to keep things interesting.

Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup

  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 White Potato
  • 1 T. Olive Oil
  • 1 quart Chicken Stock
  • 8 oz. Hot Italian Sausage (3 links, for me anyway)– any spicy sausage will do.  I would’ve used chorizo if I could’ve gotten my hands on it.
  • 1/2 White Onion, diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t. Cayenne Pepper (be generous)

Set oven to 400 and clean potatoes.  Roast (place aluminum foil underneath) til tender, approx. 45 minutes.  While potatoes cool, heat olive oil over med-low heat in a large pot.  Remove sausage casing and crumble sausage into the pot, cooking until fat has begun to render.

Add onion and cook until sausage is fully cooked and onions are translucent.  Add garlic and cayenne pepper and cook for another minute.  Add chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove peels from potatoes and add to soup, stirring to blend.

Not the most aesthetically pleasing bunch maybe, but they make up for it in deliciousness.

Cook for 5-10 minutes, then use an immersion blender to smooth the soup out to your taste (if you don’t have one, you can blend the soup in a regular blender in batches– just be careful not to burn yourself).  I prefer to leave some chunks of sausage and potato, but to each his own.  Salt/pepper to taste, if you feel the soup needs any.

Love this soup's color, too!

Love this soup’s color, too!

Soup is really pretty simple and quick to make, if you’re not making stock from scratch.  BF is definitely not sold on soup outside of chicken noodle when he’s sick, but he ate this fairly willingly.  His only comments were “it was good” and “I liked the sausage parts.”  So I guess you can’t win ’em all.  But his ambivalence definitely doesn’t mean this soup isn’t worth trying.  I LOVED it and can’t wait to make it again.  And now that I have the recipe written down and not just in my own head, I will actually be able to!  Far too often, I make something up and then don’t know how to replicate it because I’ve forgotten what I’ve done.  Are you supposed to be this forgetful at 23?  Far too often, I make something up and then don’t know how to replicate it because I’ve forgotten what I’ve done.  Wait a minute, I feel like I’ve said this before…

As we all know, the only way soup gets any better is if you serve it with crackers.  If nothing else, they’re a great way to add some crunch for people like BF who can’t get behind soup’s texture.  And it turns out homemade crackers are pretty much the easiest thing ever to make.  5 VERY basic ingredients and 20 minutes are all that stand between you and crackers at any given moment.  I’m pretty sure I’m never paying for crackers again.

Man, the magic a little water and flour can make…

Basic Crackers (can be modified in a million ways both in the dough and with the toppings– I’m going to test out sunflower seeds next, I think) (original recipe here)

  • 1 1/2 c. Flour
  • 1 t. Sugar
  • 1 t. Salt
  • 2 T. Olive Oil
  • 1/2 c. Water

Preheat oven to 450 and place a rack in the bottom third.  Lightly flour a baking sheet and set aside.  Mix together flour, sugar, and salt, then stir in oil and water til a sticky dough forms.  Add more water 1 T. at a time if dough is too dry and lots of flour remains unincorporated.  Sprinkle work surface lightly with flour and roll dough out into a verrrry thin rectangle (1/8″ or thinner).  If dough shrinks back as you roll it, let it rest 5 minutes and resume.  To add toppings, brush dough very lightly with water and sprinkle on salt and pepper, seeds, or whatever other topping you choose.  Cut into rectangles about 1 x 2″.

Not quite a "rectangle," but it got the job done!

Not quite a “rectangle,” but it got the job done!

Place the crackers on your prepared baking sheet (it’s fine to keep them close together, but don’t let them overlap) and prick with a fork.  Bake 12-15 min, removing thinner crackers (they may bake faster) if needed.  Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container for 3-5 days.  Makes approx. 35 crackers.

I got negligent and burned at least half my batch-- oops!  Guess that means I'll just have to make some more...

I got negligent and burned at least half my batch– oops! Guess that means I’ll just have to make some more…

BF ate these up in the blink of an eye– every time I turned around he was sneaking off to the kitchen to get another!  I had been wanting to make my own crackers for a while, but I put it off forEVER because I assumed they would be as much work as some other carby things are (like cinnamon rolls.  I know there will be people who read this and disagree with me, but GAHD cinnamon rolls seem like a lot of work.  THERE I SAID IT.).  But crackers totally aren’t!  They’re so easy!  I feel like I need to spread the gospel of the homemade cracker.  We’re all letting the big bad corporations fool us into thinking we need their pricey, preservative-filled crackers and we DON’T, dammit!  Sisters (and brothers and probably even some particularly intelligent animals, since this isn’t hard at all) can do it for themselves!  There, has my passion convinced you?  Good.  Now what are you waiting for, get crackin!

I’m so, so sorry.  That was a truly awful pun.  My sincere apologies.

Advertisements