Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Sweet Potato Pear Soup, Soy Caramel, Pear Crisp Crostini with Walnut Butter

 Velvety smooth sweet potato soup with caramelized d'anjou pears, shallots and coconut milk served with sweet and salty soy caramel and crisp baked pear crostini with homemade walnut butter.

Sweet Potato Pear Soup
serves 2
2 tbl coconut oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 d'anjou pear, peeled, small dice (about 1 cup)
1 large sweet potato, peeled, small dice (about 2 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and white pepper
1 tbl maple syrup or organic light brown sugar
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 cups vegetable broth
1-15oz can coconut milk

Saute the shallots and pears in coconut oil over medium-high heat for 7 minutes until the onions have started to caramelize. Add the sweet potato and garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp white pepper, maple syrup paprika and cayenne. Stir and continue to saute 10 minutes more until the sweet potatoes have caramelized as well.
Add the broth and bring to a simmer, cook until the sweet potatoes and pears are very tender, 10 more minutes.
Transfer to a blender and blend until completely smooth.
Bring back to the heat and add the coconut milk. Warm up season with salt to taste.

Soy Caramel
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup turbinado sugar
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4" piece fresh ginger
1 tbl soy sauce
Once the sugar starts to brown, it will be done in a matter of seconds so don't walk away and have your soy sauce ready to pour in!

Combine the water, sugar, garlic and ginger in a small pot and bring to a boil. Continue to cook, without stirring until the sugar caramelizes and is a light amber color. Remove from the heat and quickly remove the garlic and ginger pieces and add the soy sauce. Stir to combine with a wooden spoon.

Pear Crisp Crostini
1 firm bosc pear
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp organic cane sugar
1 tbl finely chopped chives

Preheat the oven to 275.
Thinly slice the pear paper thin using a mandolin or a knife. Combine the cinnamon, cayenne and sugar. Coat both sides of the pear slices and place on a greased baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat.
Bake for 30 minutes, flipping once after 15. This may take longer if your slices are a bit thicker! While still hot, gently peel each chip off the baking sheet and let cool on a baking rack. They will harden and crisp up more while they cool.
 Top each pear chip with walnut butter and a sprinkle of parsley.

Walnut Butter
1 cup raw walnuts (using raw nuts will result in an incredibly smooth consistency. Toasted walnuts will result in a grainier texture)
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbl melted coconut oil
2 tsp water
1 tsp maple syrup or organic light brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Blend the walnuts and salt in a food processor until the nuts have broken down. Add the oil, water, maple syrup and cinnamon. Continue to blend until smooth and fluffy.

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