Spiced Red Yam Soup with Chickpea Croutons
This spiced red yam soup with chickpea croutons recipe will nourish your body, mind and soul, says nutrition alumna Selva Wohlgemuth, MS ('14), RDN, in her blog, Poppies and Papayas. It is rich in antioxidants (especially vitamin A), vitamins (especially B6), minerals (especially zinc and magnesium), fiber and plant-based protein. It can easily be made vegan or vegetarian by swapping out the bone broth for a vegetable broth. Selva recommends serving this delicious soup with a side salad or a piece of whole grain toast topped with avocado, sea salt and sprouts.
To make the Chickpea Croutons: Preheat the oven to 400° F. Mix the avocado oil, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, cinnmamon, turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. After rinsing and draining the chickpeas, place them onto a clean kitchen towel and rub dry. Pick out the chickpeas, leaving behind any of the skins that have come off and transfer them into the bowl with the spices. Mix well with a spoon until they are evenly coated. Spread the chickpeas on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper (optional) and bake for about 50 minutes, until crispy and crunchy. Shake the baking sheet halfway through to ensure even cooking. Take them out of the oven and set aside to cool.
To make the Soup: Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and shallot. Saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, ground coriander (use coffee grinder to grind whole seeds), 1-1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper to taste, and mix until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the sweet potatoes and sauté another 2 to 3 minutes.
Meanwhile, strain the soaked cashews and place into a high speed blender. Add 2 cups of broth, and blend on high until completely smooth. Pour the mixture into the soup stock, add the remaining broth, and fresh water. Stir and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft.
Purée the soup with an immersion blender. Add the honey, lemon juice, generous pinch cayenne, and additional salt and pepper to taste. Return it back to the pot and heat until warm. When ready to serve, garnish the soup with a handful of chickpea croutons, fresh cilantro, and a drizzle of olive or avocado oil.
*The cashews can be substituted for an even amount of coconut milk if desired. Also, reheating the chickpea croutons at 425 degrees for 5-10 minutes can add extra crunch if they absorbed moisture after the first roasting.
**When substituting the broth with vegetable stock use ½ teaspoon less of sea salt as the vegetable broth generally contains more sodium. Use additional sea salt to taste at the end.