Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Good Mother Stallard Beans

There was an incredible blizzard yesterday. When I woke up this morning, I was greeted with a beautiful white blanket of snow that covered the park across the street from my apartment.
I was supposed to do yoga, but I decided that I needed some “Kitchen Yoga” instead.  Oatmeal was for breakfast; and for lunch (and dinner)… Roasted Sweet Potato Soup with Good Mother Stallard Beans.

 The beans were a birthday gift from my boyfriend. He ordered me 5 varieties of Heirloom Beans from Rancho Gordo in Napa Valley! You wouldn’t believe how excited and grateful that made me, because along with Sweet Potatoes, Beans are one of  my favorite foods. Rancho Gordo Beans are so fresh and fancy, that I know for certain I won’t ever return to Goya bagged beans :)  They’re firm, and retain their plump shape even after cooking, and have a buttery texture. Perfect in a Puree!

The cold gives me a yearning for hot soup, and the white of the snow makes me crave bright colors. And, it’s so easy to make.  Just remember to soak the beans overnight (if using fresh, but canned will work too). Now, technically you can use any bean for this soup. At first I thought it would be all about the sublime texture of pureed sweet potato soup, then I realized that the fat Stallard Bean makes it really exciting. Soo….basically what I’m saying is…Use A Plump Bean!

 
The recipe goes something like this: 
          (serves uhh…4?)
Beans:
One Cup Dried Beans 
Small Onion Chopped
Garlic Clove
Sweet Potato Soup Puree:
2 Large Sweet Potatoes Peeled and Chopped
Fresh Carrot Peeled and Chopped
Half a Large Red Onion
1-2 Cloves Garlic 
3 tbsp Olive Oil  
Dash Dried Thyme
Sea Salt 
Fresh Black Pepper 
1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Corn Kernels 

1 tsp Chili Powder*
1 tbsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper *
1 tsp Coriander
Handful of Cilantro 
Start with the Beans. Soak Em’ Overnight!
To cook beans, boil water (about double the bean volume), and add the beans once the water is boiling. Also add the Chopped Onion and Garlic, and bring pot to a simmer.  Cook until the beans are nice and tender, about 35-45 minutes.
While the beans cook. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, and peel and chop the Sweet Potatoes, Carrot, Onion, and Garlic. In a large roast pan toss the mixture with about 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil. Sprinkle a bit of Thyme on top, along with Sea Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper.
Roast until Sweet Potatoes are tender, or about 30 minutes (or until the beans are done).
Roast the corn for about 10 minutes, either in the oven with the Sweet Potatoes, or once they’re done, you may do so while you Puree the soup.
I like to use my Bean Pot for my Soup, so when the Beans are done, drain (and SAVE) the Bean Water through a colander and set Beans aside in another bowl.
Add the roasted Sweet Potato Mixture to the empty pot and add Bean Water. Bring the mixture to a boil; reduce to simmer, and add the spices. The Chili Powder and Coriander add a nice sweetness to the soup, and the Cayenne gives it it’s heat. Cook for 5 minutes, then PUREE the mixture.  I like to use my hand blender to avoid a mess, though a normal blender will work too. Just be sure to Puree in batches…
Once the Soup is Pureed, taste it, and add the necessary seasonings (for me that’s usually more Chili Powder and Cayenne!)
Then add the Plump Beans and top with Roasted Corn.  Garnish with Cilantro, and Voila!