Sweet Potato Bisque with Avocado, Pear, and Lime
With its creamy texture, pleasing color, and hints of sweet and sour under tastes, this is one of the most exciting soups around, and easy to make. The soup can be prepared up to two days in advance and reheated slowly, uncovered. Do not prepare the garnish until ready to serve.
- Pears - 2, ripe pears
- Dry white wine - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1/4 cup
- Cinnamon - 1/4 teaspoon, ground
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Pear Brandy - 1/3 cup
- Sweet Potatoes - 2 pounds
- Unsalted Butter - 1 tablespoon
- Onion - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Celery - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Carrot - 1 tablespoon, chopped
- Serrano Chili - 1/2, seeded and chopped (alt. jalapeno)
- Thyme - 1 teaspoon, finely chopped, fresh (alt. 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh)
- Chicken Stock - 1-1/4 cups
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 3 cups
- Maple Syrup - 2 tablespoon
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Black Pepper - 1/4 teaspoon, coarsely ground
- Lime Juice - 3 tablespoons, freshly squeezed
- Lime - 4 thin slices
- Ripe Avocado - 1, peeled, pitted, and sliced or diced
To prepare the pears: The pears are used as both an ingredient and a garnish. Peel, halve, and core the pears. Poach the pears in the wine, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, and pear brandy for 10 minutes, or until the point of a knife pierces one easily. Allow to cool in the syrup.
To make the soup: Peel and chop the sweet potatoes, then cook in salted boiling water until soft, about 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and place in a blender or food processor.
While the potatoes are cooking, melt the butter in a small saute pan or skillet over medium heat and saute the vegetables, chili, and thyme until the vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Deglaze the pan with 1/4 cup of the chicken stock and simmer for 1 minute. Add to the food processor along with the remaining 1 cup of the stock and 1 poached pear. Puree until smooth.
Pour the puree into a saucepan and add the cream, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Bring to a boil over medium heat; reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
To serve: Pour the bisque into warm bowls. Garnish with a slice of lime, avocado, and slices or dice from the remaining pear.