GW2 Yam Soup with Roasted Pears, Toasted Pecans and Lingonberries

Yam-Soup-Pecan-Nuts-Roasted-Pear-Cowberry-1Happy New Year everyone~! I hope this post finds each and every one of you happy, healthy, well rested and on a beeline-course towards your dreams!

For some reason, the New Year doesn’t reeeeeally start until after Three Kings Day for me – which is actually a public holiday in our little corner of the world – at least from a regular-work-day perspective. In other words: the cozy calm and quiet of the week between the years gets a little cherry on top – stormy, wet and altogether nasty January outside, bingeworthy books, cozy blankets, lots of tea and yummy wintery comfort food inside. Yay!

Of course, there’s no extended downtime in our house without a little gaming adventure here and there – and of course I found something within the depths of the Tyrian Culinarians’ Guilds’ archives that fit the theme of the ongoing winter-zen week perfectly.

Yam Soup

How’s that for a heart and soul warming icky-weather repellant? Here’s what you need for 4 servings~

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The Wintery Yam Soup with Roasted Pears, Toasted Pecans and Lingonberries
400g Yams or Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into ~1cm dice
100g Floury Potatoes, peeled and cut into ~1cm dice
1 Brown Onion, finely chopped
1 Red Onion, finely chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
½ Lemon, Zest and Juice
2 Tbsp Brown Butter
400ml Vegetable Stock
100ml Quince, Pear or Orange Juice – all three work deliciously well if you make sure the juice of your choice isn’t heavily sweetened which, sadly, rules out most quince- and about half of all pear juices.
2 Sprigs of Thyme, leaves picked
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup
1 Tbsp Spiced Pear Syrup – you can either use my Spiced Pear Syrup recipe over here or snoop around in the drinks/cocktail section of a well-sorted supermarket near you.
75-100ml Low Fat Cooking Cream
Salt and freshly ground Pepper to taste
100g Pecans, lighly toasted
4 Tbsp Preserved Lingonberries/Cowberries
1 generous Pinch of Cayenne

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For the Pears:
2 Pears, halved, cored and sliced into 6-8 wedges each
1 Splash of Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar
1 Pinch of Salt
4 Scrapes of Tonka Bean
2 Scrapes of Nutmeg
1 Pinch of Hot Chili Flakes

1) Let’s start at the end – grab your pears and place them in a bowl large enough to comfortably accommodate them plus some turning-over room.
2) Add the lemon juice, sugar, salt, tonka, nutmeg and chili flakes to a second, smaller bowl and whisk away until the sugar grains have dissolved.
3) Pour the marinade over the pears and give them a gentle turn-over until they’re all evenly coated/dotted with chili flakes.
4) Set the bowl aside and turn your attention to the soup pot that, any time now, should be sitting on medium-high heat.
5) Add the brown butter, onions and garlic – give everything a nice shake and leave them to their own devices until they start to turn translucent.
6) Once that’s done, add the potato dice for about 3 mins.
7) Deglaze the whole shebang with stock, lemon juice and your pick of quince/pear/apple juice.
8) Wait until the liquids work up a nice bubble, then turn the heat down to medium-low.
9) Stir in the lemon zest, thyme leaves and a generous pinch each of salt, pepper and cayenne.
10) Pop on a lid and allow the soup to simmer away for about 15-20 mins – until the potatoes are deliciously tender.

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11) Take the pot off the heat and stir in the maple syrup, pear syrup and cooking cream.
12) Transfer everything into the jug of a blender and whizz the into smooth yumtasticness – or put your stick blender to work until the same goal is reached.
13) Have a taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary – another splash of lemon juice works wonders if the sweet potatoes are on the really sweet side of things. Depending on the oomph in your syrup, a bit of cinnamon might also turn some tables.
14) Place the soup back on the stove – lowest setting possible – to keep it warm, and retrieve the pears.
15) Fire up a large pan on high heat and, once it’s hot, spread out the pear wedges inside.
16) Give them a nice sear on each side until the brown sugar in the marinade caramelizes – 1-2 mins per side should suffice.
17) Time to plate up! Ladle the soup into warm bowls, top each serving off with a couple of pear slices, drop a generous heap of Lingonberry Preserve on top, add pecans by the loadfuls, grab a spoon and…

…Enjoy~!

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