Well, here I am, still counting down the days until the due date (10 days!!!) and torturing myself with the thought every single day of "tonight could be the night!".
I'll probably go two weeks past the due date now with my luck.
Oh well, at least by then I might finally be resigned to the fact that I simply cannot bend down and pick things up off the floor anymore. As it is, I just can't get used to not being able to do certain things. Multiple times a day, I find myself squatting on the kitchen floor to pick up an apple peel or whatnot wondering how I got there and how in the world I'm going to get back up. Not fun.
But what is fun is this soup. I have a lot of crazy flavors going on here. Maybe it's the weird pregnancy brain thing again. We'll see if it continues once this kid is born.
You may recall that last week our neighbor gave us a couple huge sacks of apples, which resulted in these Flourless Oatmeal Apple Muffins, this apple butter, apple pie, applesauce, and an apple kringle (coming soon). When I saw yet another sack of apples hanging on our door handle a few days ago, I decided I was going to have to shake things up with something a little less conventional.
One thing I must say is that you must not omit the crispy sage. It's to die for. And also the prosciutto adds a nice salty touch that you won't want to go without. I actually used Schwarzwälder Schinken which is sort of similar to prosciutto except I think it's smoked (and it also happens to be way cheaper). But since I don't think that you can get it in the US, you'll have to settle for prosciutto (if you call that settling).
Sweet Potato Apple Beer Soup
A few tablespoons olive oil
1.5 pounds of sweet potatoes (I used 2 large sweet potatoes)
1.5 pounds of apples (I used 8 small apples, which would probably equal about 3 large apples)
1 medium sized yellow onion
4 cloves garlic
2 stalks of celery
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage (or a heaping tablespoon of chopped fresh sage)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
A few dashes of nutmeg
Cayenne pepper to taste
2-3 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup beer (an ale would probably be best, but Samuel already had a dark beer open, so that's what I used)
1 cup half and half
1 cup grated aged white cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)
Fresh sage leaves and prosciutto for topping
Chop up the potatoes, apples, onion, garlic and celery. The smaller you cut them the faster they will cook.
Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the veggies (and fruit) and saute until softened and browned. Add the spices and 2 cups of the chicken stock. Continue to simmer until all the veggies are very soft.
Purée with an immersion blender or pour into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and then return to pot over low heat. Add the beer and half and half. Add more chicken stock if needed until desired consistency is reached. Adjust seasonings to taste. Add the cheese and stir until melted.
Saute the sage leaves and prosciutto in a little olive oil until crispy. Garnish soup with the sage leaves, prosciutto and additional cheese.