Every spring, ever since I was a baby (and even before then), my family has been vacationing in Colorado, where my uncle, aunt, and two cousins live. Everyone in the family are big skiers, as we have all been hitting the slopes since the day we could walk. Therefore, going to Colorado is something my parents make a priority, and despite how sick I have been the past few years, we have only missed it once. Overall, despite traveling being hard on my body, I truly love the wide open mountains, where the sun is shining brightly, and the fresh air that is unlike anywhere else in the world. Though I wish to move somewhere warmer when I am older, Colorado is certainly a place that I would love to live for a time as well, despite typically hating the thought of being land locked. The reason for me telling you all of this, is that today’s recipe was made to feed the eight hungry mouths that are my cousins, brothers, parents, and aunt and uncle. I felt that a warming dish would be very appropriate after everyone came off the mountain from skiing all day, which is why I decided to go with potato leek soup. However, as you may have already guessed by the photos, this isn’t just any potato soup, it is purple sweet potato soup. After flying into Denver and stopping at MMM…Coffee (my friend’s Paleo bistro and cafe) for lunch, my mother and I headed up to the mountains, with a short (ish) stop at the new Whole Foods that is in Frisco. As a foodie, I had fun looking at all of the different, locally made products, as well as some of the foods that I don’t always see out in the North East, Stoke’s purple sweet potatoes being one of them. Once I scratched off some of the skin and saw the vibrant magenta flesh underneath, I knew immediately that I had to make something with them.
As you may have guessed, the incredible color that Stoke’s sweet potatoes have, subsequently gives them a higher nutrient content. This means that they are incredibly high in vitamin C, B6, manganese, and even more so in beta-carotene, and anthocyanins, of which are the antioxidants responsible for giving the potatoes their deep pigment, much like you would find in berries or grapes. Therefore, unlike a typical potato leek soup that utilizes white potatoes, this purple variety is not only different in looks, but also in taste and nutrient content, of which makes the soup a very delicious meal for anytime of the day. I personally served my family roasted leeks, broccoli, asparagus, and zucchini, as well as sauteed green beans with garlic and sauerkraut, of which everyone everyone thoroughly enjoyed. My cousin kept telling me that though he was wary of what the soup may taste like do to, well, being PURPLE, in the end it was “incredible.” Everyone else agreed, and my dad made note that he especially liked that the meatballs weren’t dry, but instead moist and succulent, something you wouldn’t necessarily expect from ground chicken. In the end, I am pleased to say that this purple potato leek soup was a hit with all of my family members, as it left them pleasantly full, completely satisfied, and very happy.
Purple Potato Leek Soup With Meatballs
- 2 lb purple sweet potatoes (4-5 cups chopped)
- 3 large leeks (4 cups chopped)
- 5 cups bone broth
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp sea salt (divided)
- 1 1/2 lb ground organic chicken
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/3 cup arrowroot flour
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped tarragon
- 2 tsp ground onion powder
- 1 small lemon – juiced
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 2 tbsp lard
- Fresh chives for garnish
- Chop leeks into 1/2 inch rounds, rinse with water, and place in a salad spinner, spinning until dry.
- In a large pot, heat lard on medium-low until hot.
- Add chopped leeks to the pot, turn the heat to low, and allow them to sautee until soft and fragrant (10 minutes), then add peeled and chopped sweet potatoes, allowing the mixture to cook for another 5 minutes.
- Sprinkling the vegetables with 1 tsp of sea salt, the bay leaf, and chopped thyme, then pour in the bone broth, turn the heat to medium-high, and allow the mixture to come to a boil.
- Once at a boil, turn the heat to medium-low, cover the pot, and allow to simmer for another 15-20 minutes until the potatoes have become fork tender.
- While the potatoes are cooking, combine ground chicken 2 tsp onion powder, juice of 1 lemon, chopped parsley and tarragon, remaining 2 tsp sea salt, and arrowroot powder in a medium sized bowl, forming into 40-45 small meatballs.
- Once the sweet potatoes are fork tender, transfer 6 cups of the soup into a blender, blending until smooth (this may have to be done in two steps).
- Transfer blended soup back into the large sauce pan, stirring to combine with the remaining soup mixture.
- Lightly drop the prepared meatballs onto the top of the soup, then turn the heat back up to medium-high, allowing it to come to a strong simmer.
- Cover the pot and allow the meatballs to cook for another 15-20 minutes.
- Once the meatballs have cooked, allow to cool slightly, then ladle soup into desired serving bowls, sprinkle with chopped chives, and enjoy.
To make Low-FODMAP, replace onion powder with more chopped chives in the meatballs, and use leek greens in soup base.
If you want a completely smooth soup, simply blend all of the mixture in step 6.
The arrowroot flour is not mandatory, however, it does make the meatballs more light and fluffy.