Sweet potato, apple and ginger soup with sage gremolata
Butternut squash was the original star of this recipe, but one of Ventura County chef Gabe Garcia's line cooks suggested using sweet potatoes instead. "I fell in love with it," Garcia said. "We served it and got great feedback."
Executive Chef Gabe Garcia Tierra Sur at Herzog Wine Cellars
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3 tbsp. canola oil
3 cups diced Gala apples
3 celery ribs, diced small
1 red bell pepper, diced small
1/2 large onion, diced small
2 sprigs mint
2 sprigs tarragon
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp. minced fresh ginger
3 cups peeled and diced sweet potato
1 1/2 cups (1/2 bottle) white wine
2 quarts water
Kosher salt, to taste
3 leaves sage, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Zest of 2 lemons
To make soup: In a medium saucepot, sauté apples, celery, bell pepper and onion in oil until tender. Tie mint and tarragon sprigs together and add to pot with garlic and ginger. Cook for 1 minute, then stir in sweet potatoes. Deglaze the pot with wine, stirring to loosen the browned bits of food at the bottom of the pot. Be sure to cook out the alcohol in the wine, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and cook for 20 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Puree soup in a blender or food processor until smooth. Return to pot and heat through. Do not let boil.
To make gremolata: Combine ingredients. Garnish each serving of soup with a pinch or two of gremolata.
Photo by David Whittemore