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Shop Talk: Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup
by Ashley Fritsche

Welcome back to Shop Talk here at The Featherweight Shop! We love our local chit chat with staff, gathering around the dinette table so-to-speak (because that is what we have!) and sharing with one another. In these segments, we exchange patterns, recipes, organizational ideas, history quips, crafty projects, and smiles about learning an old-fashioned way of doing things. Shop Talk is the fun tidbits of news!

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Hello! Thank you for joining me, Ashley, in my kitchen today! I am the Marketing Director here at The Featherweight Shop, and LOVE spending time baking and cooking, especially with help of my kiddos: Nathan & Sayley!

This Sweet Potato Cauliflower Soup is my all-time favorite soup! It is so incredibly flavorful and aromatic! When I start making it in the kitchen, I can't help but get excited for all the leftovers that I will be snacking on over the next week! The best part is this soup can easily be made into a vegan/gluten-free version by excluding the cheese and meat portion (we add it in for the extra kick!)

 



I just can't get over how beautiful these veggies are! I love getting started on the soup and seeing all these little beauties on the counter. I am planning out my garden beds for next spring and can't wait to have some fresh veggies to put into my soups come next fall! Sweet potatoes, onions, garlic, and cauliflower are all making the cut! On to chopping up some veggies!

I usually start by preparing the cauliflower. For this recipe, I need to floret the cauliflower. The easiest way of doing this is to remove the stalk and "twist" the heads until the crumble off. I try to keep the florets to roughly the same size since half will be going into the oven, and the other half will be going into the soup. 



Next, I chop the onion! This does not need to be chopped into the smallest pieces since it will be sautéed. I love this recipe since I can enjoy cooking, and not worry too much about making sure the pieces are exact (we will be using the immersion blender at the end!) After the onion is sliced, I mince my garlic which I will be adding to the pan after I sauté. 


We can't forget about the star of the show - the sweet potatoes! We have to slice and dice them. Make sure to take the skin off before chopping them up. The skin does not taste the best in the soup (trust me, I have tried!)



The Meat

Set the veggies off to the side so we can start in on the meat! Take out the sausage and brown in the large pot! Make sure to "almost" cook all the way through. You do not want to cook until it is done since it will finish cooking in the soup. Just make sure that there is little to no pink left.

Remove from the pot and set to the side.






Next, chop up the fresh bacon (I like to use the peppered bacon from the meat counter!) and cook in the same pot that the sausage was cooked in. In our home, we have two schools of thought on bacon - crispy and "not." Therefore, we have two sets of bacon piles (the good side and the bad side - I prefer the crispy!)






The Cooking
I remove a portion of the grease, but leave the bits at the bottom to sauté the onions and garlic in! It adds so much flavor. I cook the onions until they are translucent, then add in sage, turmeric, and paprika, mixing in all the delicious spices together in the slurry. During this stage, I will pour in vegetable stock to make sure the onion and garlic do not get too dry, a quarter of a cup at a time.




Next, I take the sweet potato and half of the chopped cauliflower and mix into the slurry, pouring in the rest of the vegetable stock. I bring to a boil then reduce to a light simmer for 20 minutes.



The Cauliflower

With the leftover cauliflower, spread evenly on a flat baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and a bit of slat and pepper. Pre-heat your oven to 400-degrees and bake for 15 minutes. Take out the cauliflower, flip, and put back in the oven to cook the other side for another 5 - 10 minutes until tender and lightly golden on the top.



The Soup

By this point, your soup should be fork tender. Check to see if the veggies are soft. If so, turn the heat off. Take a dollop of flour as a thickening agent and add your coconut milk and mix with the immersion blender. This usually takes me about 3 - 5 minutes to make sure that all the chunks are out and my soup is nice and smooth! After all the chunks are gone, I check my spices. I will usually add a little extra salt and pepper at this point for flavor. 




Next, take that delicious browned sausage and golden cauliflower and stir into the soup gently. I return my soup to a gentle simmer for another 5 - 10 minutes. 




Serve and Enjoy!

Dish up your soup and garnish with grated cheese and your bacon bits! This recipe makes a large portion so you will have plenty for leftovers!




The Recipe

Ingredients
1 LB Ground Pork
1/2 LB bacon, chopped
1 Onion, Diced
3-5 Garlic Cloves, Minced
1/2 tsp Dried Sage

1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 Sweet Potatoes
2 Cauliflower, divided into florets
4 Cups Vegetable Broth
13.5 Ounces Coconut Milk
Olive Oil for roasting
Salt & Pepper for seasoning
Fresh Grated Parmesan for garnish
1 Tbs of Flour

Directions

1. Brown the ground pork in a large pot over medium heat, set aside.
2. Cook the bacon in large pot, set aside. Drain half of the grease. Keep the bits at the bottom and roughly half of the grease.
3. Pre-heat oven to 400-degree F. Place half the cauliflower on a flat sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes. Shake pan and toss cauliflower. Place back in the oven and bake the other side of the cauliflower for an additional 10 minutes until the edges are lightly brown. 
3. Saute onion until translucent, add garlic. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup vegetable broth a little at a time to keep the onion saturated while cooking. 
4. Add sage, paprika, and turmeric to the onion and garlic slurry. Cook for an additional 2 minutes.
5. Take the other half of the cauliflower and the sweet potato and add to the onion/garlic slurry. Pour in the rest of the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and mix. Reduce to a light simmer for 20 minutes, covered.
6. When the vegetables are fork tender, add the coconut milk, salt, pepper, any additional thickening agent (flour), and mix with immersion blender until smooth.
7. Stir in sausage and cauliflower. Bring to a simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
8. Serve with grated parmesan and bacon bits.