Of course, we've all heard it said that it is better to give than receive. I find that this is particularly true when it comes to cooking. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to whip something up and then watch the happy faces of my family as they enjoy. I had a ball over the holidays creating homemade pralines for just that same reason.
I can always tell when Spud really likes something because, every time he takes a bite, he knocks on the table. Such a joyful noise! Today's recipe is one that gets him a-knockin' till it sounds like a drumroll. We only make this for special occasions like Christmas Eve. Today, however I'm making it for another special reason.
A dear friend of mine, who I've known for over thirty years, recently had serious surgery. And, while prayers and cards and flowers are nice, I wanted to send her something to warm her from the inside out. And so, to my dear Di, I'm sending Sweet Spud Andouille Bisque. I hope it makes her knock on the table.
SWEET SPUD ANDOUILLE BISQUE
1/2 lb andouille sausage (peel off the casing)
1/2 stick butter
1 medium chopped white onion
1 tsp thyme
1.5 lbs sweet potatoes
1/4 cup praline liqueur
7 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp of butter
First, wash your potatoes and put them to boil. When they are soft, turn them off and let them cool. Then, under running faucet water, peel off the skins. Believe me, this is the best way to peel sweet potatoes! My mom taught me. Place the peeled potatoes in a bowl and set aside. Peel casing off the andouille and then cut it up into pieces - don't have to be exact because you're going to blend it all later. Fry down the andouille with the chopped onion over medium heat until the onions are transparent. Add thyme, liqueur and brown sugar. Stir. Now add the sweet potatoes - mashing them roughly as you add them. Now add the chicken stock and stir. If you've got a wand blender, simply stick it in the pot and blend the soup till smooth. It will take some effort to make sure the andouille gets ground up. If you don't have a wand blender (get one!!), you can use your blender and do it in batches. Once the soup is blended, warm it but DO NOT BOIL. Finally, add the cream and 2 tbsp of butter. You can garnish each bowl with sour cream or croutons. This Christmas, I made french bread croutons by frying cubes of bread in butter and tossing the whole thing with herbs. Outstanding!
Of course, the real trick is going to be getting this soup out of the house before my family finds out! If they get ahold of it, I'm afraid Di won't be doing much knocking!
One lady tried my recipe. Wrote a song about it. Here it is. (I think maybe she used a little 'extra' praline liqueur. :o)
Every day I am so grateful for the gift of being able to cook. It sustains my family and brings us joy. I guess it's no mistake that we thank God for "our daily bread" huh? Making something for an ailing loved one is really quite selfish. My soul is being fed richly today! As my husband (or Huey P.) would say, I hope you "share the wealth." But, definitely, share the blog!!
Now, what's for lunch???