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Sweet Potato Soup with Buttered Pecans Recipe

***FOR THE SOUP*** 3/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 cup finely chopped leek -- washed well and

-- drained 2 large garlic cloves -- minced

3 large carrots -- sliced thin

1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 pounds sweet potatoes

1 russet baking potato

5 cups chicken broth -- plus additional for

-- thinning the soup, -- if desired 3/4 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 cups water

***FOR THE BUTTERED PECANS*** 3/4 cup chopped pecans

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

creme fra?che or sour cream -- for accompaniment

Make the soup

In a kettle cook the onion, the leek, the garlic, and the carrots with the bay leaf and salt and pepper to taste in the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until the vegetables are softened. Add the sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin, the russet potato, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced thin, the 5 cups broth, the wine, and the water, simmer the mixture, covered for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are very tender, and discard the bay leaf. In a blender pur?e the mixture in batches until it is very smooth, transferring it as it is pur?ed to a large saucepan, add the additional broth to thin the soup to the desired consistency, and season the soup with salt and pepper. The soup may be made 1 day in advance, kept covered and chilled, and reheated.

Make the buttered pecans

In a skillet cook the pecans in the butter with salt to taste over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown, and transfer them to paper towels to drain. The pecans may be made 2 days in advance and kept in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag. Divide the soup among bowls and top each serving with a dollop of the cr?me fra?che and some of the buttered pecans.

Makes about 11 cups, serving eight to ten.

MC formatted by Barb at PK using MC Buster 2.0f & SNT on 7/1/98

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