I adore cookbooks. I read them like I would read a novel, or a magazine. I also love the Food Network chefs and enjoy watching them cook. However, when it comes to actually trying new recipes, I'm not always as adventurous as I'd like to be. I think it's because there are so many millions of recipes to try, that it feels overwhelming and I end up just making the same old things over and over again because I know the grocery lists by heart.
I have loved living in DC and having the opportunity to meet some of the chefs from Food Network and Bravo. I have a whole new collection of autographed cookbooks, which makes me so happy. Recently, as fall weather arrived, I wanted to try a new soup out of my newest cookbook, "Weeknights with Giada." I have to say, it was the most fantastic soup I have had in a very long time. Butternut squash soup is a family favorite, but this was voted better by the entire family. It's one I don't want to forget. Of course, as always, I doubled the recipe.
3 T. olive oil
3 lg. shallots, sliced thin
2-3 cloves garlic cloves, minced
kosher salt & ground pepper
2-3 large sweet potatoes, peeled & cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 stems fresh rosemary
6 c. chicken broth
1/2 c. mascarpone cheese
3 t. maple syrup (the real stuff is best)
In an 8-quart stockpot, melt the butter and oil together over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic and season with 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes, until soft. Add the sweet potatoes, rosemary, and chicken broth. Season with 1/2 t. salt and 1/4 t. pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the sweet potatoes are very tender, 20-25 minutes.
Turn off the heat and remove the rosemary stems. Using a blender, blend the mixture in batches, until smooth and thick. Once all soup has been blended, whisk in the mascarpone cheese and maple syrup until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.