This is a great soup that uses local seasonal ingredients (mostly) and is easy as well as delicious.
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 - 1 cup chopped celery
3 cups (about) sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups (about) ripe pears, cored and cubed (no need to peel) I used pears from Future Fruit
3-4 cups chicken or vegetable broth (depending on how thick you like your soup)
1/4-1/2 cup dry sherry or vermouth (optional but tasty)
1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
Thin slices of pear as a garnish for the soup
Chopped fresh parsley if you have any
Heat the oil and saute the onions and celery until tender but not brown (about 10 minutes). Add the sweet potatoes, pears, broth, sherry, cinnamon stick, orange zest, thyme and nutmeg. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer covered for 30-35 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and pears are tender. Remove the cinnamon stick.
Using either an immersion blender or food processor, puree the soup until smooth. Check seasonings.
Serve the soup with thin slices of pear and some yogurt or sour cream. You can sprinkle with chopped parsley if you wish.