From Rae Hill
Ingredients2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter 1 medium sized onion, chopped 2 celery stalks, chopped 1 medium leek, sliced (white and pale green parts only) 1 large garlic clove, chopped 1 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth, you may use vegetable broth for vegetarian option 1 cinnamon stick 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg 1 1/2 cups half and half 2 tablespoons 100% maple syrup the leafy tops of the celery stalks, chopped
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Then add the chopped onion and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add chopped celery stalks and leek, sauté about 5 minutes or until slightly soften and start to turn translucent. Add garlic and sauté 2 minutes until fragrant.
Add sweet potatoes, chicken stock, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg then turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once soup begins to boil reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer uncovered until potatoes are tender, you should be able to crush them with a wooden spoon about 20 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick. Working in batches, puree soup in blender until smooth and return to pot.
Add half and half, maple syrup and reserved cinnamon stick, stir over medium-low heat until heated through. Season soup to taste with salt and pepper.
You can prepare this a day ahead of time. Before refrigerating cool the soup slightly, then cover the soup loosely and refrigerate. Bring the soup to simmer before serving. Garnish with celery leaves and a fresh shaving of nutmeg.