Hi hi.

How are things? How was your weekend? What did you do? Where did you go? Who did you see?

How annoying is that? Enough.

Here are some things I did that you probably don’t care about but I will force feed you anyway. We are such good friends.

I watched the Beyonce HBO special, which I’ve only been waiting to watch for, oh, like the entire three months they’ve been advertising it. I watched her shake her perfect booty while drinking a shamrock shake. At like midnight. Thank goodness calories don’t count on the weekend.

Also, I totally drove around blasting the Josh Groban CD and singing along, only realizing once I was pulling into my driveway that “singing along” meant I was belting some slow music with a weird opera-like face because when you sing along to Josh Groban and you don’t have a Josh Groban voice, you look like a cartoon character or a cast member of an SNL skit.

Yesterday I spent 35 minutes fishtail braiding my hair, which is epically pointless because my hair has about five thousand layers. In less than three minutes one entire side of my hair had fallen out of the braid. So I had a braid on one side and… some hair on the other side. Gross.

Oh and I single-handedly consumed a whole wedge of humboldt fog chèvre and decided it might be an every weekend splurge. Well, that’s a lie. I want it to be an every weekend splurge but… it can’t be. That is not real life.

This soup can be in real life though. Wait… can it? With the bourbon? I say yes. I realize I’ve been a bit nuts with the boozy recipes lately, but I promise is happened by accident. Err… sort of by accident. Actually, we moved this bar in our house and before moving it, had to empty the contents to lighten the load. Well, the “contents” sat on my kitchen floor for about two weeks and were a source of constant inspiration. As they should be. Plus, it’s not like I was heavy handed with the bourbon – it’s just a slight pour that adds some additional flavor and cooks off anyway. If you aren’t into it, you can replace it with some additional stock of simply leave it out. But can I tell you? With it? This flavor is unreeeeeal. Since we’re in the circle of trust, I’ll tell you that I am not very gung ho on sweet potatoes. I don’t go nuts over them like some people do. I enjoy them, but tire of them often and considering my favorite food growing up was “potatoes!” (I’m talking like yukon golds and russets), the plain roots will always have a special #1 spot in my heart.

So when I set out to make this bisque, I didn’t have high expectations. It was simply another way to curb my intense soup cravings that creep in come October and peak mid-February. Every week I determine which soul-warming, comforting concoction my soup pot can hold next and this just happened to fit the bill. I kept it simple – as simple as I could with lots of flavor – and with one bite I was SOLD. So much more sold than I ever anticipated.

Do not… I repeat DO NOT let the cinnamon sugared croutons scare you. They aren’t *super* sweet and by just using a few, you add a little sweet to your savory. Unless you’re like me and have no self control and add a boatload of sweet to your savory. This is my life. Oh and it helps if you use grainy, seedy bread. The kind you always see me use is labeled as Harvest Bread in my Whole Foods. It makes my world.

So do you.


Bourbon Sweet Potato Bisque with Brown Butter Cinnamon Sugar Croutons

Yield: serves 2-4

Total Time: 45 minutes


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 sweet onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pinch of red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons bourbon
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (mine came to about 1.25 pounds, peeled and cubed)
2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
2 cups water
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper

4 slices whole grain bread, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons brown butter
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat a large pot over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. Add onions with pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and stir to coat, then cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for another minute. Increase heat slightly and add bourbon, stirring well. Let cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes, stock and water to the pot. Cover and let simmer for 25 minutes, until sweet potatoes are soft.

While sweet potatoes are boiling, add bread cubes to a baking sheet. Toss with cinnamon and sugar, then brown butter, and bake for 8-10 minutes until golden. Remove and set aside until soup is finished.

After sweet potatoes are soft, carefully pour the entire mixture into a high-powdered blender and pureed until smooth and creamy, about 5 minutes. Additionally, you can use an immersion blender but the soup may not be as smooth. Transfer creamy soup back into the pot over low heat. Stir in half and half, salt and pepper, then taste and season additionally if needed. Serve with croutons on top!

Cinnamon toast for life.

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107 Responses to “Bourbon Sweet Potato Bisque with Brown Butter Cinnamon Sugar Croutons.”

  1. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — February 18, 2013 @ 7:59 am

    Brown butter, cinnamon-sugar — that would NEVER scare me…omg, I would jump for joy if I could just eat a pile of them right now!

    And the bourbon, with sweet potatoes, all smooth and lovely – total winner!


  2. #
    Kelsey — February 18, 2013 @ 8:08 am

    Such a beautiful soup! I’m definitely a sweet potato addict and this looks fantastic. With the cinnamon sugar croutons? Ohh my goodness.

    Your recipes always look so delicious! I’ve tried several of them and have yet to be disappointed. :)


  3. #
    Kim in MD — February 18, 2013 @ 8:23 am

    What a gorgeous soup! I’m loving the croutons, too. YUM!


  4. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — February 18, 2013 @ 8:36 am

    Holy Fazoly! This looks amazing! I am soooooooooooooo loving this soup! What a great idea adding bourbon!!! Sounds amazing!! I need a bowl of this in my life!!


  5. #
    Amanda @ The Dormestic Goddess — February 18, 2013 @ 8:39 am

    Such a simple concept but the bourbon and the croutons wil take it over the top – I’m sure! This looks fab!


  6. #
    Brie @ Entrée the Giant — February 18, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    I can relate to the fishtail braid incident – I went through a phase when I was determined to do it, but after way too much time invested, the outcome was always the same. It looked like I had done my hair with my non-dominant hand. Sigh.

    That’s some great lookin’ soup, by the way!


  7. #
    Little Kitchie — February 18, 2013 @ 8:42 am

    DYING over this. The croutons!!!


  8. #
    Heather @ Sugar Dish Me — February 18, 2013 @ 8:50 am

    I am loving every bit of this!!!! But let’s get real for a minute— can you tell us more about the Beyonce’ special? I am dying to see it … I need details!!


    • Jessica — February 18th, 2013 @ 10:23 am

      i like it… but i don’t think i liked it as much as i thought i would? i was hoping it would be 1.5 hours of straight documentary and a little more raw/personal – there were a lot of her performances on there. like a little beyonce concert.


  9. #
    Ali @ Peaches and Football — February 18, 2013 @ 9:04 am

    There’s some ridiculously awesome flavors you have going on here. I love sweet potatoes and my favorite topping for them is butter and cinnamon! Making it into a soup is just perfect for the Winter. Plus, the more I read about sweet potatoes, the more I love them!


  10. #
    Katie — February 18, 2013 @ 9:26 am

    yes please. love the idea of the brown butter cinnamon sugar croutons. oh and i need to watch the Beyonce special… and maybe I should follow suit and drink a shamrock shake while I’m at it! ;)


  11. #
    Jenna — February 18, 2013 @ 9:28 am

    These croutons sound amazing in this soup.


  12. #
    Annie @ What's Annie Making? — February 18, 2013 @ 9:33 am

    This soup looks divine! I’m weird and don’t love my sweet potatoes loaded with brown sugar and marshmallows, but I’ll definitely trust your expertise and try the croutons. Oh, and for a split second I thought you meant that Beyonce was drinking a Shamrock Shake and shaking her booty at the same time…. haha!


  13. #
    Kristina — February 18, 2013 @ 9:43 am

    for someone who has run spas and been around hairdressers for so many years, you would think SOMETHING would rub off on me, that I would be able to do my hair? totally inept, cannot even make something LOOK like a braid. all of my hairdressers know it, they all take care of me (like, showing up to work and just sitting in someone’s chair – they help me!!)

    I have known how to make cinnamon toast since I was a wee child, though, and the grown up crouton version!?!?? will be made here soon! lots of them!


  14. #
    Meghan @ The Tasty Fork — February 18, 2013 @ 9:49 am

    I think I could eat those croutons for breakfast! It’s like toasted cinnamon bread, right??!!


  15. #
    April @BarbellsandBellinis — February 18, 2013 @ 9:59 am

    Harvest bread is my favorite and I am drooling over this soup.


  16. #
    Monique @ Ambitious Kitchen — February 18, 2013 @ 10:28 am

    Gorgeous! I want to drink this up NOW.


  17. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — February 18, 2013 @ 10:33 am

    Oh em gee totally loved the Beyonce documentary too – she is so hot pregnant, dammit!


  18. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — February 18, 2013 @ 11:13 am

    Cinnamon toast always reminds me of one of the first times I didn’t realize my limit with margaritas…suffice to say my roommate kind of saved me from the drunk munchies with it one night and I kind of love it now!


  19. #
    Laura (Blogging Over Thyme) — February 18, 2013 @ 11:16 am

    This soup looks great! I”m kinda right there with you, I really like sweet potatoes but I’m not as obsessed with them as other people are (for example, I totally prefer normal fries to sweet potato fries). But I really, really like them for soups!

    And the croutons sound really fun and nice for an added crunch. Humboldt Fog cheese is one of the best cheeses EVER.


  20. #
    Carly — February 18, 2013 @ 11:23 am

    You are by far the funniest blog I read.


  21. #
    Carly @ Snack Therapy — February 18, 2013 @ 11:26 am

    I ate almost an entire wedge of brie on Valentine’s Day. None of this “the first two bites are the best” business.


  22. #
    Morgan — February 18, 2013 @ 11:39 am

    What a gorgeous recipe! I am also a fan of super grainy bed and can only imagine how tastier it is with with a bit of brown butter and cinnamon! Yum :)


  23. #
    allie@sweetpotatobites — February 18, 2013 @ 11:55 am

    brown butter and cinnamon sugar croutons in soup? yes please.


  24. #
    Erin @ Axell's Kitchen — February 18, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

    OMG this looks incredible!!
    Do you think the soup would taste okay without the onions? I hate them and can normally leave them out in most recipes..just curious on your thoughts as to how crucial they are to this recipe?


    • Jessica — February 18th, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

      hmmm i definitely understand where you are coming from because i used to also dislike them… i really feel like they are a building block of flavor here since there aren’t many other ingredients. they will be totally pureed and the soup doesn’t taste “oniony” by any means – maybe you could cut down on the amount or even try a shallot instead? you can definitely try it without but i can’t say for sure that it will be as good!


      • cori — February 19th, 2013 @ 11:21 am

        What about subbing leeks for the onions if you hate them? Leeks are more subtle.

        • Jessica — February 19th, 2013 @ 11:26 am

          that’s a great suggestion!

  25. #
    Holiday Baker Man — February 18, 2013 @ 12:17 pm

    t was a great weekend with friends, family, and laundry! This looks perfectly silky and satisfying for these chilly winter days.


  26. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — February 18, 2013 @ 12:23 pm

    OMG cinnamon croutons?!!? AMAZING! I’d be happy with those alone (soup would be a bonus!) I admire you for taking the time to work on that fishtail… I tried for about 30 mins one day and made zero progress. Now that I think about it though, I actually did get a decent arm workout!


  27. #
    Nancy — February 18, 2013 @ 12:38 pm

    Sounds good but I don’t get why it’s called a bisque? I don’t see any seafood in the recipe ;)


  28. #
    Reem | Simply Reem — February 18, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

    I too watched Beyonce special and just kept on comparing my legs to hers and man it was not good..LOL
    This soup looks wow… Bourbon, brown butter and sugar croutons …. now thats what makes a soup a heaven!
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  29. #
    Lindsay — February 18, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

    I’m cracking up. I wrote one day about how I’m so over trendy sweet potato crap, and here you go feeling the same way. I’m SO glad it’s not just me! I’m a plain potato person any day of the week. Screw nutrients!



  30. #
    The Junk Drunk — February 18, 2013 @ 1:25 pm

    I love bourbon in soup for the extra kick to warm you from the inside. I add a splash of bourbon to my pumpkin black bean soup as a kick-tastic garnish:


  31. #
    Larry — February 18, 2013 @ 1:29 pm

    Daaaaaayum Gina! This looks amazing!
    And who do you think you are with the 20 questions? Aidan? ♥


    • Jessica — February 18th, 2013 @ 1:58 pm

      ummm that is exactly the episode i was thinking of when i wrote that!


      • Jess — February 18th, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

        Haha, speaking of yummy: Aidan!
        In this months Glamour they wrote something along the lines of: The TV show you didn`t know you were missing from your life: NCIS: SATC: Aidan Shaw, Sex and the City Detective. I would DIE!

  32. #
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe — February 18, 2013 @ 1:38 pm

    This sounds totally bomb. Loving those croutons!


  33. #
    Ashley — February 18, 2013 @ 1:45 pm

    I am TOTALLY on board with the cinnamon sugar crouton + soup combo. Although, I am on board for ANYthing cinnamon sugar. The flavors sound really complimentary, and I love a creamy soup with a crunchy topping! Now I just need someone to make this for me for lunch!


  34. #
    Erin @ The Food Doctors — February 18, 2013 @ 1:51 pm

    Yum, yum, yum! Also, those black bowls are beautiful!


  35. #
    Jess — February 18, 2013 @ 2:19 pm

    I think I need to watch that Beyonce special, I keep hearing about it over & over, I think it’s a sign!


  36. #
    christina @ oven adventures — February 18, 2013 @ 2:35 pm

    i am obsessed with sweet potato soup lately. i love how rich and filling it is without being filled with cream. I love the idea of adding bourbon and then you added those croutons and i now I am NEEDING this soup, like now.


  37. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — February 18, 2013 @ 2:44 pm

    I think you managed to make the absolute perfect soup. This is totally amazing. I’ll admit, I’m a sweet potato fiend so I will gladly consume it any chance I get.


  38. #
    Karen — February 18, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

    Jessica, you have outdone yourself!


  39. #
    tracy {pale yellow} — February 18, 2013 @ 3:04 pm

    Bourbon for every meal of the day! I support your way of thinking!


  40. #
    Lindsay @ The Live-In Kitchen — February 18, 2013 @ 3:35 pm

    Is it weird that I just want to fondue the croutons in chocolate? That can be dinner, right? I also watched the Beyonce special. I don’t even like her that much, HBO is just really good at marketing I guess.


  41. #
    Julia Jolliff — February 18, 2013 @ 3:54 pm

    This soup looks so rich and creamy–perfect for the cold winter days. I love the bourbon!


  42. #
    Michelle — February 18, 2013 @ 4:34 pm

    This looks like quite the treat!


  43. #
    Tracy C — February 18, 2013 @ 5:24 pm

    So Jessica…. I have looked for that wonderful Harvest bread at my Whole Foods, but have not been able to find it :( Can you post a picture of the bread/wrapper?? What section is it in?? Is is sliced or a loaf??? As you can
    tell, I’m really wanting to try that yummy looking bread!!! So, maybe I am a bit
    of a crazy bread stalker or something…. just saying, not that there’s anything wrong with that…. thanks :)


    • Jessica — February 18th, 2013 @ 5:31 pm

      it might be a regional thing… i find it right in the bakery with all the artisan/fresh breads. it doesn’t have a wrapper – it’s just wrapped up in plastic/cellophane!


      • Tracy C — February 27th, 2013 @ 12:35 pm

        Soooo, I know you have been seriously worried about this whole bread
        situation I have been facing… probably keeping you up at night :) lol
        But….. I think I found a great one, right at CostCo!! It looks a lot like your
        yummy Whole Foods bread, it is a multigrain with lots of seeds and goodness & it tastes great.
        Just wanted you to know :) thanks

  44. #
    Molly — February 18, 2013 @ 5:44 pm

    just made this for dinner…so good! Love the croutons!


    • Jessica — February 19th, 2013 @ 11:29 am

      so glad you liked it!


  45. #
    Regina H — February 18, 2013 @ 6:36 pm

    This looks so yummy! Do you use a Vitamix, Jessica? I just bought one and am LOVING trying out new recipes in it!


    • Jessica — February 19th, 2013 @ 11:29 am

      i don’t… i know it sounds crazy but i can’t bring myself to shell out the money! i’d rather buy shoes. i’ve been using the ninja blender which i think is about $99 at target – it works pretty well for soups but i know it’s nothing compared to a vita!


      • Regina H — February 19th, 2013 @ 12:36 pm

        I hear ya with the shoes! It took me 2 years of contemplating to finally bite the bullet and buy one. It’s helped me squeeze more raw veggies into my chocolate/cheese/fried things diet. And it makes a mean margarita! Thanks for the response! Love the blog!

  46. #
    Kim — February 18, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

    Oh my goodness, this soup is delicious! The first soup I’ve actually made and it turned out great! Only made a few changes: I used rum instead of bourbon, added a small amount (maybe 1/2 TBSP) of cornstarch to the milk to thicken the soup just a bit, and added a few sprinkles of pumpkin pie spice to add a little extra flavor. Also, since i’m a relatively poor college student, I had to blend the soup in my Magic Bullet (very small blender, usually used to make individual margaritas) so I wasn’t able to blend the pieces of onion & garlic out but it was kinda nice to have some pieces. Didn’t do the croutons, even though they sound awesome, as I’m out of bread.
    Seriously though, a great soup! Thanks for sharing the recipe!


    • Jessica — February 19th, 2013 @ 11:28 am

      so glad you tried it already and enjoyed it!


  47. #
    Caroline @ Pink Basil — February 18, 2013 @ 7:41 pm

    You had me at “bourbon” and “cinnamon sugar croutons.” YUM!


  48. #
    Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar — February 18, 2013 @ 8:03 pm

    Omggggg!! This looks so freaking yummy!


  49. #
    Abbe@This is How I Cook — February 18, 2013 @ 9:11 pm

    This looks perfect for Thanksgiving and also tomorrow. You had me at the croutons.


  50. #
    Rhyann — February 18, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

    Those whole grain bread croutons look really delicious and nutty/seedy. Where do you buy that bread or do you make yourself?


    • Jessica — February 19th, 2013 @ 11:27 am

      it’s called harvest bread and i buy it at whole foods – have been trying to recreate it at home for months now but so far have been unsuccessful.



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