Why this soup? I do like tomatoes and a really good creamy soup using them, but truthfully I had an excess amount of tomatoes that were starting to age. There was no way those babies were going to be wasted! I also had some kajmak - more of what this is in a moment - to use up too. Ah, yes, a new recipe was born.
It doesn't take much to please my palate. Delicious and nutritious is really all I ask for. This soup meets the need. It tickles the tongue with fresh and sun-dried tomatoes in a tangy bath. Kajmak shines -- truly makes the marvelous mouthfuls of creamy goodness. Chicken stock, basil, olive oil, and sweet potatoes all hold strong supporting roles in this body-hugging soup that is perfect on a winter's day.
You could probably use any of your favorite cheeses to give it a creamy effect but I recommend using kajmak. The flavor can't be beaten! So, please, what is kajmak (pronounced kai-muck) anyway?
Kajmak is explained here as a type of cheese created from milk along with cream and some salt. It's a very popular and traditional Serbian cream cheese served with bread or crackers or used in place of sour cream. It can be eaten warm or cold as a condiment in sandwiches and on hamburger patties. I thought it the perfect ingredient to add depth and robustness to this soup. It does not disappoint! Like most cheese, nutrition includes the expected calcium and other minerals but if you buy it fresh from a reputable source, it is likely antimicrobials will be present in the product. I buy kajmak at a local farmer's market from a trustworthy company that uses the best ingredients to make their kajmak. The bonus of nutrition while supporting the local community!
Of course, there's more nutrition found here than in just the kajmak: sweet potatoes offer eye health vitamins and the oil from the extra-virgin olive oil helps your body absorb the nutrients from the sweet potatoes. EVOO is also necessary for optimal brain and heart function. Other ingredients like basil, onions, and garlic up antioxidant levels. And let's not forget the tomatoes. Oh my goodness, the goodness! They also contain stellar vitamins to help keep you strong through the cold and flu season. Yay!
If you want to add to your food knowledge (kajmak), have the stove top do most of the work, and drink in a healthy soup then this recipe is for you.
I welcome your comments. Enjoy! #urfoodstory
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil (I used Tuscan from a local source)
- 1 large yellow or white onion, chopped (approximately 1 cup)
- 2 small sweet potatoes, peeled, chopped (approximately ½ to ¾ cup)
- 1 garlic clove, peeled, finely chopped
- 4 large pieces of sun-dried tomatoes, soaked in water (reserve), chopped (approximately ¼ cup)
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 6 large tomatoes, deseeded, chopped (approximately 2 cups)
- 1 heaping tablespoon, dried basil or ¼ cup fresh basil
- ¾ cup kajmak
- Place sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl. Pour water to cover. Set aside.
- Heat EVOO on low-medium in a large pan.
- Add onion and sweet potatoes to pan, stirring often, for about 20 minutes. Pour water from sun-dried tomatoes in the pan, stir.
- Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces and add to the pan. Add the garlic. Cook for another 15 minutes to soften further, stirring often.
- Add chicken broth, tomatoes and basil. Simmer for about 35 minutes to soften tomatoes.
- Add the kajmak and stir to melt. Immediately take off heat.
- In a blender or food processor -- which may need to be done in batches -- puree the soup to your desired consistency.
- Reheat the pureed soup in a pot on the stove. Serve with your favorite bread.