Creamy Smoked Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 6 to 8. Recipe is by Samantha Foglesong, of Baton Rouge, first-place winner in the fresh category of the 2014 Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest sponsored by the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission and Louisiana Cookin’ magazine.

4 extra-large sweet potatoes (about 5 lbs.)

4 cups seafood stock

2 cups heavy whipping cream

¾ tsp. kosher salt, divided

½ tsp. ground cinnamon

¼ tsp. ground nutmeg

1 lb. fresh jumbo lump crab meat, picked free of shells

1 tbl. fresh lemon juice

1?8 tsp. crushed red pepper

2 tbls. unsalted butter, melted

1 tbl. thinly sliced chives

1. Prepare a smoker to 200 F.

2. Smoke sweet potatoes 2½ to 3 hours. Let cool, and peel. In a large Dutch oven, combine sweet potatoes, stock and cream. With an immersion blender, blend on high speed until smooth. Heat over medium heat, and add ½ teaspoon salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl; discard solids.

3. In a medium bowl, combine crab, lemon juice, red pepper, remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, butter and chives. Divide soup among bowls and top with crab meat mixture.