Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving and the Inn at Little Washington

 I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is next week and I have eight people coming for dinner.  The only thing I have done is make my grocery list.  While I like to cook, I rarely ever repeat a recipe (there are just too many things out there to try and life is short).  The one thing I do over at Thanksgiving though is my soup recipe from the famed Inn at Little Washington which sits right in the middle of the Virginia Hunt Country about 1 1/2 hours from DC.  I use this recipe year after year and only make it for Thanksgiving.  It is served as a first course and it is divine! I don't serve sweet potatoes with my dinner, this is where they come in:

 Sweet Potato Soup with Rum Cream

Serves 10
3 T butter
9 c chicken stock
1 t curry powder
5-6 sweet potatoes
1/4 c maple syrup
2-3 twigs thyme or 1 t dried
cayenne pepper
1 c cream
1/8 t nutmeg
salt and white pepper to taste

Rum Cream
1 c heavy cream
1/2 t fresh lemon juice
1/4 t grated lemon zest
3 T good dark rum
pinch of sugar

In a heavy bottom saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onion and curry and cook for about 6 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. In another pan heat the stock to a simmer. Add the sweet potato  to the onion then to the stock, maple syrup, thyme and cayenne. Cook about 25 minutes.  Remove the thyme sprigs and puree the soup in a blender or food processor in small batches and strain.  Return to the stove in a large pot and add the cream, nutmeg and salt and white pepper. Transfer the soup to individual bowls and top with the rum cream sauce.

Rum Cream

In a bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form, add the lemon juice, zest, rum and sugar. Continue whipping until the cream is almost stiff.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


The Inn at Little Washington is very well known and is very expensive.  Dinner there will set you back a few hundred and rooms even more.  It's most recent claim to fame is hosting Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds on their honeymoon.  It is well known in "foodie" circles - I personally don't get that much enjoyment in spending hundreds of dollars for dinner. But many people do.

The Inn itself is very overdone.  It is almost a "bordello" style and it is not my own personal cup of tea. Too ornate, too much "stuff" but obviously many people adore it.

The area is really lovely.  It is worth riding by, checking out the tiny town of Washington, Virginia.  The recipe is from this cookbook:


  1. That Inn looks fabulous and so does the soup recipe! Thanks for sharing it! I will definitely try it! I don't like to cook the same thing twice either! I love to read recipes and I love to try new dishes!

  2. I totally agree with your opinion of the "Inn"! "Ornate and Baroque" really are not suitable for the Virginia "Hunt Country"!?

    But I won't argue with success!

    I love Virginia, I love your part of it!

    And this looks like a fabulous recipe! Sweet potatoes are really really good for us!

    My "Granny" lived with us when I was growing up......and she stuffed us full of "sweet potatoes"!

    Thanks Granny!

    Now I am the Granny and all seven will be together with us for the first time in 3 years or more! We are ecstatic!

    3 grandchildren (they brought their parents) have moved back here after 8 years in Switzerland; 2 have been here except for one year in Spain......and 2 will be visiting here with their cousins from Marblehead Massachusetts! All seven together starting Monday! Yikes!!

    Thank you for the great menu..and your terrific blog! I adore it!!



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