Herbed sweet potato bisque with pears

Herbed Sweet Potato Bisque with Pears
Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme plus additional and/or optional garnish
2 large pears, peeled, cored, and chopped
3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
5 cups turkey, chicken, duck, or vegetable stock
¾ cup milk
½ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Large pinch cinnamon
Large pinch ground cloves
Coarse salt and freshly ground white or black pepper

1. In a large pot set over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft but not colored, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the pears, sweet potatoes, and stock and simmer, uncovered, until tender, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool.

2. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender or food processor and return it to the pot. Stir in the stock, milk, cream, cumin, cinnamon, and cloves, and reheat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve garnished with chopped thyme, if you like.

About Andrea Immer Robinson:
Andrea is one of the country's leading wine educators, is one of only fifteen women in the world who have been appointed Master Sommelier by the prestigious Court of Master Sommeliers. She was the first woman ever chosen Best Sommelier in the United States by the Sommelier Society of America, and is also the first appointed Dean of Wine Studies for The French Culinary Institute in New York City, where she graduated with honors from its renowned 600-hour professional culinary program. Andrea was named Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional by the James Beard Foundation in 2002, and was selected by Bon Appetit Magazine as Wine & Spirits Professional of The Year in 2004.

Andrea has served since 2005 on the Board of Trustees for Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa. In May of 2004 Andrea was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's "Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America." In October 2004, Andrea was honored with the M.F.K. Fisher Award by the Les Dames d'Escoffier International. She was also awarded the Wine Appreciation Guild's 2005 Wine Literary Award for her works in wine journalism.

San Francisco Food Bank and Glide Food Programs Benefit From Macy's Million Meals Donation
Macy's is giving the ultimate gift this Thanksgiving season - 1 million meals to those at risk of hunger - through a grant to Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. In addition, Macy's Culinary Council chefs will take time from their fall tour to join Macy's employee volunteers to benefit local hunger-relief charities. On Nov. 26, the day before Thanksgiving, Macy's Culinary Council Chef Andrea Robinson will prepare and serve meals with Macy's Partners in Time employee volunteers with Glide Memorial Church in partnership with the San Francisco Food Bank. Chef Robinson will help to prepare her signature recipe, Pumpkin Spice Cake for 5,000 people. Macy's volunteers will then help serve 5,000 Thanksgiving Meals and distribute 5,000-bagged snacks on Thanksgiving Day. Macy's volunteers also will help to give out meals to 800 families with the San Francisco Food Bank at neighborhood pantries on Nov. 21.

About Macy's Culinary Council:
Macy's has a number of culinary initiatives that impact the way customers shop, cook and eat at home including the Macy's Culinary Council, a national culinary authority comprised of 16 of the nation's top chefs. Macy's Culinary Council fall tour, Oct. 22 - Nov. 13, visits 12 cities where chefs demonstrate their favorite recipes and offer special cooking tips and techniques. Customers can access the Macy's Culinary Council online by visiting www.macys.com/culinarycouncil for the latest recipes, tips and events. Macy's Culinary Council includes culinary masters Govind Armstrong, Rick Bayless, Elizabeth Brown, Cat Cora, Tom Douglas, Todd English, Tyler Florence, Gale Gand, Dave Lieberman, Wolfgang Puck, Andrea Robinson, Marcus Samuelsson, Nancy Silverton, Tim Scott, Ming Tsai and Takashi Yagihashi. These chefs serve as the face of Macy's Culinary and Housewares divisions.

Macy's Community Impact:
Macy's 2008 "Million Meals" grant will fund Feeding America to provide at least 1 million meals, through its nationwide network of member food banks. Macy's has had a long history of support for the hunger cause. Beginning in 1998, Macy's volunteers made a pledge to "Bag Hunger," collecting food and donations totaling 40.3 million pounds, providing 62 million meals, to local charities nationwide - many in the Feeding America network.

In its 150-year history, Macy's has had very close ties to the cities it calls home. Collectively, contributions from the company and the Macy's Foundation, as well as employee contributions through workplace giving campaigns and customer contributions through our signature giving programs - totaled more than $78.4 million last year. Macy's Partners in Time employee volunteers gave more than 1.5 million hours of service - valued at $25 million - to charities around the country since the program was founded in 1989.
Website: www.macys.com/thanksgivingmeals

About San Francisco Food Bank:
The San Francisco Food Bank provides healthy food to alleviate hunger through distribution to neighborhood pantries, opening its warehouse to agencies to "shop" for selected foods, as well as providing relief in the event of a citywide disaster or individual crisis. It partners with more than 600 community-based programs to provide food through senior and daycare centers, public schools, soup kitchens and other venues.
Website: www.sffoodbank.org

About Feeding America:
Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest) provides individuals and families facing hunger with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief charity, their network members supply food to more than 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. Feeding America serves the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks, which operate 63,000 agencies that address hunger through emergency food assistance and programs. To find out where Feeding America helps near you and how you can help visit their website.
Website: www.feedingamerica.org

About Macy's:
Macy's, the largest retail brand of Macy's, Inc., delivers fashion and affordable luxury to customers at more than 800 locations in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Offering distinctive assortments including exclusive fashion and home brands, Macy's stores are operated by four regionally based retail divisions - Macy's East, Macy's Florida, Macy's Central, and Macy's West - and an online store at www.macys.com.

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