Ultra Vires


Flavourful Fall Recipes

A hearty soup and a cozy banana bread to ease you into autumn

Sweet Potato Soup

Makes: 4 to 5 servings

Prep. time: 20 minutes prep. + 20 minutes cooking


1 tbsp. vegetable oil

1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed

2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed (Russet potatoes are starchier, so they break down and thicken the soup more easily, but others work just fine)

1 small apple, peeled and cubed (any mild, sweet apple like Gala works)

3 ½ cups vegetable stock (can be substituted for chicken stock as well)

Pinch of cinnamon (or more if you really like cinnamon)

Maple syrup (to taste, approx 1 tbsp.)

Salt and pepper (to taste)


  1. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. 
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook until softened—about 5 minutes. 
  3. Add garlic, then cook for an additional minute or two, until fragrant. Stir frequently to avoid burning. 
  4. Add the sweet potato, potato, and apple to the pot, then pour the stock in. It should just barely cover the potatoes and apples. You may need to use a bit more or less than 3 ½ cups, depending on the exact size of the vegetables you are using. 
  5. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then cover with a well-fitting lid and reduce the heat to low for about 20 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a sharp knife. Take the mixture off the heat, and let it cool for a few minutes. 
  6. Using an immersion blender in the pot, or ladling the mixture into a stand blender, purée the mixture until completely smooth. I prefer the second method as it ensures maximum smoothness.
  7. If using a stand blender, return the soup to the pot. Mix in the maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Feel free to experiment by adding any other spices or flavourings.
  8. Warm over medium-low heat, then serve immediately. You can also keep the soup in an airtight container in the fridge for 4 to 5 days, or freeze then reheat it as needed.

Banana Bread 

Makes: 1 loaf

Prep. time: 15 minutes prep. + 55 minutes cooking


½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar, plus a few tablespoons 

1 large egg, room temperature

3 bananas, mashed

1 tsp. vanilla

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

½ tsp. baking soda

Pinch of salt

Pinch of cinnamon (optional)

1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips


  1. Preheat your oven to 350º F.
  2. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray or a sliver of butter.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and the 1 cup of brown sugar together until smooth and paler in colour, about 3 minutes. A hand or stand mixer works best for this step, but a whisk can work in a pinch.
  4. Add in the egg, mashed bananas, and vanilla. Stir until well combined. 
  5. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Stir until just combined—do not overmix! (Too much mixing results in too many gluten chains, which creates dense and unsatisfying banana bread.) 
  6. Add in the chocolate chips–again, just a light stir to get them well-distributed. Do not overmix!
  7. Pour the batter into your well-greased loaf pan, smoothing it out with a spatula to ensure even baking. Sprinkle a tbsp. or two of brown sugar on top for an optional sugary topping. 
  8. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until a knife/toothpick/pointy object of your choosing inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out mostly batter-free. Most recipes say to bake until the knife comes out clean. However, if you’re impatient and/or like your banana bread moist, I find it can actually taste better if there’s still a little bit of batter left. 
  9. Let cool (if you can wait) and serve. You can also eat a warm slice straight out of the pan— once you’ve posted a picture of it on your Instagram story for posterity, of course. 

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