Sweet Potato and Chipotle Soup
I know it’s not exactly soup season anymore as spring is in full swing and summer is around the corner, but for me, it’s soup season anytime of year. I mean, my all time favorite soup is my heirloom tomato soup, which is basically a summer and early fall soup. I make batches upon batches of that soup and don’t mind making it in 90-degree heat, because it’s that good. I wasn’t planning on posting anymore soup recipes for the season, but I saw this recipe in It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel GreatGwyneth’s new cookbook and I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I made it up, and was happy that I did.
This soup is wonderfully creamy, but without the cream, as it’s dairy free and vegan to boot. Woo hoo! I love that it’s made with simple whole-food ingredients and most of them I already had stocked in my pantry, besides the sweet potatoes that is. The soup is sweet and creamy but with a spicy kick to it from the chipotle. John and I loved this soup. The kids liked it, but it’s not their favorite soup. They seemed to like it a bit more when I threw on some homemade croutons, as they liked having that extra texture.
I know sweet potatoes aren’t exactly in season this time of year, as they’re more of a fall vegetable, but at my local market they are selling them up by the boatloads. Most supermarkets label them as Yams. The ones I used were called Garnet Yams, and they tend to be a bit sweeter than a sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are chock full of heath benefits. They are heart healthy because they contain a large amount of B6, they’re also rich in beta carotene (vitamin A) which is an important antioxidant and cancer preventer, vitamin A is also great for your eye health, which is great for me because I think I might need some bifocals. They’re also rich in vitamin C and E, which are potent antioxidant vitamins that play an important role in disease prevention and longevity. Sweet potatoes also are high in fiber (about 7 grams per serving) and they are a great source of manganese, which helps you metabolize carbohydrates, so basically you feel full longer because it helps stabilize the appetite. Who knew that sweet potatoes were chock-full of all that nutrition. You can make this soup up now if you see some yams at your local market, or bookmark this for fall. Don’t worry, I will be sure to remind you all about this soup come fall.
sweet potato and chipotle soup:
recipe from It’s all Good
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 5-6 sprigs of cilantro, sprigs tied together with a piece of kitchen string
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle in adobo (or more/less if you like) – I actually used this easy and convenient chipotle adobo paste from The Art of Chipotle.
- 2 large sweet potatoes (also called Garnet yams), peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups) – To get 6 cups you want to get 2 really large sweet potatoes. I weighed mine and it was a bit over 2.5-pounds. You may want to get a small one as well to slice, pan fry and serve up on top of the soup.
- 6 cups vegetable stock
Here’s the chipotle paste I used below. To me, it’s so much easier than opening up a can and dealing with the mess and hassle of mincing up tiny chiles. All you have to do is insert your measuring spoon and voila, you’re done. I also love that I can store the leftovers in the fridge and re-use it again and again. I found this paste at my local Whole Foods next to the canned chilies.
Let’s prep all of your ingredients! I swear that prepping ingredients always saves time when it comes to cooking, because I know I have everything I need for the recipe and it’s all ready to go when I start cooking. Below is a photo of how I truly organize everything when I cook. As you can see, I don’t make my own vegetable stock, maybe someday, but for now I love that brand below from Imagine. The carton contains 4 cups, so since this recipe calls for 6 cups, I just measured out 2 additional cups from another carton. Tie up the cilantro sprigs with leaves attached with some kitchen string (excuse my photo below of the sprigs, I originally misinterpreted the instructions when I took the photos and removed the cilantro leaves, so please keep the leaves on the cilantro). Measure out the cumin and salt and put them together in a small bowl. Dice up your red onion and mince your garlic cloves. I always throw the garlic on top of the onion since they will be going into the pot together. Dice up the 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotles in adobo or just use the paste that I showed above. Peel and dice up your sweet potatoes. If you’re not sure how to peel and dice a sweet potato, I will show you below.
Below is a picture of the sweet potates, see how huge they are? They weighed a little over 2.5-pounds.
Add in the onion, garlic, cilantro sprigs (with leaves attached not just the stems like my below photo shows), cumin and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are softened, but not browned, about 6-8 minutes.
When the soup comes to a boil, lower the heat to simmer and let the soup simmer uncovered, until the sweet potatoes are very soft, (just pierce them with a fork) about 10-15 minutes. I made two batches of this soup and my potatoes were very soft at 12 minutes both times. The original recipe said 30 minutes, but I think they might have made the sweet potatoes chunks larger than I did. Timing will vary, so just test the potatoes at 10 minutes to see where they’re at. Below is what the soup looks like before it’s ready to be pureed.
Puree the soup using either a hand-held immersion blender or a regular blender. If you’re using a blender, you will want to puree the soup in 2 batches, pouring the first pureed batch into a bowl while you puree the second batch. Return both pureed batches to the soup pot after. Tip: If you’re using a blender, wipe out the soup pot while you’re pureeing the soup, so that you have a nice clean pot to pour the pureed soup back into.
John and I love this soup topped with some sautéed sliced sweet potatoes (which I show you how to make below). My kids love it topped with some of the croutons that I make for my carrot ginger soup. We all like having some texture when eating a soup.
If you have some leftover sweet potato, try pan frying a few pieces to jazz up the soup. Just peel and thinly slice the sweet potato. Slice up as many slices as you want for each bowl. I usually slice up 2 per bowl.
Fry the squash till browned on both sides.
Top the pan fried squash on top of the soup for a beautiful presentation.