Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

>> Tuesday, January 5, 2010

As part of my New Years resolution to eat healthier, I have been on a real soup binge. Soups are a great way to incorporate vegetables into your diet and making your own is much better than reheating something from a can (remember canned soup were among the top 10 WORST foods to eat!)

Straight up: this soup takes a while, however I find in the end its so much more rewarding to create something truly healthy, and delicious for yourself. If I can make it after a long day of work and gym, so can you!


  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 medium carrot in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1-2 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • About 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar (this will really be to taste)
  • 2 tsps of cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (this is 100% optional - mine was a little too spicy tonight so it had to be added :) )
  • EVOO
  • 1/2 tbsp butter 

This is going to be a little lengthy but its not hard, so just stay with me. Firstly, get a medium size sauce pan going on medium heat. Add in a drizzle of EVOO and add about 1/2 tbsp of butter. The olive oil and butter is a great combo. The oil prevents the butter from burning while the two distinct flavors just mingle together.

Next, add your onion and lightly salt and pepper (don't need to go overboard on seasoning now). We are just going to "sweat" the onions. After about 5 minutes its time to add our diced celery and carrots. Basically we are forming a mirepoix which will become the flavor base for our soup. That is really all a soup is, chapter, after chapter of flavor building, until you reach the end and the story is complete :)

Stir the mirepoix every couple of minutes to make sure there is no burning or sticking to the sauce pan (remember we are still on medium heat). In the meantime, peel, quarter and slice the sweet potatoes into 1/2 cubes. Take into account that we are attempting to cook these pieces on a similar time schedule. Once the potatoes are cubed add to the pot. Fill up the pot with just enough chicken broth so that it barely covers the tops of the potatoes. Add in your brown sugar and cayenne pepper and mix with soup. Bring the mixure to a boil. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce to a simmer and cover for about 30 minutes.

In the meantime, clean your kitchen, load the dishwasher, fold your laundry, drink a glass of wine, there is no need to stand by the pot and watch the soup cook. It may be time consuming, but that doesn't mean you can't do anything else while you wait!

After 30 minutes, open the lid and smell the fruits of your labor. Try your broth. Is it too sweet? Too spicy? At this point its not too late to change the flavor profile, so adjust as you see fit.

Take your soup in batches and puree in either a blender or a food processor. Once the mixture (however now its really looking like soup!) is done blending place over a sieve and into a separate bowl or sauce pan. Sieve? What's a sieve? A sieve is basically a strainer that we are going to use to help our soup become velvet. If you like your soups more like a stew, then simple finish pureeing and return to the pot! Viola! However, if you are like me and love a smooth, creamy soup there's just one more step...

Once you have the puree poured in the sieve over a bowl, let the liquid seep through. Eventually this will leave you with a mess of potatoes, carrots, celery and onion...take a wooden spoon and push the contents from the sieve through to the bowl. Once the content have been pushed through you are left with a velvet like concoction that will make your mouth water. I am not going to lie, this is very time consuming and may not be for everyone. I hate it. I hate it so much. However, now that I have started to use this technique there is no way that I can go back. I just love the texture that it brings! Repeat the sieve process until all the puree is gone.

Return the strained mixture to the sauce pan and reheat on medium-low heat. If you feel like it, here is your chance to add your cream, if not, dinner is served!

I hope you will enjoy this recipe as much as I have. It's so tasty!

Will any of you be trying this? How do you feel about sweet potato soup? Let me know!


Unknown January 5, 2010 at 3:55 PM  

oh my gosh... I can't wait to try this!!! Sounds so delicious. So glad you saved me some. YUM!

Jackie January 11, 2010 at 11:39 AM  

this sounds soo good! once i have a life again and don't commute 4 hrs a day i will be trying this :)

Unknown January 12, 2010 at 4:09 PM  

I was just thinking about you using the back of the spoon on the sieve....a cheaper alternative to what I told you about would be just buy a bowl scraper and use that, theyre like 80 cents.

Anna - Penny Sophisticate January 18, 2010 at 1:08 PM  

Yum! And I have sweet potatoes that need to be used. Thanks for posting this!


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