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Simple Savory Sweet Potato Soup

sweets 2jpgSweet potatoes create a smooth orange soup that is quick to prepare. The fire of cayenne pepper cuts their natural sweetness. The first version is inspired by Southern cooking, with its roasted peanut and scallion garnish. The second is seasoned with the Mexican flavors of lime and cilantro. This is a simple recipe, but feel free to fool with it, adding spices like curry, to the sauté, root veggies to the simmer and ingredients like coconut milk to finish — whatever delights you! Makes about 2-1/2 quarts, easily halved

Holiday tip: This is an efficient use for thanksgiving leftovers, although the recipe work equally well with raw ones.

2 large onions, diced (3 cups)
2 large celery rib, diced (2 cups)
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6), peeled and thinly sliced or 6 roasted sweet potatoes, peeled (about 3 cups packed)
About 1 quart chicken or vegetable stock
About 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
About 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

Southern Style Version 1:
Garnish with —
Chives or scallion greens, sliced on the diagonal
Roasted peanuts, chopped
A touch of cream, optional

Mexican Style Version 2:
Prepare the soup, omitting version 1 garnish. Instead, season with lime and garnish with cilantro.
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Chopped cilantro

1. Cook the onion and celery in the oil over a medium-low heat, until the onion is transparent but not brown, about 5 minutes.

2-Add the sweet potatoes, if they are raw, with half the stock. Simmer until soft, about 20 minutes. If the sweets are cooked, add them, but no need to simmer.

3-Add sweet potato mixture to a food processor and puree until smooth, scraping down the bowl, if necessary. Return to the pot, and add remaining stock. Season with salt and cayenne to taste. (Be careful on the salt if you are using store-bought stock. It may not be needed.)  If needed, add a touch of extra stock to reach the consistency of a thick soup.

4- Finish
Southern Style Version 1:
Garnish with scallions and peanuts for Southern version 1, drizzling each bowl with a little cream, before garnishing, if you like.  

Mexican Style version 2:
Season the soup with lime and garnish with cilantro.

5 comments to Simple Savory Sweet Potato Soup

  • What a fantastic addition to any Thanksgiving! MMMMMM…MMMMM…GOOD! (And I am NOT talking about canned soup!) Happy Holidays!

  • Amy Cotler

    Well, enjoy! Have you signed up for my regular recipe blog posts? Hope so. Stay in touch and enjoy my new book…hot off the press and a great gift. Sorry to be so mercenary, but I love my work! I welcome ALL feedback….

  • Amy Cotler

    You too! Just back. Hung over and thinking up new recipes!

  • Amy Cotler

    Funny you mention canned soup. I love soup, but when I worked on about 100 soup recipes for the revised Joy of Cooking we realized that my beloved copy from the ’70s has lots and lots of doctored canned soup recipes. Live here in the USA has really changed. Hope you had a swell holiday…. (And by the way, in a pinch…)

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