I love sweet potatoes. Plain and simple or with other ingredients, but never ever with all that butter and sugar that many people serve as a vegetable at Thanksgiving. (There's more sugar and fat in that dish than in a normal pie, for crying out loud. Talk about overkill. And it doesn't even taste good; it just tastes like sugar.). One of my favorite meals is a plate of steaming brown rice and some boiled sweet potatoes, lightly mashed and served plain, that's how much I love the taste of sweet potatoes. As part of a main meal, in a soup, in burritos, in salad... love 'em.
This soup was inspired by and named after a neighbor who wasn't feeling well. We had recently been talking about sweet potato and kale soup, and when I found out she was ill, my mind started thinking of comfort food... first my thoughts went to my Il Templari variation with sweet potatoes, then to a sweet potato-black bean soup I love, but neither sounded quite like what would appeal to me if I were fighting off a bug. Then it hit me: cream of sweet potato soup, without the dairy! I started thinking about what I would put in it and came up with the ingredient list below.
Of course I knew a sweet potato puree soup wasn't a novel idea, and a quick search on the internet confirmed this. There are many delicious-sounding variations of a sweet potato puree soup, many of them very similar to what I made. I went with my original instincts of what would feel comforting to me and plunged in. The result: one of my new favorite soups. And yes, I may be breaking my arm patting myself on the back, but this truly is a keeper for me and one I know I'll make often. It's very simple, very easy, and muy delicioso!
For the first time, I'm endorsing a product: the broth I used for this soup. The reason is very simple: when I opened the box of broth and tasted it, I was struck by its richness and depth of flavor. I think it made a huge difference in how the soup turned out; I believe it really brought out the sweetness and flavor of the sweet potatoes. Feel free to use whatever broth you like, but consider giving this one a shot. I am not receiving any compensation for this endorsement (but if they'd like to reward me with some free broth I wouldn't say no).
I only had two sweet potatoes so that's what my ingredient amounts are based on. You can, of course, easily increase the amounts.
On with the show:
CATE JANE'S SWEET POTATO PUREE SOUP
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1/2 c. diced onion
- 2 peeled and chopped carrots
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- about 2 c. vegetable broth (highly recommend Pacific Organic Low Sodium Vegetable Broth)
- 1/4 t. ground ginger or more
Cut sweet potatoes into thirds and cook in a covered pot in about 1" of water until very tender. Drain and cool; slip off peels.
While potatoes are cooling, over a low heat, cook remaining veggies in a very small amount of olive oil until onions are translucent. Add broth and cover; simmer until veggies are very soft.
Puree sweet potatoes with a small amount of liquid from veggies. Put in soup pot. Puree other veggies in food processor in small batches and add slowly to sweet potatoes, stirring to check consistency. I used all the broth and veggies in this batch. Add ginger. Heat gently, and serve.
If I'd had fresh ginger I would have added it. You can also add cinnamon and/or nutmeg. I chose not to add the last two because I wanted the sweet potato taste to be simple, clean, and in the front, but another time, depending on my mood, I might add any and all of those. I think a hint of rosemary would also be good in this, especially as a winter soup, with a warm rosemary polenta or cornbread on the side.
You can, of course, add dairy (cream, milk, a swirl of plain yogurt or sour cream). I think if I served this cold I might add a dollop of plain yogurt for the tang.
Although I am not a fan of cold soups, this is delicious, smooth, and light when eaten cold, and would be perfect for a hot summer evening meal, with perhaps a wild rice salad or some marinated green beans...
However you serve it, do give it a try, and as you do, remember to cook, eat, dance, love!