Sunday, May 19, 2013

Cate Jane's Sweet Potato Puree Soup

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:


  • 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!

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