I’ve been making (a version of) this soup for many years. It is soooo good – everybody that tastes it asks for the recipe!! Having said that, it just goes to show you… even when you think there’s no possible room for improvement… something comes along to show you there is~
The step of roasting the sweet potatoes whole, really, really intensifies the flavour – more than the method of pan sautéing ever will. Oven roasting, like it does to many things, just brings out the inherent goodness of this nutritionally loaded, tasty vegetable.
Now – I have a favourite winter soup recipe that’s not only impossibly improved in flavour, but easier to make. Kitchen alchemy scores again~
If you are clever and plan ahead (like you should be doing if you like to eat well…) you could roast the sweet potatoes one night while something else is in the oven. Finish the soup the next day, and you can elevate yourself to kitchen god/goddess status. In fact, the flavour is so intense, I’ve eliminated the step of adding carrots as in the original recipe. I tried it, mostly because I wanted to see what the result would be. And…? Didn’t even notice.
When you taste this, you get the sweet potato, the hint of sweetness and then the smoky heat of the chipotle peppers – a deliciously, winning combination. If you can’t find whole chipotles in adobo sauce, you can now get chipotle sauce in a small bottle, just like other hot sauces.
Roasted Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup
Someone asked me recently what my favourite dishes were. During winter… this is my fave soup, quite handily. Whether dressed up for dinner, garnished in a lovely soup plate or served for lunch in a favourite mug, I could make this every week. It’s so good, it’s been on my cold weather to-make list ever since I learned it from a chef years ago, in Vancouver. Serves 4~
Sweet potatoes, 2 medium, left whole
Olive oil, 1 TBSP
Onion, 1/2 medium, cut into small dice
Garlic, 2 cloves minced
Brown sugar, 2 TBSP
Cumin ground, 1 tsp
Coriander ground, 1 tsp
Salt, 1 tsp
Pepper, fresh ground, 1/2 tsp
Vegetable stock, approx. 3 – 4 cups (depending on size of sweet potatoes- use enough to cover veg)
1/2 – 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced (use more/less, depending on your taste for heat!)
*Optional, cream or milk, to finish, about 1/3 cup (omit for dairy free/vegan)
Roast the potatoes in a 400° oven (like a regular baked potato) until soft when pierced with a sharp knife. Approx. 45 – 60 minutes. Let cool before peeling and proceeding with recipe. Or let cool and store in fridge, to finish recipe next day.
In a deep, medium sized heavy pot over medium high, heat the olive oil. Add onions and a sprinkle of the salt and pepper and cook, for 10 – 15 minutes. What you want to see is some caramelization, which will really build the flavour. Add the garlic at the last minute, heat until fragrant, about one minute.
Add the brown sugar, cumin and coriander, and cook for about 2 – 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. The step really brings out the flavour of the spices and deepens the flavour of the brown sugar.
Cut the roasted sweet potatoes in quarters and with a large spoon, scoop out all the flesh, adding it to your pot. Add your stock or water, the remaining salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook until the veg are tender, another 10 -15 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat and let it cool slightly, before puréeing. Add the chipotle pepper and blend with a stick blender, or, process in batches in a blender. (Add the cream or milk if desired.)