I have been making this soup for years! It’s always been a particular fave when cool weather returns and it brings back fond memories of the Chef I learned it from, years ago in Vancouver. For anyone who has ever tasted this soup… it’s usually love at first bite. Then they ask for the recipe. ‘Spose you could call this post a pre-emptive strike.
It’s such an interesting combination of flavours dancing across your palate – the earthiness of cumin, the sweetness of that most orange of tubers, the yam – which is subtly enhanced by the brown sugar… and finally the smoky heat of the chipotle pepper. To make it vegan, use only olive oil, veg stock or water and omit the cream at the end. This is fanTAStico… whichever way you make it~
Spicy, Smokey Yam & Chipotle Soup
The addition of brown sugar really makes this sing. It intensifies the natural sweetness of the yams and is a perfect counter balance to the smokey heat of the chipotle peppers. While I have tried this with dried chipotle powder, I find it’s much better with the actual smoked Jalapeños, that come canned and packed in adobo sauce. You’ll find them in all the big grocers with the Mexican food, and what you don’t use, will last indefinitely in a covered glass container in the fridge. Like most soups, this is better the next day.
Olive oil, 2 tbsp
Butter, 1 tbsp
Yams, 2 medium, cut into small, thin pieces; they will cook quicker, with more surface area to caramelize
Carrots, 2 large, cut into small, thin pieces – same idea as the yams
Onion, 1/2 medium, cut into small dice
Garlic, 1 clove, minced
Brown sugar, 1 tbsp
Cumin, 1 tsp
Coriander, 1/2 tsp
Salt, 1 tsp
Pepper, 1/2 tsp
Chicken stock/veg stock/water enough to cover (approx 2 – 3 cups)
1/2 – 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, diced
*Optional, cream or milk, to finish, about 1/2 cup
1. In a deep, medium sized heavy pot over medium high heat add the olive oil and butter and heat until foamy. Add the carrots and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the yams, onions and a sprinkle of the salt and pepper – continue to 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.
2. Add the brown sugar, cumin, the remaining salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes. The heat and the oil/butter will bring out the flavour of the spices and deepen the flavour of the brown sugar Add your stock or water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a simmer, cover and cook until the veg are tender; this will depend on how long you cooked the veg, but should be about another 10 -15 minutes.
3. 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. For a touch of richness, add the cream or milk at the end.