A luscious little soup

The minute it gets cool and fall-ish like last weekend, my mind switches over to soup mode, and although it’s warming up again here where we live, it’s never too early to make a great soup…especially one that’s just as good warm as it is hot.

This spicy peanut and sweet potato soup checks a lot of boxes for me: 1. it’s savory,  2. it’s spicy,  3. it’s a teensy bit sweet, but in a savory sort of way (does that make sense?),  4. it has a teensy bit of Asian flair to it, too  5. also a teensy bit of an African flair to it,  6. I’ve used the word “teensy” too many times, haven’t I?,  7. leftovers freeze and reheat well, if you have any leftover,  8. it’s healthy, but it doesn’t necessarily taste “healthy,”  9. it’s easy to make,  10. it’s great for a light lunch or dinner,  11. it uses up a lot of items I have in my pantry and from my CSA box.
Need I say more?

But of course I will. The soup I’m speaking of is Ellie Krieger’s recipe for Nutty Sweet Potato Soup, which is from her book: The Food You Crave, and is one of my favorite cookbooks. I will point out that this has a different name in her book…for some reason…and is called Sweet and Spicy Peanut Soup, but is the same recipe as the link above. I’ve adapted this slightly to suit my taste and my thought that in this case, at least, more is more! I like to serve this with a side salad combining mixed greens, a fresh fruit like apple or pear, walnuts or pecans, a Fourme d’Ambert blue cheese crumble and a drizzle of a homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Here’s my adaptation of this lovely soup, and it makes 8 servings:

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 medium onions, peeled and diced
1 large red bell pepper, peeled and diced
3 carrots peeled, trimmed and diced
1/2 teaspoon plus a pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, or 1 large, minced
2 teaspoons of peeled and minced fresh ginger
6 small or 3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks (about 1 inch)
8 cups low sodium, low fat chicken broth
1-14 ounce can of no-salt diced tomatoes and their juice
3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter, organic if possible, and lower salt if possible
1 1/2 Tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, or to taste after adding the peanut butter
chopped scallions, both white and greens for garnish, if desired

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat. Add the onion, bell pepper and carrots, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened. Add the cayenne pepper, black pepper, garlic and ginger, and stir for a minute, then add the sweet potatoes, broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil, stirring once to combine. Reduce the heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are nice and tender. Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to puree the soup (you can do batches in a regular blender, too, just be careful of the hot liquid and return it all to the big pot when done). Add the peanut butter and honey, return the pot to low heat and stir until the peanut butter has melted. Add the salt and taste for seasoning. Serve and garnish with the scallions if desired.

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15 thoughts on “A luscious little soup

    • Cecilia, it doesn’t have a strong peanut butter flavor, to me at least…more like an undertone and richness of peanut. And you could cut back on the peanut butter, too, if you wanted. The main thing is to use an all natural peanut butter, not commercial. You need the kind that you have to stir the oil back into before you use it, kind of like tahini. It works best and is better for you!

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  1. So, if I read both recipes right, you upped the amount of sweet potato, yes? And used olive oil. Beautiful color. I wish I got sweet potatoes in my CSA. I get winter squashes and an avalanche of greens starting now.

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    • Yes, you’re correct…I upped the sweet potatoes by more than half, and used the olive oil instead of canola. Plus added more onion and carrot for flavor and body and added more broth to compensate for the extra bulk of the veg. Then I doubled the ginger and increased the peanut butter from 2/3 to 3/4, added more honey, a pinch more cayenne and added salt. This last batch of baby sweet potatoes was the best we’ve had from the CSA so far. Roasted butternut squash makes great soup, too, and if you get that in your box…I’ll be jealous!

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  2. Pingback: Soups, Stews, Chilis and Chowders: Part One, The Puréed. | bits and breadcrumbs

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