Sunday, January 6, 2013

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Drinking: Intelligentsia Chai Tea concentrate with almond milk 
Listening to: The Lumineers album 'The Lumineers'

<3 Beta Carotene
I may be a little too excited about my new hand blender, or I am just in a cooking mood from this blog. I spent another night cooking this weekend and wanted to share with everyone before my busy week begins.  I had a taste for a sweet potato soup with carrot and ginger, so I started researching a few recipes and went to purchase some ingredients.  I ended up using a can of tomatoes with jalepenos instead of plain tomatoes due to forgetting to grab a plain can at the store. The spice in the soup was an accident, but a very advantageous one.

These ingredients looked so beautiful together.. The gorgeous, vibrant orange soup the veggies created was perfect for a chilly January night.

<3 chai
I started my evening with a mug of chai tea and almond milk.  This Intelligentsia chai tea concentrate is worth every penny. I found it at Lemon Tree in downtown Downers Grove.  Seriously, go get it now.

First step was to fire up the pot! This gem was a Christmas gift last year that remains permanently on display in my kitchen.  It is huge and red and perfect for soup/chili/stew making.  Thanks, Paula Dean, for designing such a beauty.

it's a beautiful thing
Into the pot went the carrots, red pepper, and onion with olive oil to cook until softened, about 7 minutes over high heat.

Next, I added the spices, garlic, and ginger, and continued to saute on med-high heat for just a few minutes to coat all the veggies.

Then in went the sweet potato, tomatoes with jalepeno, and veggie broth. I pre-boiled the sweet potato to make it easier to peel (about 10 minutes), so it was already soft and didn't need much more cooking.  I brought this to a boil, then turned it down to a simmer for about 10 minutes.

Now, this is where a nice chunky soup could be enjoyed, but what fun would that be when an immersion blender is made for dishes this!?  I removed the soup from the heat and blended it up. This- and all hand blender recipes- could also be pureed in a regular blender.  But honestly, you should just go buy an immersion blender so you can become obsessed too.

And there you have it! Top with green onion to add another layer of flavor. Don't skip this step; The green onion pairs perfectly with the spice and ginger flavors. 

the sunflower bowl added an extra touch of amusement

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup
Makes: About 6 servings
Time: 45 Minutes

1 tbsp oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 large carrots (~2 cups), chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated*
6 cups vegetable broth
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced**
1- 14oz can low sodium diced tomatoes with jalepeno, with juices
2-3 green onions, to top***

1. Cook onion, carrot, and red pepper in oil until vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes over high heat.
2. Add chili powder, black pepper, garlic, and ginger to coat vegetables.  Cook about 1-2 minutes over med-high heat.
3. Add sweet potatoes, broth, canned tomato with jalepeno with juices.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for about 20 minutes, or until sweet potato is soft.**
4. Remove from heat and use immersion blender to puree soup completely.
5. Ladle into bowls and top with green onions.

*Use a regular spoon to peel the skin! It's super easy. The ginger intimidated me a little bit at first.
**I preboiled the sweet potatoes to easily remove skin and reduce cooking time of the soup.
***Remember this is not optional and totally necessary for deliciousness.

This soup definitely warms up even the coldest of winter nights.  Let me know when you try it!

Happy cooking,



  1. Looks great Nat! Keep on rocking. I'll have to give this bad boy a try. Since I rock the paleo/primal/ancestral diet I'll have to pare it with some tasty meat (some sort of pork product is screaming to be added to this in my mind). I have a feeling I'll being using your blog to supplement my carbo/veggie intake.

    Have you ever used avacado oil? High smoke point, delicious flavor and veggie fat source; it's like EVOO and canola oil had a love child.



  2. Yes! Pork tenderloin would be a great addition for meat eaters :)

    I have not tried avocado oil, but I will now. Gotta do some experimenting... Love the description of it.