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Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

About 5 years ago, I decided to try being vegan for 3 months. This was my first step in understanding where the food I consume comes from and what I am putting in my body. Learning about the vegan diet, opened my eyes to how animals make their way to our plates and how our decisions can affect the world we live in. After the 90 days I went back to my normal, mostly pescatarian diet, and started educating myself on local farms, organic produce, and sustainability caught fish. Armed with this information, I started making better decision, found local food sources, and began cooking nutritious meals for myself.

Since my time as a vegan helped to shape my diet and beliefs, I wanted do my part to support Susan and VeganMofo. I made this soup on a chilly night when I wanted something that was warm and filling. It is a great weeknight meal, and makes enough for lunch the next day or freeze for future use. Plus, sweet potatoes are in season and can be found everywhere. This soup is vegan, but could be made with chicken stock or use milk/cream instead of the almond milk. I wouldn’t recommend freezing if you are using real dairy, as it doesn’t tend to thaw out correctly. Serve with crusty bread, topped with sour cream or avocado, or as a side to a salad or sandwich. I brought my leftovers to work in an 8oz Ball Jar, and it was the perfect amount for a hearty lunch!

Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

Serves 6-8

4 medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled, 1/2″ dice
2 tbsp olive oil (or coconut oil)
1 medium red onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
2 tsp crushed red pepper
5 c water (or chicken or vegetable stock*)
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper (feel free to add more if you want a spicier soup)
1 c almond milk, original unsweetened
Salt & Pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Once fragrant, put the sweet potatoes in the dutch over and cook for another 3 minutes, stirring the vegetable mixture frequently. Cover the vegetables with 5 c of water and season with 3 large pinches of salt (if using stock, see note). Bring to boil, then lower heat so the soup is simmering. Once potatoes are fork tender, after about 25 mintues, remove from heat and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Using a stick blender, puree the soup until smooth, or transfer to a blender and puree in batches. After pureed, add the almond milk and salt and pepper to taste.

*If using stock, salt to taste after adding the milk to the soup. I tend to season conservatively when using stock, since the salt content can vary.

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