Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Creamy sweet potato soup with sweet potatoes, cooked in stock with onions, celery, and leeks, puréed and seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg.

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Looking for a special soup to serve this holiday season? Consider this creamy sweet potato soup!

It has a base of onions, celery, leeks, and garnet sweet potato yams. It’s seasoned with warm holiday spices of cinnamon and nutmeg, giving the soup hints of pumpkin pie and glazed yams, as if someone slipped some of each into the blender when the soup was being puréed.

We adapted this recipe from one in an old issue of Bon Appetit, changing it up slightly—ditching the maple syrup the original called for (the sweet potatoes are sweet enough), and cutting back on the cream. It’s terrific with a little sour cream or plain yogurt swirled in on top!

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

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  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 medium leek, white and light green parts only, sliced (see How to Clean Leeks)
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped (1 teaspoon)
  • 1 1/2 pounds (about 2 large) orange-flesh sweet potatoes (a.k.a. yams), peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 5 cups)
  • 4 cups chicken stock (use vegetable broth for vegetarian option)
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Method

1 Melt the butter in a large, thick-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the celery and leeks and sauté for 5 more minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook a minute more.

2 Add the sweet potatoes, chicken stock, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, and simmer uncovered until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.

3 Remove cinnamon stick. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup or work in batches and purée the soup in a standing blender.

4 Add the cream and milk to the soup, and heat on medium until the soup is heated through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Sprinkle with more black pepper and swirl some water-thinned sour cream or plain yogurt over the soup to serve.

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Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Showing 4 of 26 Comments

  • Antonella Russo-Ball

    I am making this right now. Not having leeks I added a small red onion, and added another couple of celery sticks. I added ginger as from a suggestion in the comments and will use coconut cream at the end instead of milk. It sounds amazing. As soon as I can, I will also comment to let you know how it was! for no, a big THANK YOU!

  • Lynn

    I made this soup to day and I kind of varied it a lot. I used 2 1/2 sweet potatoes and 1/2 of a bag of baby carrots I used organic vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth. I also used 1/2 of a Vidalia onion, the green tops of 2 leeks no bottoms, one stalk of celery, a clove of garlic, organic cinnamon powder instead of the stick, chopped ginger in place of the nutmeg and since I don’t do dairy I sautéed the veggies in Coconut oil and used a can of coconut milk in place of the heavy cream and milk. And if I do say so myself it turned out wonderful. Since I planned to give some to friends I did not put anything else in it but when I reheat mine I plan to put a little Saracha in it just to spice it up a bit.

  • Patricia

    Just finished making this. Lovely and creamy….I love my immersible blender just for pureeing soup! The only slightly negative comment I have would be the amount of onion/leek listed….it’s a wee bit overpowering. I think I would eliminate one or the other next time I make it, or if using both, reduce amounts by 50%. Also I warmed the milk/cream in the microwave before adding to the soup, just to ensure it wouldn’t curdle. I would definitely recommend this recipe to my friends :-)

  • susan sullivan

    excellent soup.. I added 2 tsp cayenne, just to give it some kick…

  • Kate Nicholls

    This was delicious! I also wanted to try a substitute for the cream. I added a teaspoon of corn starch to whole milk and blended this in instead. It did not curdle and came out creamy and smooth.

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