Looking for a special soup to serve this holiday season? Consider this creamy sweet potato soup!
How to Make Sweet Potato Soup
We adapted this recipe from one in an old issue of Bon Appétit, changing it up slightly—ditching the maple syrup the original called for (the sweet potatoes are sweet enough), and cutting back on the cream.
We start the soup by cooking a base of onions, celery, and leeks in butter. Then we add sweet potatoes, chicken stock and spices, simmer for 20 minutes, and purée until smooth. At the end we stir in some milk and cream, and add a swirl of sour cream to serve. Easy!
The holiday spices of cinnamon and nutmeg give the soup hints of pumpkin pie and glazed yams, as if someone slipped a little of each into the blender when the soup was being puréed.
What If I Don't Do Dairy?
Feel free to use another cup of stock instead of the milk and cream, or use coconut milk (canned) or soy milk instead of the milk and cream.
What to Serve With This Soup
I love creamy soups served with some crusty bread on the side for dipping. Serve the soup as a main on its own, or alongside beef, pork, chicken, or black beans. Because it's rich and creamy, the soup would do well served with a side salad of fresh lettuce greens tossed in a light vinaigrette.
How to Keep, Freeze and Reheat This Soup
This soup should keep in the fridge for several days, covered.
Typically, soups with cream don't do well with freezing and reheating. If you want to make the soup ahead of time and freeze it, make it through step 3, leaving out the milk and cream. Freeze the soup, defrost it in a saucepan over low heat until warm, and then add the milk and cream.
Who Doesn't Love a Creamy Bowl of Soup?
- Easy Carrot Soup
- Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup
- Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
- Curried Squash and Pear Soup
- Creamy Pumpkin Soup with Smoked Paprika
Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
If you want to make this soup without dairy, feel free to substitute either additional stock, which will result in a thinner soup, or soy milk or coconut milk for the cream and milk in this recipe. Omit the sour cream or yogurt topping, and use olive oil instead of butter.
- 2 tablespoons 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 heavy cream
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
Cook the onions, celery, leeks, and garlic:
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.
Make and simmer the soup:
Add the sweet potatoes, chicken stock, cinnamon stick, and nutmeg. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, and simmer uncovered until the sweet potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes.
Blend the soup:
Remove the cinnamon stick. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup or work in batches and purée the soup in a standing blender.
Finish the soup:
Add the cream and milk to the soup. 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.