Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

SoupVegetarianSweet Potato

Sweet potato soup balances the sweet and savory with onions, garlic, onions, and leeks, along with a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon. Creamy and satisfying!

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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?

Updated September 18, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle! No changes to the original recipe.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup Recipe

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

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.

Ingredients

  • 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
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain yogurt

Method

1 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.

2 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.

3 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.

4 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.

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Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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31 Comments / Reviews

No ImageCreamy Sweet Potato Soup

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Margaret

    Love this soup! I make and freeze it for my lunch. Any idea what the calories are?

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Patti

    I’m sorry but I thought this was pretty bland. I ended up adding more spices and a bit of brown sugar but it was still too bland for my taste. I ate it because I was hungry, but today when I heat it up I’ll try adding different stuff.

    xxxxxyyyyy

    Show Replies (1)
  3. Abigail

    Just made this recipe tonight for dinner. My husband and I LOVED it!! Can’t wait to enjoy the leftovers for lunch tomorrow! Thanks!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  4. 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!

  5. 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.

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