Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
"Sweet potatoes" or "sweetpotatoes"?
Psst! Some shortcuts just for you...
January 26, 2021
Cook: 1h 5min
Some say sweet potatoes, others say sweetpotatoes. Either way, this indulgent soup, featuring turnip, roasted garlic, and nutmeg, goes heavy on the creaminess and heavy on the sweetness. Pair it with some bread and butter, and life will be good.
And when I say sweet, I mean sweet.
To kick things off, I’m going to tell you something that will change your life if you own an aquarium. Did you know you can grow sweet potato vine indefinitely in water? Not only that, the vine will grow faster and healthier if the roots are fed fish poop. Grow sweet potato vine in your aquarium, and all of a sudden you have some homegrown water filtration that doubles as a great hide-and-go-seek spot for your fish friends.
Something else you should know: there’s a debate in the world about whether the start of our soup today should be spelled “sweet potato” or “sweetpotato.” If you want to know which version your word processor supports, type out “sweetpotato” and see if you get the slap-on-the-wrist squiggly red line. I’m serious though, some groups say the name of the orange-colored root should be squashed into one word since sweet potatoes/sweetpotatoes are not actually potatoes. For the rest of this post I will refer to sweet potatoes as sweetpotatoes just for the fun of it.
Anyway, this soup has the potential to be really sweet and may even teeter on the verge of being liquid candy. If you want that, add the full ⅓ cup of brown sugar. If not, take it down to ¼ cup or even less. It depends on you and it depends on your dinner guests. Are they younger than 9, or are they older than 79? You know?
I chose to pair the sweetpotatoes with a turnip. Root buddies for life. The turnip, when roasted, provides an additional sweetness and a subtle earthy flavor. Included in the roasting party is a single, unpeeled garlic clove. I’ve been studying Mexican cuisine recently and have done a fair amount of dry roasting and oven roasting unpeeled garlic cloves. You could say I was inspired when making this soup.
The soup base, before adding the roasted vegetables, is made of celery and onion sauteed in butter and chicken broth. Some ground nutmeg and cinnamon are added to give the whole soup a very wintery feel. Try to tell me nutmeg and cinnamon don’t make you think of a cozy winter.
Once everything is combined and happy in the soup pot, you’ll be pureeing it all into a creamy final product. My all-time favorite way to puree a soup is by using an immersion blender. If you don’t have one, a stand blender will be fine. Depending on the size of your blender, you’ll most likely need to puree in multiple batches. I’d suggest only filling the blender half-full of soup each batch so you don’t end up with soup on the ceiling. It happens.
All that remains is to ladle the soup into bowls, top it with some chopped walnuts or pumpkin seeds, and serve the whole caboodle with some warm bread and butter.
(click each step as you go to keep track of your progress)
Finished and want to make it again?
Roasted Sweet Potato Soup
- Prep time: 15min
- Cook time: 1h 5min
- Serving size: 4-6
- 1 kg (2.2 lbs) sweet potatoes
- 300 g (1/2 lb) turnip
- 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
- 30 mL (2 Tbsp) olive oil
- 30 g (2 Tbsp) butter
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 720 mL (3 cups) chicken broth
- 300 mL (1.25 cups) heavy cream
- 50-70 g (1/4 - 1/3 cup) light brown sugar, depending on taste
- Walnuts or pumpkin seeds, for topping the soup
Preheat the oven to 220° C (425° F). Peel the sweet potatoes and turnip and cube them into 1.5 cm (0.5 in) pieces. Toss the pieces with the olive oil in a large bowl. Pour contents of bowl onto a sheet pan and rearrange into a single layer. Add the unpeeled garlic clove to the pan.
Place the pan in the oven and bake for 50 minutes. Stir and flip the sweet potato and turnip pieces every 10-15 minutes to encourage even roasting. When done, remove from oven and set aside. Peel the garlic clove when it is cool enough to handle.
Heat a large stockpot over medium-high heat. When hot, add the butter. When melted, add the onion, celery, and 1/4 tsp salt. Saute for 7 minutes, stirring often.
Add the chicken broth, roasted vegetables, roasted garlic clove, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil and then remove from heat. Stir in the cream, remaining 1/2 tsp salt, and brown sugar. Stir to combine.
Use an immersion blender or a stand blender to puree the entire soup. Work in batches if necessary, and be careful as a closed blender builds pressure if its contents are hot.
Return to the stockpot over medium heat and heat for a few minutes, or serve immediately if the temperature of the soup is already to your liking.
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