Autumn Sweet Potato Soup

Sweet Potato Soup Puree

Autumn is my favorite season– the chill in the air, the return of comfort foods, the bounty of the harvest. Seasonal fall produce really inspires me in the kitchen. With Sukkot just around the corner, my focus has shifted to autumn foods that warm and nourish from the inside. First dish on the menu: Autumn Sweet Potato Soup.

This soup is packed with autumn goodness… root vegetables, squash, fresh thyme, and a touch of cayenne for spice. The broth has roots in African food tradition. Peanut butter is stirred in at the end of cooking, thickening the soup and giving it a delicious flavor. I learned this culinary trick from a local Ethiopian restaurant. While it might sound a bit strange, you’ll have to trust me. The peanut butter enhances all the other spices, giving this soup layers of creamy, delicious flavor.  It’s a substantial and filling vegetable soup, perfect for a chilly autumn evening. It’s also super easy to prepare, and can be made completely vegan using vegetable broth. Serve it as-is (chunky with texture), or you can puree the soup with an immersion blender for a smoother texture. Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts or fresh thyme leaves. It’s got a seriously amazing, unique flavor and takes so little effort to prepare. It’s also really healthy; the peanut butter adds protein as well as flavor to the broth. Your body will thank you!

If you end up keeping some leftover soup in the refrigerator, add a little broth or water when you reheat. The soup can become quite thick when it’s chilled. Adding some liquid will help the soup to reheat smoothly. Also, if you’re wondering how to peel tomatoes for the soup, learn how here.

Allergy Note- Important! If you’re serving this to guests you don’t know very well, make sure you let them know that the broth contains peanuts, just in case anybody is allergic. Peanut allergies can be deadly. Also, if you’re preparing the soup gluten free, make sure your broth and peanut butter are certified GF.

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Autumn Sweet Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 1/2 lbs orange sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cubed
  • 1 lb zucchini, sliced
  • 2 qts (8 cups) yellow vegetable stock or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced (or 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped roasted peanuts or fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)
Total Time: 55 Minutes
Servings: 8
Kosher Key: Pareve or Meat
  • Heat olive oil over medium till hot (not smoking). Sauté onion in the oil till it begins to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 3 minutes more.
  • Add sweet potatoes, zucchini, chicken or vegetable stock, thyme leaves, cumin, ginger, and cayenne to the pot. I like to use ¼ tsp of cayenne, which gives a nice spicy kick to the soup. If you’re sensitive to spice, start with 1/8 tsp. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a light simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Add diced tomatoes to the pot. Simmer for 5-10 minutes more until all the vegetables are tender.
  • Stir the peanut butter into the broth until it dissolves. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add more cayenne for heat, if desired.
  • Soup may be served as-is (chunky with texture), or you can puree the soup with an immersion blender till smooth. Serve garnished with chopped roasted peanuts or fresh thyme leaves.

Comments (53)Post a Comment

  1. I just made a sweet potato soup last week and it is now one of my favorite soups. I may tweak the recipe to add a bit of your touches to it next time (because there will be a next time and a next time after that – sooooo good!).

  2. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Just made the soup, wonderful! I had some leek and carrot in the fridge that I added and I blenderized only about half of the soup, mostly the sweet potatoes for a smooth soup with some chunky-ness left.I had my doubts about the peanut-butter but is great.Mmmmm…

    1. Lindsey, kind of– it’s not overpowering though. The peanut butter blends harmoniously with the other spices and gives a very unique flavor to the broth. Hard to describe. It’s really tasty.

  3. i read through the ingredients and i know this will benefit me coz i’m diabetic. but if i’m going to make this for my grandsons, i would have to eliminate the peanut butter for they have allergies and are on gluten free diet (no nuts; seafoods; sesame; corn, and something else) it is hard for
    their Mom to make it easier for them (especially missing
    breads in their lunches) during schoolyear.

    1. Hi Cynthia, that is really tough. So sorry they’re dealing with such severe allergies. It will still be good without the peanut butter, but not as rich or creamy. Is coconut okay on their diet? Some people with nut allergies can tolerate coconut while others cannot. If it works for them, you could try adding some coconut milk to the broth for a creamy flavor. Good luck!

  4. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I wonder if using peanut oil in place of or instead of extra virgin olive oil might do the peanut butter trick? I’m not a big fan of peanut butter (and, yes I am American). I know it wouldn’t help thicken the soup, but if I wanted to thicken it, I would probably use creme de tartar or just plain ole corn starch. Anyway, this recipe makes my mouth water. I would also try some Portobello mushrooms to the mix, but here I am tampering with what seems to be wonderful recipe. Thanks, David

    1. Hi David, feel free to tinker… that’s what makes cooking fun! Though I will say that peanut oil won’t give much of a peanut taste to the soup at all– it has very little flavor. Enjoy!

  5. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    This soup sounds wonderful!! I read the additional comments, about leaving out the peanut butter. How rich and creamy is the soup WITHOUT the peanut butter? Can you add a roux or cornstarch to thicken it or to make it creamy? Cannot use coconut milk, as it is part of the TREE NUT family. Maybe I will just need to try making it with ingredients that I can tolerate and see how it turns out! Keep up the GREAT WORK! Love your recipes!!

    1. Cynthia, you might want to try Mike’s suggestion and use tahini paste, which is made from sesame seeds. I can’t promise how it will taste, since I haven’t tried it myself, but it would definitely add a nutty flavor, creamy flavor. It’s worth a try!

  6. Tori, For those that are allergic to nuts, I think either sesame tahini or plain hummus might be good substitutes.
    May you have a sweet year.
    BTW, I like your historic recipes.

    1. Actually, Chickpea’s are a member of the nut family. So hummus and chickpea product would not be a good substitute for a nut allegry.

    2. Hi Megan. I’m not an allergy physician, so obviously people should double check– but I do know that chickpeas are a member of the legume family, not the nut family. Peanuts are also in the legume family, however many people who have peanut allergies can tolerate chickpeas. It would be best for anybody with a peanut allergy to check with their doctor to see what their body can and can’t handle.

  7. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    Perfect timing for a fantastic soup recipe . . . I think I am going to make this over the weekend! What do you think about replacing the zucchini with mushrooms (like crimini or shiitake)?

  8. I have a ton of Tromboncino squash from the garden (similar to butternut) may try subbing it for some of the sweet potato) and wondering how it would freeze? probably best to freeze when pureed

    1. Hi Carolann, honestly I’m not sure. I don’t often freeze soups. If it was just a vegetable soup I’d say go for it, but the peanut butter in this one makes it impossible for me to know how it will turn out. If you end up trying to freeze it, please report back and let us know how it worked for you!

  9. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I substituted butternut squash for the potato. Mostly because I have ulcerative colitis and it is easier to digest, per the impossible SCD diet. Baked it separately to make sure it was fully cooked. Everyone thought it was potato lol. Was lucky to find heirloom tomatoes, yum! Didn’t love the peanut butter though, sorry. Other than that excellent soup thank you!

  10. Cant wait to try this Tori.
    It looks really interesting! I am new to your blog and really enjoying your posts. I live in Sacramento CA and am executive director of a breast cancer foundation. My hobby and passion is in the kitchen. Your blog is awesome. Hope to cross paths with you one day…. Cindy Love

  11. Because I wanted to puree the soup, I used yellow squash instead of zucchini to keep the color reasonably bright.

    It is tasty, although next time I will use a bit less peanut butter, as in this batch the peanut butter seems to be the dominant taste.

  12. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    I halved the recipe, used a healthy dose of sriracha hot sauce, and puréed half. It was beautiful, healthy, and delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!

  13. I halfway constructed this to take on a camping trip. Bagged everything up in ziplocks leaving out the stock to add when I’m ready to cook. It’s going to be the perfect soup to enjoy around a fall campfire!

  14. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I can’t recall how I stumbled onto your site, but as I often prepare ‘theme’ meals for Shabbat, I found your Autumn Sweet Potato Soup and prepared it for last Friday night. In Israel zucchinis are hard to come by, so I snuck frozen spinach in instead and blended enough of the soup so the spinach wasn’t apparent to my children. Yum! We all enjoyed the mingle of flavors! I always say I’ve never met a recipe I couldn’t change, and don’t often depend upon others’ recipes, but as I perused your site, I’ve become a fan! Thanks!

  15. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    Tory, I just made this soup today and it is absolutely amazing! The funny part is that I happened to have the perfect amount of all the needed ingredients, without having to go and buy any of them. I also used crunchy peanut butter and it made it just perfect, so there was no need to add peanuts as garnish . Can’t wait to share it with my family and friends!

  16. Hi, what do you mean by ‘ brown onion’ ? I have only cooked with white onions, yellow onions, green onions and red onions. Thank you.

  17. I served this soup to guests last night and it was a HUGE hit! I also used crunchy natural peanut butter which gave the soup some terrific texture.

  18. I have been salivating over this recipe since you posted it and FINALLY made it for this past Friday night dinner. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. Yet another one of your recipes that surpassed my expectations!! Thank you so much!

  19. Very good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 starsVery good - 4 stars
    I have just made this soup but without cayanne pepper and instead used some mild chilli powder and paprika. WOW it tastes amazing! I just may not use quite as much peanut paste as Im not quite sure the family will enjoy it as much as I! Thank you for the fantastic recipe.

  20. Excellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 starsExcellent - 5 stars
    The shiksa has done it yet again! Is there anything you can’t do? I think sting was singing about you…every little thing she does is magic. This soup is amazing. As a vegetarian, this is a great meal for me. Extremely flavorful and easy. The hardest part is cutting the sweet potatoes and I am sure some markets sell them precut. My mom and I had some last night and thought it was so delicious. I am looking forward to lunch today :). Thank you….all of your recipes are fantastic!

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