Whenever we feel the first hint of fall in the air, I return to this recipe for Autumn Sweet Potato Soup. It’s healthy, vegan, and gluten free with an unexpected flavorful twist– a creamy touch of peanut butter. It can be made as a smooth silky puree, or with vegetable chunks for more texture. Prepared either way, it’s one of my favorite soups.
Seasonal fall produce really inspires me in the kitchen. With Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot just around the corner, my focus has shifted to foods that warm and nourish. This Autumn Sweet Potato Soup is perfect for this time of year.
I’ve packed this soup with seasonal fall goodness, including yams, squash, fresh thyme, and a touch of cayenne for spice. The broth has roots in African food tradition. Peanut butter thickens the soup and gives it a delicious flavor.
The peanut butter is delicious, as well as healthful– it adds a boost of protein and helps to make the soup more filling. I learned this culinary trick from a local Ethiopian restaurant. While it might sound a bit strange, the peanut butter enhances the spices, giving this soup layers of creamy, delicious flavor.
Serve this Autumn Sweet Potato Soup as-is (chunky with texture), or puree the soup with an immersion blender for a smoother texture. Garnish with chopped roasted peanuts or fresh thyme leaves. If you’re wondering how to peel tomatoes for the soup, learn how here.
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Food Photography and Styling by Kelly Jaggers
Autumn Sweet Potato Soup
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 1/2 pounds orange sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cubed
- 1 pound zucchini, sliced
- 2 quarts yellow vegetable stock (you can substitute chicken stock if not vegan/vegetarian)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced (or one 14 oz. can diced tomatoes)
- 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter, or more to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Chopped roasted peanuts or fresh thyme leaves for garnish (optional)
- Heat olive oil over medium till hot (not smoking). Sauté onion in the oil until it begins to soften and turn golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 3 minutes more.
- Add sweet potatoes, zucchini, 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 (learn how to peel tomatoes here). Simmer for 5-10 minutes more until all the vegetables are tender.
- Stir 1/3 cup 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. Add additional peanut butter to taste. Some like it with just a hint of peanut flavor. I typically use a few more tablespoons (around 1/2 cup total) because I love peanut butter. Adjust until the flavor is to your liking.
- Soup may be served as-is (chunky with texture), or you can puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Serve garnished with chopped roasted peanuts or fresh thyme leaves.