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 autumn foods that warm and nourish from the inside, like this Autumn Sweet Potato Soup.
This soup is packed with seasonal fall goodness… yams, 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.
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
Parve or Meat
Warm and creamy autumn soup can be made vegan and gluten free. Yams, zucchini, tomatoes, spices, peanut butter. Vegan, gluten free, contains nuts.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 1/2 lbs orange sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cubed
- 1 lb zucchini, sliced
- 2 quarts yellow vegetable stock (you can substitute chicken stock if not vegan/vegetarian)
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- Pinch cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and diced (or 1 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)
Allergy Note- Important! If you are 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 gluten free.
Originally when I posted this recipe it called for 1/2 cup peanut butter, which I love. Some readers felt it was too dominant, so I've cut back to 1/3 cup in the recipe. You can add more depending on your individual taste. I still like it the original way, using a full 1/2 cup.
Reheating Note: If you end up keeping some leftover Autumn Sweet Potato Soup in the refrigerator, add a little broth or water when you reheat. It becomes quite thick when chilled, and adding some liquid will help the soup to reheat smoothly.
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.