Chipotle-spiced sweet potato soup (vegan)

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Since I stick to a gluten-free and mostly paleo diet, sweet potatoes are my sweet, starchy saving grace in the midst of crisp green veggies and meat. Technically, I could eat them all year round, but something feels wrong about sinking my teeth into a hot, just-barely caramelized fire-orange potato mid-summer (the one exception being sweet potato fries of course- sweet potato fries are always a good idea). So when the skies cloud over and temperatures dip just a little bit, I rejoice because it’s that time again- time to haul a big, heavy bag home of these tubers that take on spice, butter and maple syrup so well, but are also super-duper delicious all on their own.

During the next few months, I’ll bake, fry, roast, puree and mash my beloved sweet potatoes, but with the first big batch, I went the soup route. Bake them till they’re soft in the center, simmer for a few minutes with some onion, broth, spices and blend the whole thing with some almond or coconut milk- it’s soup! So easy! So delicious!

Warning: this soup is extra spicy, so reduce the chipotle spice to 1/4 teaspoon if you can’t take the heat! Sweet potatoes are super adaptable to a number of spices, so sub in ginger, extra cumin or even cinnamon if you wan’t something on the mellower side. Be creative with your soup- it’s one of the easiest meals to experiment with!

Ingredients:

  • 4 small-medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil)
  • 1 1/2 cups broth (or water)
  • 1/2-1 cup almond milk (or coconut milk)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle spice (1/4 if you want less heat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • handful pumpkin seeds, for garnish

How to:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Rinse and scrub potatoes clean of any dirt, dry and prick lightly all over with a fork. When oven is heated, place sweet potatoes on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until they’re soft and smell slightly caramelized (I baked mine for 50 minutes). Set aside, or put in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
  2. When sweet potatoes are baked, heat oil up in medium saucepan until hot. Peel and slice up yellow onion, add to the hot oil and reduce heat down to low. Add your spices: cumin, cinnamon and chipotle. Add salt. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until onion is soft and almost translucent.
  3. Peel sweet potatoes (they should come out of their skins super easily), and add to the onion, along with 1 1/2 cups broth (or water). If you want an extra-rich soup, you could use almond milk or coconut milk too. Turn heat up and bring to a simmer. Leave for a couple minutes and turn heat off.
  4. Add half the mixture to a blender- be careful pouring! Add half the almond milk (1/4 cup) and blend on high for one minute, until smooth. Set aside, and add the remaining mixture to the blender, along with another 1/4 cup almond milk. If you like a thinner soup, add additional milk. Blend on high for one minute. – Your soup is finished! Garnish with additional chipotle spice and pumpkin seeds, or a dollop of yogurt, or vegan half-and-half. Go crazy. Makes about 2 1/2 cups of soup.

Serves two.

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