If you just joined, you must think this is a soup blog… Yes, I’ve been making lots of them in the past month, they photograph easily and I can do that the day after while we still have sun. It’s dark here after 3pm these days, and makes for cozy cooking, but definitely not great photography sessions. This Sweet Potato and Roasted Peanut Soup is my last post for the year, and I hope you also stay away from the computer over the holidays, and enjoy some real unplugging, too. And eating
I have a big bucket of sweet potatoes in my pantry, they keep incredibly well so I stock up when I see a “deal” (that fact alone makes me feel like like I’m so thrifty and organized). Sweet potatoes are full of good nutrition, especially vitamin A in form of beta-carotene. The beta carotene is also what gives sweet potatoes that awesome orange color. Why pop artificial vitamins if you can eat some mashed sweet potato instead? With butter, obviously.
We’ve been using sweet potatoes a lot in the past 2 years, partially because they are so much better for you than yellow spuds, and partially out of laziness — I can whiz steamed sweet potatoes with my immersion blender for a perfectly smooth, creamy mash. Try the same (don’t try) with starchy yellow potatoes, and you’ll end up with an inedible gluey mess. I don’t know the science behind this, but my experience says sweet potatoes + blender = yes!
Are you interested in those vitamins? Great news: it’s good to have some fat in your sweet potato meals if you want to enjoy their full beta-carotene benefits. I can do that! A minimum of 3 – 5 grams of fat per meal (could be butter, peanuts like this recipe, or olive oil) significantly increases the uptake of beta-carotene from sweet potatoes. Just make you steam them, and not boil (a good idea for all veggies, actually) as you might lose some antioxidant value. Read the whooole source here at WHFoods here, But I warn you, it’s long and very detailed, just for you sweet potato nerds.
Taste test: This soup is incredibly scented — hint of cinnamon, nutmeg, spice from cayenne and earthiness from roasted peanuts. The sweet potatoes are creamy and comforting — definitely a winter season favorite. Tip: For added earthiness, try roasting the ginger and garlic before adding to the soup.
If you’d like to skip steaming the sweet potatoes, you can cook them right in the soup, just increase the simmering time until tender. My recipe was made using leftover steamed sweet potatoes.
- 1 tbs butter, or 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onions, roughly chopped
- 1 tbs ginger, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 450g (1 lb) sweet potatoes, roughly sliced and steamed
- 1 tbs brown sugar
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes
- 7 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
- ¼ cup roasted peanut butter
- generous pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- pinch of cinnamon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- In a heavy bottomed soup pot, melt the butter, or olive oil, over medium heat. Add the onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until softened and translucent. Add the steamed sweet potatoes and sugar, and toss to combine. Add the crushed tomatoes, the chicken stock and peanut butter. Stir to combine (don’t worry if the peanut butter is hard to dissolve, we will purée it afterwards anyway. Or, you can dissolve it in a cup of stock beforehand). Season with cayenne, nutmeg and cinnamon, then cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes.
- Uncover and use an immersion blender* to purée into a smooth consistency. Season with salt and pepper and adjust spices to your liking.
* If I was stranded on a deserted island and I could have only one kitchen appliance, it would be my immersion blender