A touch of peanut butter gives this sweet and spicy soup a creamy texture without any actual cream – keeping it vegan and heart-healthy.
This easy sweet potato soup is perfect for the cold weather. It whips up in minutes and is packed with a nutty flavor and little spice too!
Sweet potatoes are having a moment. There are stuffed sweet potatoes, air fryer ones, and even sweet potato mac and cheese now. I love them in almost any recipe but there’s something about the sweet potato and peanut butter combination that’s just perfectly balanced and delicious.
Are sweet potatoes healthy?
Yes. When it comes to nutrition, these dirt dwellers earn superfood status.
- One medium sweet potato is a good source of vitamin C and an excellent source of beta-carotene to support eye health.
- Sweet potatoes are also a great source of fiber – making them perfect for weight management and a naturally sweet choice for people with diabetes.
- And if that’s not enough, sweet potatoes are a good source of potassium, which helps with blood pressure control.
In the kitchen, sweet potatoes are versatile and forgiving. Enjoy them sweet or savory. Plain or all dressed up.
They can be boiled, baked, roasted, tossed into a hash, pureed and added to muffins, breads or veggie burgers, stewed and blended into a soup… the options are endless. You’re limited only by your imagination.
TRY THIS: During the cooler months – when sweet potatoes are especially flavorful – I roast a few at the beginning of the week to enjoy for breakfast with a little cinnamon or as a quick side dish or snack.
How to make sweet potato soup
Anytime you cook root vegetables, be sure to cut them into evenly sized pieces for even and quick cooking. I often roast sweet potatoes for a richer flavor. But to make this a one-pot recipe, the sweet potatoes are cubed.
Heat a tablespoon of neutral-tasting oil like avocado, peanut or olive oil to a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Sauté the shallots taking care not to burn them. Add the garlic and chile powder . Cook until the spices are well incorporated and fragrant. Don’t let the shallots and garlic burn.
Add the peeled and cubed sweet potatoes, broth and water. Cook about 20 minutes – until the potatoes are soft enough to mash with a spoon.
Remove the pot from the heat. Stir in the room temperature peanut butter. Using a hand blender on high, blend the soup right there in the pot until smooth and creamy.
Don’t you just love a one-pot dish?
Sweet potatoes and peanut butter?
Yep. You read that right. This flavor combination is a classic one in African cuisine. While most of those cuisines don’t eat peanut butter the way we do in the United States, they do use ground peanut paste regularly in sauces and stews.
In fact, this soup was inspired by my encounter with African Groundnut Stew, which combines sweet potatoes, tomatoes, peanuts and often chicken. I had it first back in 1999 but it’s stuck with me as a unique and superb stew. This recipe is far simpler and perfect for a light weeknight meal.
What’s the best chili pepper to use?
I used ancho chile powder for sweet, smoky depth of flavor. I’m a wimp when it comes to spicy food so mild ancho peppers work great. And the amount I used in this recipe doesn’t make for a particularly hot soup.
Feel free to add your favorite pepper – chipotle would be especially delicious or you can add a few dashes of hot sauce for heat. For a little extra heat and color, drizzle on a little of your favorite hot sauce, sriracha or chili sauce as I did above.
This recipe uses shallots because I had some leftover. But a medium sweet onion would work too. This soup is quite forgiving.
As you can see, I’m no stranger to sweet potatoes. I’m always searching for new ways to enjoy this tuber and would love to hear what you do with sweet potatoes.
Spicy Sweet Potato Peanut Soup
- 1 tbsp avocado or peanut oil
- 2 large shallots, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 tsp ancho chile powder
- 2 lbs. sweet potatoes peeled and cubed (about 3 medium sweet potatoes)
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tbsp natural smooth peanut butter (no sugar added)
- 2 tbsp chopped, lightly salted peanuts
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil in a large soup or stockpot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots. Saute. Add the garlic, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the spices are incorporated.
- Add the sweet potatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium (a rapid simmer). Cook about 20 minutes – until the potatoes are soft enough to mash with a spoon. Remove the pot from the heat.
- Add the room temperature peanut butter. Using a stick or immersion blender on high, blend the soup in the pot until smooth and creamy. Add water or broth (up to 1/4 cup at a time) to thin the soup if needed.Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with roasted, lightly salted peanuts. Enjoy!
- Cut the sweet potatoes into evenly sized pieces for even and quick cooking.
- This recipe uses shallots but a medium sweet onion would work too.
- Peanut, avocado, or any other neutral tasting oil works great. If you happen to have roasted peanut oil, that woud add a nice nutty flavor.
- Go with unsweetened peanut butter. The brand doesn’t much matter, look for an ingredient list of simply peanuts or peanuts and salt.
- Choose a good broth. It will make a big difference in this soup. Homemade vegetable broth is best but a good store bought one is perfectly fine. Just adjust the salt you add at the end according to the flavor you get from the broth.