There hasn't been any fresh local produce so far this year but I am still happy exploring the last of Winters reserves such as sweet potatoes. I have seen a few recipes for sweet potato and peanut soups over the last few weeks that have sounded good. I really like to use peanuts and peanut butter in savoury dishes and I am always on the lookout for new recipes. I saw several different versions of the sweet potato and peanut butter soups ranging from southwestern versions with chilies to Thai versions with curry pastes and coconut milk. Although the Thai version sounded great I wanted to start with a simpler one that really showcased the main ingredients, the sweet potatoes and the peanuts.
I started out by roasting some sweet potatoes until they were nice and caramelized and full of flavour. In the meantime I started making the soup base with the classic combination of onions, carrots, celery and garlic. From there I added a red pepper for some contrasting colour and flavour and I had some leftover chili peppers that went in for a bit of warmth. The final component of course was the peanut butter. The sweet potato and peanut soup was easy to make and it turned out wonderfully. The flavours of this soup were nice and simple and the sweet potato and peanut not only came through but they worked really well together. With the sweet potatoes and the peanut butter in the soup it was nice and thick and creamy. I garnished the soup with some chopped roasted peanuts and they added a really nice contrasting texture. The weather is supposed to be warming up over the next few days and I am looking forward to the coming fresh local produce but in the meantime I am going to be enjoying my sweet potato and peanut soup.
Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup(makes 4-6 servings)
2 sweet potatoes (cleaned and cut in half lengthwise)
4 teaspoons oil
1 tablespoon oil
1 onion (chopped)
1 carrot (chopped)
2 stalks celery (chopped)
1 red pepper (chopped)
1 poblano pepper (chopped)
1 jalapeno pepper (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
3 cups chicken broth or chicken stock or vegetable broth
1/2 cup peanut butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 handful peanuts (roasted and chopped)
1. Brush the skins of the potatoes with the oil and set cut side down on a baking tray.
2. Roast in a preheated 400F oven until tender, about 40-60 minutes.
3. Heat the oil in a pan.
4. Add the onions, carrots, celery and peppers and saute until tender, about 10-15 minutes.
5. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about a minute.
6. Scoop the flesh from the sweet potatoes skins and add it to the pan along with the broth and peanut butter. (Note: Sweet potatoes can be stringy and if you like, feel free to give them a spin in your food processor to smooth them out.)
7. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
8. Feel free to use an immersion blender to bring the soup to the consistency that you like.
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Thai Pumpkin Soup
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