Soothing Fall Soups: Sweet Potato Chipotle Bisque

Sweet potatoes; after pumpkin, they hold a place near and dear to my heart every November. This year’s Thanksgiving instead of drowning this delightful tuber in gooey sweet syrups, why not opt for a silky soup instead? Spiked with chipotle chile peppers and a touch a lime, this soup will be a request long after the holidays and will keep you cozy throughout the winter.

This wholesome sweet potato bisque has the perfect foil of smoky hot chipotles in adobo. I love the combination of sweet potatoes and chipotle in a creamy, soothing bisque mellowed with the help of a touch of white potatoes and a non-dairy cream of your choice: coconut milk or soy, almond or coconut-based beverage milk. The finishing kiss of lime juice pulls it all together; a swirl of plain soy yogurt in each bowl right before serving seals the deal.

After the sweet potatoes, the key ingredient is smoky, piquant chipotles in adobo sauce. My favorite go-to canned Mexican product, these chipotles are dried, smoked jalapeños steeped in a thick sauce while inexpensive are potent: one little can will enhance many pots of soup to come. To use, lift a chile from the sauce and if desired, open and scrape the seeds (or keep for more intense heat). Either finely mince the chile or puree directly into a soup like this, but be sure to include a few teaspoons of that sauce…it’s brimming with that irresistible smoky chipotle flavor.

 

Sweet Potato Chipotle Bisque, from Viva Vegan!
Serves 4-5

Look for canned chipotles in adobo in Latin groceries or even well-stocked mainstream grocery stores that stock Mexican products like salsas or canned green chiles. Serve with warm tortillas or cornbread, or as a starter before your Thanksgiving spread.

Tip: Heavy cream substitute can be your choice of unflavored soy creamer, nut-based non-dairy milks such as almond or hazelnut. So Delicious Coconut based creamer is a great addition to this soup.

  • 2 Tablespoons olive or peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ pound white waxy potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 ½ pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 chipotles in adobo, sliced open and seeded, plus 1 to 2 teaspoons sauce (if you’re unsure about how hot you want the soup, use just 1 chipotle and a dribble of sauce)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk, non-dairy milk or soy creamer
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For garnish:

  • ½ cup finely chopped cilantro
  •  ½ cup plain soy or coconut yogurt

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat fry the garlic in the olive oil for 30 seconds. Add onion and sauté until onion is tender and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground cumin and oregano, then pour in water or stock. Add the chopped potatoes and sweet potatoes, cover the pot and increase the heat to high. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce heat to gently simmer for 28-32 minutes or until both white and sweet potatoes can be easily mashed when pressed against the side of the pot with a wooden spoon. Turn off the heat.

2. Add chipotles and adobo sauce to the soup. Use an immersion blender to puree soup to a smooth, creamy consistency. If you prefer to use a blender, let the soup cool for at least 20 minutes before pouring into a blender; pulse until smooth then return to the pot. Warm the soup over low heat and stir in the coconut milk/non-dairy milk/soy creamer, lime juice, salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lime juice and salt if desired. Ladle soup into serving bowls and garnish with chopped cilantro or a dollop of plain soy or coconut yogurt swirled on top of the soup.

 

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