Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup

2011 has started and I have been nothing but lazy. Over the weekend, Frank Bruni tweeted that, surely, since Jan 1st and 2nd fell on a weekend, the new year didn’t really start until Monday. I seemed to have whole-heartedly embraced this theory since I spent most of Saturday and Sunday on the couch, watching episode after episode of the Gilmore Girls, and eating couscous and eggs. Hey, a girl needs a weekend like that sometimes, okay? Don’t judge. Luckily, I had today off as well, so I luckily I was able to make up for some of the sluggishness from the previous two days. There was house-cleaning, laundry, removal of Christmas decorations, a good gym session, a pasta you’ll hear about later, and of course, this soup.

I think we’re all in the mood for something healthy right about now. We should be, what with the cookies and decadence and booze that have dominated the last month or so. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there’s a Terry’s chocolate orange in my cupboard that demands my attention every few hours, but generally speaking, I’m off cream for a while.  This is one of the easiest and flavorful soups you can make and there is nothing but goodness in it; sweet potatoes, chock full of vitamins, low-fat low-sodium chicken broth, and spicy chipotles in adobo to get that metabolism kick-started.

If you haven’t cooked with chipotles in adobo before, you really should remedy that. They’re smoked, dried jalapeños, and they are wicked, wicked hot. The magic though, is really in the adobo sauce; a smokey vinegary, spiced punch of flavor that adds so much depth to whatever you’re making. In this case, the spicy smoke balances the sweetness of the sweet potatoes. Huh, I totally blanked on synonyms for “sweet;” apologies. Anyways, I myself am kind of a wimp when it comes to chipotle-style heat, so I only use 1 pepper in this soup and save the rest for something else. If your love the burn, be a real man and use two; any more than that would just be crazy pants.

Sweet Potato Chipotle Soup

I…have no idea where I originally got this recipe years ago…if you have any hints, let me know! Serves 4-6.

Extra chipotles can be frozen for later use. This soup is really quick, but if you’re in a huge hurry, just cut your sweet potatoes smaller so they cook more quickly. Be sure to use red-skinned sweet potatoes, otherwise known as yams, rather than their brown-skinned cousins. I usually serve this with sour cream or greek yogurt, but it would also be good with avocado and/or cotija.

1.5 T olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3.5 lb red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), peeled and cut into 1.5″ cubes
6 c low-fat, low-sodium chicken broth
1 chipotle in adobo, minced, plus 2 t adobo sauce
1 T honey
salt and pepper to taste

  • In a large, heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat
  • Add the onion, and cook 5 minutes, then add the garlic. Continue cooking until the onions are translucent and slightly browned
  • Add the sweet potatoes and broth
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer; simmer for 20-25 min or until sweet potatoes are quite soft
  • Add the minced chipotle, adobo sauce and honey and cook another 5 minutes
  • Using an immersion blender or regular counter-top blender, blend the soup until smooth
  • If the soup is too thick, add some water until you reach the desired consistency; if it’s too thin, boil it down to the desired consistency
  • Season to taste with salt and pepper

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