Sweet Fall Soups: Sweet Potato Chipotle Bisque

Sweet potatoes; after pumpkin, it hold a place near and dear to my heart come November. This year’s Thanksgiving, instead of drowning this delightful tuber in gooey sweet syrups or marshmallows (never understood that one) opt for a soothing, 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 that acquires it’s creamy texture with the help of a touch of white potatoes and a cream of your choice: coconut milk or nondairy milk. The finishing kiss of lime juice pulls it all together.

The key ingredient, after the sweet potatoes, are chipotles in adobo sauce. An excellent Mexican product, chipotles are dried, smoked jalapeños. The “in adobo” part are the chipotles steeped in a thick, flavorful sauce that goes the extra mile in enhancing soups, marinades and spreads. Inexpensive and potent, one little can will last you many soups. To use, lift a chile from the sauce and if desired, open and scrape the seeds (or keep for more intense heat). Chop the chile and use, and but use that sauce too…it’s brimming with dreamy smoky chipotle flavor.

-Terry

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

Soothing, silky, piquant and smoky all at the same time. 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. For best color and flavor used the common orange sweet potato. Serve with warm tortillas or cornbread.

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
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 pound white waxy potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
  • 1 1/2 pound sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
  • 2 canned chipotles in adobo, sliced open and seeded, plus 1 to 2 tablespoons sauce (if you’re unsure, use just 1 chipotle and a dribble of sauce)
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk, non-dairy milk or soy creamer
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat fry the garlic in the olive oil for 30 seconds. Add onion and saute until onion is tender and translucent, about 8 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 25 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.

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