Hello Vegetarian Carnivores! Fall is upon us, and though it may not feel like it yet, we’re going to jump right into all things autumn themed. I know this year has been rough on a lot of us, myself included. The days run into each other and half the time I’m not even sure what day of the week we are on anymore. But there is no denying that you are even just a tiny bit excited for all things seasonal! I eagerly wait for September so I can justify my gourd and root vegetable obsession. There are so many things you can do with root vegetables, which is what we’re going to discuss today. Let’s talk about my roasted sweet potato soup. It’s creamy, it’s wholesome, and it’s packed with all the feel good warm flavors that welcome fall.
Why you’ll love this soup
Soups are traditionally super savory. And while I love those soups, I wanted to introduce an extra level of complexity and throw in a bit of sweetness. As you all know, I am not a huge fan of sweet things- I can’t eat more than a bite or two of store bought cookies or cupcakes because the sweetness really kills me. However, when subtle enough and paired with balancing earthy tones, subtle sweet hints are absolutely delicious. So don’t shy away from this recipe simply because you are not a sweets person- this recipe was created by a savory-over-sweet kind of gal.
Our star ingredients
Sweet potatoes- Oven baked sweet potatoes, all the way through, with zero oil helps the skins peel off easily. We’re baking them for around an hour wrapped in aluminum foil and then taking them out and leaving the wrap on for an additional 10 minutes to help the potatoes sweat. Then the skins peel right off and the potatoes are in a completely mashable consistency and beautifully caramelized.
Poultry seasoning- Before you go off on me, you should know that poultry seasoning contains zero poultry. A lot of people are thrown off by the name, but actually the overwhelming majority of spice mixes I have come across are totally vegan. Ribs seasoning, steak seasoning, you name it. They’re literally just herbs blended that are traditionally put when cooking non vegan things. So let’s get back to our poultry seasoning: we’re using a blend with sage, rosemary, marjoram, and black pepper, to name a few. These are very typical earthy flavors and those we associate with the fall. A little bit goes a long way.
Nutmeg- Another fall spice that is incredibly pungent so don’t, I repeat DO NOT, go overboard with this one. For the quantity I’m describing below, one half of a teaspoon is enough. There is nothing worse than just getting mouthfuls of spice- and nobody wants that. Moderation is key, and nutmeg is beautiful when used properly.
Red wine- This should come as no surprise to you. I love deglazing literally all my pans with red wine. Just a quarter cup of any red wine you have will work wonders and add extra depth and completely take away the need for any kind of external broth. We’re cooking everything from scratch in this recipe. I used a red wine that I had opened and not finished for way too long, and it worked really well.
Arrowroot starch- This is great for thickening soups and sauces. Use just enough water to completely dissolve the starch into an even liquid. We’re using this to transform our soup from a thin consistency to a thicker more bisque-y consistency so you can pair it with your favorite crusty bread.
The process in making this delicious soup is essential to getting an even and completely smooth result. Or else you may end up with clumpy bits in the middle. And who wants that?
While our sweet potatoes are in the oven, we’re going to prepare the base. In a heavy bottom soup pan we’re going to sear our onions and garlic and really bring the aromatics out. You can do this with a touch of oil like I did, or leave it out to achieve a fully whole foods plant based meal. I just quartered the onions and smashed the garlic and threw them in there. Since we’re pureeing it in the end, there’s no need for finely diced pieces. Moreover, I’ve found it more challenging to get a smooth puree when I start with tiny diced pieces than from giant chunks.
Once the onions and garlic are nicely seared and fragrant, deglaze your pan with some red wine and mix well. If the sweet potatoes aren’t ready to mix in yet, turn the heat off the onions and garlic mixture. Add in the peeled and completely cooked sweet potatoes into the pan and then immersion blend the thick mixture into as smooth a puree as possible. SLOWLY add in one cup of water at a time, continuing to immersion blend until everything is smoothly incorporated. If you just dump all the water in at once, it’ll be very hard to get an even smooth blend. Trust me, I’ve made that mistake!
Once all the lumps are gone, add the rest of the water, spices, and arrowroot starch slurry. Mix well and let it simmer for around 10 minutes until thick enough to coat a spoon.
Oh, and I just realized that my attempt at food styling with vegan sour cream accidentally resulted in a spooky looking weird branchy tree kind of thing. As you can see below… LOL I guess I can’t turn my spook mode Halloween loving self off!
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 3 small sweet potatoes
- 2 medium white onions, quartered
- 3 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 4 cups water, divided
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 3 tbsp arrowroot starch, in a slurry
- Cover sweet potatoes with aluminum foil and roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 50 minutes to 1 hour until completely cooked through. Take out of the oven, keep foil on, and sweat for 10 minutes. Remove skins. This should be very easy at this stage.
- While sweet potatoes are cooking, sear onions and garlic in a heavy bottom pot, with some optional olive oil if you like. Once they are aromatic, deglaze the pot with red wine.
- Add in sweet potatoes and immersion blend to a smooth puree. Add one cup of water at a time to aid in pureeing until you get a smooth mixture.
- Add the remaining water, how much ever is left. Mix well.
- Add arrowroot starch slurry, poultry seasoning, nutmeg, and ginger powder and mix well.
- Let it boil for 10 minutes until it thickens.