serving the sweet potato soup

Sweet and spicy sweet potato soup

February 6, 2020

I’ve discovered this hearty sweet potato soup last year already.  Long time ago I bought Anna Jones’ book The Modern Cook’s year. I was really excited as I really like her recipes in the Observer. This, however, was a disappointment. Or maybe I just wasn’t ready for it yet. It all seemed too complicated, too healthy, too over the top somehow. However when I quite accidentally got my hands on A modern way to cook, nothing was the same afterwards. Jones planted ideas in my head and turned our household again towards cooking more meals full of vegetables. And this recipe is exactly from this book. It only seemed fitting that after such a long break I will come back with a recipe that was somehow important and provided much needed turn.

This soup is perfect if you want something warming and filling, but at the same time refreshing and tingling. It takes a zip to make, but leaves you fully satisfied. Chilli, lime and peanut butter create a trio that can hardly be challenged. And the topping, my goodness. It feels like extra work and you might be tempted to skip it but don’t do this – don’t miss out on the refreshing crunch.

Sweet potatoes taste nearly energising compare to our usual winter root vegetables. After a lot of parsnip, carrot and beetroots they seem exotic and exciting. They offer carbohydrates, so much needed in winter to keep us going, plus plentiful of beta carotene and vitamins. Chilli offers warmth, especially with those crazy windstorms we’ve been experiencing in Vienna lately. The colour of the soup itself helps to conquer the grey mood caused by the grey weather outside.

The soup requires so little ingredients it is really easy to put together and entails no fuss whatsoever. You can serve this soup in many ways – solo, with a fresh or toasted baguette or maybe with a splash of yoghurt and chili&coriander salsa on top. Maybe even with some rice and extra soy sauce. But if you feel enough is enough it also freezes without any hustle and waits patiently for a day when you just don’t feel like cooking.

Fun fact

Did you know, that sweet potatoes were domesticated over 5000 years ago and they are the official vegetable of North Carolina? Also, February seems to be national sweet potato month (at least in the US but let’s not be too detailed-oriented).

Sweet and spicy sweet potato soup

Category: Recipes

Cuisine: vegan

Servings: 2

serving the sweet potato soup


  • 1 leek
  • 1/2 kg of sweet potatoes (usually 2, but can be 1 if it’s a big one)
  • Fresh ginger - thumb sized
  • 1 chilli (bird’s eye)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable broth powder or 1/2 a cube
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp maple sirup
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter (smooth)
  • 1 shallot
  • Thumb-sized piece of ginger
  • A handful of unsalted peanuts
  • 2 bio-limes (we will be using the skin so make sure it is bio)
  • 1 chili


  1. Boil water in a kettle. Prepare all the ingredients and make sure you have them on hand.
  2. Cut off the dark green part of the leek. Slice the white and light green part in half and wash properly. Then cut into thin stripes.
  3. Heat up oil in a pot to a medium temperature, add leek and let it steam for about 4 minutes or till it is soft. Mix from time to time. Make sure it does not burn, reduce heat if necessary.
  4. When the leek cooks, peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1 cm cubes. Peel and grate ginger. Chop chilli.
  5. When the leek is soft add ginger and chilli mixture. Stir vigorously till it is very fragrant and then add potatoes and 800 ml of boiling water. Add broth cube at this point. Bring to a boil and let cook till sweet potatoes are soft - usually it takes 10-15 minutes, but if you were lazy and your dice was bigger then you might have to wait a bit longer. Add water if needed.
    Make the topping
  1. Peel the shallot and cut it into thin slices. Grate the ginger. Chop the chilli.
  2. Heat up a pan to a high temperature. Add a little bit of oil. Add shallot, ginger and chilli and fry till they are crispy. Mix regularly to make sure nothing burns to coal.
  3. Chop the peanuts roughly and transfer into a bowl. Add grated lime zest. Add crispy shallot with chilli ginger concoction and mix well.
    Back to the soup and assembly
  1. When the sweet potatoes start falling apart when pressed against the side of the pot they are ready. Blend the soup with an immersion blender till it’s smooth.
  2. Add soy sauce, maple syrup, peanut butter and press some lime juice at this stage. Mix and taste, adjust to taste. A pinch of a bit thicker sea salt can only improve this hot deliciousness.
  3. Pour the soup into bowls, add topping, enjoy.

diced sweet potatoes and leeks in a pot

peanuts, lime, chilli and ginger topping
Topping will disappear quickly as it goes great on sandwiches too
fried shallot
Don’t be afraid to fry the shallot really crispy
sweet potato soup with lime juice
squeeze this lime well to add some zing
adding soy sauce to the sweet potato soup
soy sauce will provide much needed umami and more depth