Announcing the winner of our February Soup Contest! Joye Schwartz of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, writes, “I am an avid vegetarian cook and want to submit my Spicy Sweet Potato Soup. My family loves soups, and this one is particularly tasty because it combines the sweetness of the sweet potato with the hot flavor of the jalapeno.” Joye is a visual artist specializing in watercolors, oils and portraiture. Check out her beautiful artwork at JoyefulArtBlog and at Joye Schwartz.
I must admit I was skeptical about the unconventional additions of jalapeño and pizza sauce. But when I tested the recipe on my family last week, it inspired plenty of “mmm’s.” This soup is fairly thick, so I would recommend thinning it with a little vegetable broth or coconut milk. I roasted the jalapeño on the stove to subdue its fiery bite, and because I could not find the pizza sauce that Joye recommended, I substituted tomato sauce. The clever garnish of corn adds a delightful crunch.
Thank you, Joye, and congratulations!
Serves 8 as a first course
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 large sweet potatoes cut in chunks
3 small yellow beets (red work fine, too)
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2-1 jalapeño (roasted, if desired), seeds removed, minced (plus additional for garnish)
1 cauliflower, cut into florets
1 zucchini, chopped
1 28-ounce can pizza sauce (Joye suggests Don Pepino but I used tomato sauce instead)
2 teaspoons tamari sauce
Kosher salt to taste
1 (15-ounce) can sweet corn, drained (or 2 ears fresh corn, kernels removed)
1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potato, beets, onion, garlic and jalapeño. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened.
2. Add the cauliflower, zucchini, pizza sauce and tamari; stir to combine. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Simmer until the vegetables are very tender, about 45 minutes. Season with kosher salt to taste.
3. Allow the soup to cool slightly before blending. Purée the soup in small batches until smooth, thinning with additional broth as necessary for the desired consistency.
4. To serve, stir in the corn and re-warm the soup. Garnish with a pinch of minced jalapeño if desired.
For another unique soup with a kick, try Spinach Soup with Indian Spices.
Photo credit: The New York Times and Suma Coop