Smoky Sweet Potato Soup

Smoky Sweet Potato Soup

From my November 2021 Thanksgiving Times Union story. Read it here.

I think a pot of soup is a nice touch to a Thanksgiving spread. The day can be long and alongside the cheeses and dips and nibbly things we put out during the day, a cup of hot soup is a good holdover. This particular recipe checks the required Thanksgiving recipe boxes: make it ahead, keep it warm all day, let everyone customize their bowls with sour cream, roasted seeds, hot sauce and whatever else you can dream up. And, it is made from loads of sweet potatoes, making it simple and beautifully colored. The secret here is the balance of the sweetness in the potato, the smoky paprika and the touch of spice in the chile powder. Do note that the spice used here isn’t your regular old chili powder, but a powder made from ground ancho chiles, nothing else added. It’s pure, warm spice, and easy to find in the spice aisle. 

Smoky Sweet Potato Soup

Recipe by Caroline Barrett




  • Olive oil

  • 1 yellow onion, trimmed, peeled and sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided

  • 1 heaping teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1 heaping teaspoon ancho chile powder

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2” pieces

  • 4-6 cups unsalted chicken broth

  • 1 sprig rosemary

  • Salt and pepper, to taste.

  • Sour cream, toasted pumpkin seeds, hot sauce for serving


  • In a large pot, heat a swirl of olive oil over a medium low flame. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until very soft and deeply golden browned on the edges. Add the garlic, stir and cook for one minute, then add ½ teaspoon salt and the spices. Add a bit more oil if it’s dry, and cook until fragrant, one minute more. Stir in the sweet potatoes, four cups of broth and the rosemary. Bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook until the potatoes are fork-tender, about 25 minutes. Allow to cool. Remove the rosemary and use an immersion blender (or transfer to a regular blender) to puree the soup. Add more broth, a bit at a time, if it’s too thick. Return to the pot and heat until steamy. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve warm with the accompaniments.

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  1. Pingback: Thanksgiving Traditions, and the Foods to Match – Caroline Barrett

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