The blend of turmeric, cumin, hot chili and peanut butter make this sweet potato soup simply unforgettable.
2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 leeks, white and pale green parts only, sliced
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon of hot chili paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
1 teaspoon of cumin
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 cups of vegetable broth
3 ounces of spinach (about 2 cups), sliced
¼ cup of chopped peanuts for garnish
I start to cut all my vegetables and measure the spices before I am ready to cook, and this makes it much easier to follow the recipe. My old dependable La Creuset Dutch oven pot and 2 tablespoons of olive oil are slowly preheating on medium-low heat. It will take about 5 minutes before it is ready. I don’t want to rush, as too high of a temperature may burn the oil. When I can feel the hint of scent of the oil and see a slight steam emerging from the pot, I am ready to cook the leek. It sizzles at first, and the pale green slices of leek intensify in color, release their juices, filling the kitchen with a slight smell of onion. Leek are in the same family as onion, shallots, and chives, but are much milder. I reduce the heat to low and let the leeks cook for about 10 minutes, until soft.
Now is time to add all the flavorings: tomato paste, peanut butter, chili paste and spices of turmeric, cumin, and, of course, the garlic. I mush all together, to mix them evenly, and heat for just a minute. Savor this moment, because it smells amazing!
Now I am ready to add the diced sweet potatoes and vegetable broth. I give one more good stir, heat up the stove to medium-high, and bring the soup to boil. Then I reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for 20 minutes, until the potatoes are very soft and all the flavors comes together.
When the soup is cooked, l remove it from the stove top, and let it cool a little. Next step, the immersion blender. I blend the soup, until it is creamy and smooth. It has a bright orange color from turmeric, tomato paste and the sweet potatoes.
Last step, just add spinach and wait until it wilts.
I try the first spoonful, it is hot, not only from heat but also from hot chili paste, smooth, velvety, and oh so good. There is no need to add salt, the array of spices is just right. I serve the soup with some extra spinach leaves and coarsely chopped roasted peanuts for a little bit of crunch.
This recipe will make 4 servings.
Preparation time: about 20 minutes
Cooking time: about 40 minutes.
Inspired by a recipe found in the “Farmer’s Market Cookbook” magazine from the Summer of 2014.
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