Comfort foods tend to be super greasy and carb-packed, but not all of them have to be that way. I mean, I don’t complain if they are. I’m not likely to turn down a big bowl of homemade mac ‘n’ cheese…if I do, there’s something wrong. That being said, sometimes a bowl of soup can be just as comforting, and you might not feel the immediate need to nap afterwards.
This soup is a new favourite for me. Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce are a great, versatile ingredient; a little goes a long way. I put two in, but if you don’t love spice, I would cut out the hot sauce completely and only use one pepper. The smokiness from the peppers is contrasted with the sweetness from the sweet potatoes, making for a damn good soup.
The original recipe I adapted mine from is from Healthy Seasonal Recipes. When first reading the recipe, I was a little hesitant to add the cinnamon because I’ve never been a huge fan of sweet spices with sweet potatoes. In the end I decided to take a risk and try it out, and trust me, even though it’s subtle it makes a huge difference in a good way.
- 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 2 drops extreme hot sauce (I used Blair’s Ultra Death Sauce)
- 1 drop liquid smoke
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 ½ inch chunks
- 6 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 6 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- Basil leaves for garnish or fresh chopped chives for garnish
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil. Add onion, celery and salt, stirring until the onions very lightly brown and soften. Add in the hot sauce, liquid smoke, cumin and cinnamon, and stir for another 60 seconds until all the flavours have mingled and become aromatic.
Add in sweet potato and broth, stirring to mix well. Cover and increase heat, bringing the mixture to a light boil. Uncover, bring heat back down to medium-low, and allow to lightly simmer for 20 minutes until the sweet potatoes are cooked all the way through. After the 20 minutes is up, stir in the minced chipotles and the cider vinegar. Stir well.
Remove from heat. Using an immersion blender, purée the soup until smooth and creamy. Stir in cheddar and serve hot, garnished with fresh basil leaves, chives or freshly ground black pepper. Store the soup in the fridge for up to 5 days—it tastes even better heated up the next day!