Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Cooking Light November 2013

Cover recipe- Cooking Light, Creamy Sweet Potato Soup: November 2013

Every time autumn comes around I get my pumpkin groove on.

I make things like pumpkin cake, cookies, bread, granola, curry, pasta, and soup. Not to mention how hog-wild (yes, I said hog-wild, lol) I go when it comes to pumpkin spice lattes, both homemade and coffee shop-bought. Pumpkin is great, but there is so much other fantastic fall produce out there as well…even produce that yields the same gorgeous shade of orange! Butternut squash, for starters, and also lovely (and often overlooked) sweet potatoes. Cooking Light magazine’s November issue came to rescue me out of my beloved pumpkin rut.

When I saw the pretty orange soup on the cover of this month’s issue of Cooking Light, at first glance I thought it was probably pumpkin soup. Low and behold, it was not! Creamy Sweet Potato Soup graced the cover, and I couldn’t wait to have it grace my table as well. Read my notes below to see what I thought of this recipe.

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Print Print Recipe

Creamy Sweet Potato Soup

Yield: 6 servings

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 20 min


2 pounds sweet potatoes, halved lengthwise (about 2 large)
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
1 ounce fresh Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves (optional)


1. Place the potato halves cut-side-down in an 11 x 7-inch microwave-safe baking dish. Add 1/4 cup water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at HIGH for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Cool slightly; discard potato skins.

2. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil; swirl to coat. Add the onion; sauté 1 minute or until translucent. Stir in the cumin and red pepper flakes. Add the stock and bring to a boil.

3. Place half of the sweet potato and half of the stock mixture in a blender. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape), and secure the blender lid on the blender. Place a clean towel over the opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters), and blend until smooth. Pour the pureed soup into a large bowl.

4. Repeat this procedure with the remaining sweet potato and stock mixture. Stir in the salt.

5. Divide soup evenly among 6 bowls; sprinkle the cooked bacon and Parmesan cheese evenly over top. Garnish with parsley, if desired.


• Instead of microwaving the sweet potatoes, I peeled and diced them, put them in a medium saucepan, covered them with cold water, brought them up to a boil, and cooked until tender (about 10 minutes), and then proceeded with the recipe. Or you could bake the sweet potatoes if you like.
• For a hint of earthy sweetness to echo the natural sweetness in sweet potato, try this soup with 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup added.
• I made this soup a second time so I could fiddle around with the flavors. The second time I made it with the following changes, which I thought took the recipe over the top: 1) added 1 clove minced garlic with the onion; 2) omitted the cumin; 3) added the following spices: 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves; 4) added 1 bay leaf along with the stock (if you do this, remember to take it out before you puree the soup); 5) added 2 tablespoons of pure maple syrup. It was amazing this way!

Nutritional Information per serving:
Serving size: 1 1/2 cups
Calories per serving: 233
Fat per serving: 6.2g
Saturated Fat per serving: 2.1g
Sodium per serving: 530g
Fiber per serving: 5.1g
Protein per serving: 10.7g
Cholesterol per serving: 12mg
Carbohydrates per serving: 33.9g

The results:

I adored this rich, velvety soup, and one of the things I really enjoyed about it is that it’s so easy to customize. If you want to go with cumin as in the original recipe, you might try adding other spices or flavors that pair well, like a touch of chili powder or maybe smoked paprika. Or instead you could try this soup seasoned with sage, thyme, and browned butter. And I loved the cinnamon and warm spices variation that I listed in the Tips above. This soup is truly like a blank slate with endless possibilities.

Did this recipe deserve the cover spotlight?

Yes! I love the fact that sweet potato was featured instead of the ubiquitous pumpkin and it was still an absolutely perfect autumnal dish. In fact, I think this soup would be an amazing first course for Thanksgiving dinner!

Faith Gorsky is the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind the blog Edible Mosaic , and she is the cookbook author of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair (Tuttle Publishing; November 2012). She was born, raised, and spent most of her life in Upstate New York, and she currently lives in Kuwait. When it comes to cooking, her favorite thing to do is go into the kitchen hungry, open the fridge, and start creating. She loves to travel, especially to places steeped in rich culture and history. She also enjoys reading (cookbooks mostly), vintage shopping (especially in old markets), watching movies (of all genres), and is enamored with ancient cultures (especially Rome and Egypt).

10 Responses to “Peanut Butter Banana Bread”

  1. 1

    LilSis — September 28, 2010 @ 10:44 am

    Everyone in my household loves bananas and peanut butter, so this will definitely be a recipe that I’ll try, (when I get in the mood to bake.) For some reason I tend to bake more breads and muffins than cakes because they always turn out better than my cakes. (Yours looks even better than the one on the cover of the magazine!)

  2. 2

    Mary Ann — September 30, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

    I’m so glad you reviewed this recipe. It is one that I tore out of Cooking Light this month to try, so I’m glad to know it is a tasty one. Thanks for the heads up

  3. 3

    Stephanie — October 1, 2010 @ 3:18 pm

    I made this tasty recipe today but ran into two snags. Had I not been keeping an eye on the oven, the suggested time of 1 hour and 5 minutes would have burned my bread. Also, a touch more peanut butter in the recipe and a pinch less cinnamon and allspice might make the banana-peanut butter combo stand out more. Otherwise, it was well-received!

  4. 4

    Mary — October 1, 2010 @ 11:45 pm

    Oh my! This both looks and sounds delicious! This is bookmarked!

    Great site; so happy I found you!

    Mary xo

  5. 5

    alison @ Ingredients, Inc. — October 3, 2010 @ 7:17 pm

    What a cool idea. When I pulled this up on my phone, I almost couldn’t tell the difference! Love this!

  6. 6

    Christie — October 6, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

    DELICIOUS! Just made it today. But I really wouldn’t consider it a “light” recipe! Those would be some pretty puny slices!

  7. 7

    Aggie — October 19, 2010 @ 6:35 am

    My friend made this and shared with me the day the issue arrived! Loved it!! I love your cooking notes! Looks so delicious!

  8. 8

    Kendall — November 8, 2010 @ 11:25 am

    Hi Lori! First, let me say that I LOVE Culinary Covers!! I am addicted to cookbooks and cooking magazines, too, so I love seeing your recreations! I made this bread recipe over the weekend and loved it! I followed your advice to leave out the nuts, and didn’t bother with the glaze. I baked 4 mini sized loaves, and they were delicious! Thanks for inspiring me!

    • Lori Lange replied: — November 8th, 2010 @ 11:15 pm

      Wow, thanks for sharing your thoughts! Glad this recipe worked out for you :)

  9. 9

    Erin — November 11, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    I skipped the glaze and it was perfect without. Also added chocolate chips. There was an intoxicating aroma coming from my oven!

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