Every weekend I make a pot of soup to use up whatever I have in the refrigerator and pantry before it spoils. This has been a habit ever since my mother and grandmother would clean out the fridge the day before our last day of being in a summer vacation house rental. All the kids, siblings and cousins, used to call this “clean out the fridge soup”. We wasted nothing and the soup was always different and interesting.
Sometimes there would be 2 or 3 different types of soup cooking on the stove. This was great because it gave us a variety to choose from. There would be bread and butter on the side to have with our bowls or mugs of soup.
I recently bought a giant bag of organic sweet potatoes and a lot of fresh baby greens. It was way more than I could eat in a week. So, I decided to make a soup that I could have for weeknight dinners and could also freeze for the colder months.
I added nut butter and some harissa also. I added those to impart additional flavor and a creamier texture. My inspiration came from a recipe I saw in Vegetarian Times.
How to Make Sweet Potato and Fresh Greens Soup
The basic ingredients of this soup include:
- Yellow onion
- Garlic cloves
- Sweet potatoes
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Tomato paste
- Tahini, cashew butter, or almond butter
- Ground turmeric
- Ground cumin
- Vegetable broth
- Baby spinach and kale leaves
- Mild harissa or a seasoned olive oil
- Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
You will need a colander, a vegetable peeler, a cutting board, a sharp chef’s knife, a small skillet, a large soup pot or Dutch oven, and a blender or immersion blender.
1. Prepare the Produce
Start by rinsing and draining the greens in a colander, if you purchased them unwashed.
Peel the onion and garlic cloves. Dice the onion. Mince the garlic cloves.
Rinse and peel the sweet potatoes. Slice them into 1/4 inch thick rounds.
2. Build the Soup Layers in the Pot
Heat the olive oil and sauté the onions in the oil until soft. Add the garlic and continue to cook until just fragrant.
Whisk or stir in the tomato paste, seed or nut butter, turmeric, and cumin to the pot. Cook for another minute until warmed through.
Add the sweet potato slices, vegetable broth, and water to the aromatics and spices. Bring this to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are tender. Stir in the greens and cook for a couple of minutes until they are wilted and soft.
If not already done, toast the pumpkin seeds in a warm skillet until they just start to pop. Set aside.
3. Puree the Soup
Place the soup in a blender and puree until smooth. Or, use an immersion blender and puree right inside the pot. Season with salt to taste.
4. Garnish and Serve
Ladle the soup into individual serving bowls. Dress with a small spoonful of harissa or a drizzle of seasoned oil. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and serve while warm.
I like to serve this as an appetizer followed by a vegan chopped salad.
What Greens Can be Used for This Soup?
The soup I made used baby spinach, baby kale, and young mustard greens. That is what I had in the crisper drawer of the fridge. The recipe here calls for just baby spinach and baby kale. This is a pretty classic mix of greens that you can find triple washed and packaged in most markets.
I think the mustard greens are a little too spicy for some people, so I left them out of the recipe. You can certainly substitute Swiss chard or a mix of young spring greens. If you can’t find baby or young greens, just cook the soup a few minutes longer until the mature greens are tender.
Which Nut or Seed Butter is Best?
This soup is made creamier with the help of nut or seed butter in place of dairy. Originally, I made this with peanut butter. However, peanuts are legumes and not considered Paleo compliant. If you aren’t following a Paleo diet, feel free to use peanut butter.
Tahini is a good option as it tastes similar to peanut butter. Almond or cashew butter also work well. If you want to skip the plant based butter all together, try full-fat coconut milk for a rich texture. The coconut milk adds an interesting and sweet flavor component.
What is Harissa?
I had some harissa on hand. So, that is what I seasoned the finished soup with. Harissa is a North African chili sauce that you can find in the international foods aisle or in with the hot sauce condiments. I am not a fan of super spicy dishes, so I used the mild pepper version.
If you can’t find harissa, you can use any chili sauce or a drizzle of infused olive oil. I like garlic oil or basil oil.
Creamy Sweet Potato and Greens Soup
Learn how to make this delicious, creamy sweet potato and fresh greens soup. Perfect dinner for those cold winter evenings.
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- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes (approximately 5 medium sweet potatoes)
- 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup cup tomato paste
- 1/4 cup tahini, cashew butter, or creamy almond butter
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1-1/2 cups filtered water
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 4 cups baby spinach and kale leaves, washed and drained
- 1/2 cup toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish
- Mild harissa (optional) or a seasoned olive oil, such as garlic or basil
More TIPS about this paleo recipe in the post above!
In a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and onion. Sauté until soft, approximately 5 minutes. Meanwhile, peel the sweet potatoes and slice them into 1/4-inch thick rounds and set aside. Add the garlic to the pot and sauté for 1 minute longer.
Add the tomato paste, seed or nut butter, turmeric, and cumin. Stir and cook for 1 minute until well combined.
Add the sweet potato slices, vegetable broth, and water to the soup base. Bring to a low boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low. Stir to combine and simmer until the potatoes are tender, approximately 23 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the greens and allow them to wilt, approximately 2 minutes.
Place the soup in a blender and puree until smooth. Alternatively, use an immersion blender right inside the pot. Season with salt and simmer until warmed through, approximately 1 minute.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with a dollop of harissa or a drizzle of seasoned oil. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds.
Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. Net carb count excludes both fiber and sugar alcohols (though the latter are rarely seen on this site), because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.