Pureed sweet potato soup is one of my favorites, any time of year. This combination of spices for sweet potato soup has become my go-to when it comes to nutritional value, flavor, and likeability for myself and others I share it with. It tastes great hot or cold, and the ability to add to it makes it a hit with kids and adults alike. For nutrition, the highlight here is the combination of turmeric and pepper.
The Magical Combination of Turmeric and Pepper
Turmeric is known as a health food for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as being a powerful antioxidant. The active ingredient responsible for these effects is curcumin, which also gives turmeric its yellow color. Though powerful as a nutrient, curcumin is actually not readily received by the body, and the majority of it is broken down by the body before it can reach your intestines. Enter piperine!
Piperine is an active ingredient in pepper that gives it the bite we love from commonplace table spice. Though a powerful nutrient in and of itself, piperine’s most beneficial effect may be its ability to catalyze the digestion and absorption of curcumin. There are different theories as to how exactly piperine helps us absorb and utilize curcumin.
The first popular idea that has been studied is that piperine makes the body more susceptible to curcumin absorption. More than a handful of studies (1997, 2013) over the past several decades reinforce this thought. Another idea, that piperine deactivates enzymes in our livers that break down cumin, is essentially a preface to this absorption. Piperine has been shown to have this effect (2007) not only for curcumin, but other nutrients that have amazing effects on our health, specifically antiinflammatories.
All of this boils down to reasons why I utilize turmeric and pepper so often in my soups. Not only is the taste amazing, it feels good knowing I am consuming foods that are going to help me live a more inspired and thriving life. Below are the ingredients and directions to make my favorite Pureed Sweet Potato Soup!
- Puréed Sweet Potato Soup
- 64 ounces chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 medium/large sweet potatoes, chipped
- 1 large yellow onion, chopped
- 1 celery bunch, chopped
- 3-4 carrots, chopped
- 2 TBSP Coconut oil or Butter
- ~2-3 TBSP ginger (Fresh or powdered)
- ~2 TBSP chili powder
- ~1 TBSP Ground Turmeric
- ~1 TBSP Ground Black pepper
- Salt to taste (Depends on salt content in stock)
- Pepitas for garnish (optional)
Enough for the whole family and friends 🙂
Start by putting butter or coconut oil in a large saucepan, followed by potatoes, onion, celery, and carrots. Cook on medium heat, until potatoes and carrots begin to soften. Once there is sign of the veggies softening, turn the heat up to high and add stock and seasonings. Bring soup to a boil, and once it reaches a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Make sure all items in the soup are softened, then turn off the heat.
Next, we are going to blend the soup. Before we get into that, I want to make a point that you NEVER want to blend hot soup (or any hot liquids) in an airtight compartment/blender. The steam from the hot liquids can build up and do one of many things, from cracking your blender container to blowing the top off and making a hot mess all over the kitchen. There are several ways to ensure you don’t end up with a broken blender or soup covered walls.
First, you can let it sit to cool down (approximately one hour). You can also place it in the fridge or freezer to expedite the cool down process. Another option is to make sure your blender is ventilated. I have a KitchenAid blender with a removable plug in the cap, and if I want to eat the soup right away, I take that plug out and put a towel over the top to blend. This way the heat can escape so you can blend the soup worry-free.
The last step is to serve up the soup, garnish with pepitas, and enjoy! This soup is very modifiable and loves additions like ground turkey, shredded chicken, or even a can of strained black beans. Do me a favor and, if you try it out, let me know! You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send me a message on LinkedIn, Instagram, or Facebook.