Gloriously golden and lightly spiced, this sweet potato and carrot soup is so easy to make and can be ready on the table in next to no time, with an extra portion or two to fill the freezer.
Sweet potato and carrot soup
This sweet potato and carrot soup with warming spices is such a glorious colour and has a velvet smooth texture. Ready in about half an hour, it is perfect comfort food for lunch.
- carrot and coriander soup, the classic carrot soup
- for a twist on this recipe try my sweet potato and butternut squash soup, made easier with my cheat ingredient.
- carrot and lentil soup is warming, nutritious and lightly spiced
We eat soup for lunch almost every day, so I am always trying new recipes. Even in the heat of summer we enjoy chilled soups and I find that it is impossible to get bored!
This recipe is a breeze to make, thanks to my new favourite cheat ingredient – a bag of ready-prepared sweet potato.
Although I nearly always cook for two, I do batch cook my soup. I generally making 6 portions at once, and these sit quite happily in the fridge for 3 days. Like stews, casseroles, and curries, they are often better for having had a rest while the flavours develop. Alternatively, they can be frozen.
Both the main ingredients and spicing for this sweet potato and carrot soup are adaptable, and you almost certainly already have most of them in your kitchen cupboard.
Why make sweet potato and carrot soup?
- quick and easy to make
- adaptable – the recipe is a guide, but you can use what you have available
- uses everyday ingredients from the store cupboard
- contains at least 2 portions of vegetables per serving
- perfect for batch cooking and filling the freezer
Sweet potato and carrot soup ingredients
- Onion – one white/yellow onion, though you could use 2–3 shallots instead
- Celery – 1 stick. The celery does not make your soup taste of celery but it does add another layer of delicious flavour. You can leave it out or substitute with an extra onion, or a few cloves of garlic if you need to.
- Sweet potato – I cheated and bought a bag of ready prepped sweet potato with my regular grocery order to save time, but you can use two sweet potatoes
- Carrots – 3–4 medium ones or a handful of smaller carrots
- Olive oil – for frying. I like a light, non-refined oil.
- Spices – I have used garam masala, smoked paprika and cumin, but this is a forgiving recipe and you can use your favourites. (See variations below for other ideas.)
- Stock – vegetable or chicken stock, as you prefer
How to make sweet potato and carrot soup – step by step
Before you start, read my step-by-step instructions, with photos, hints and tips so you can make this perfectly every time.
Scroll down for the recipe card with quantities and more tips at the bottom of the page.
Step One – Prepare the vegetables. As this is a blended soup, you don’t need to spend too much time chopping!
Carrots – top, tail then peel and cut into chunks. Cut them a little smaller than the pieces of sweet potato, about half an inch (1.5 cm).
Celery – trim the ends and chop the stick into 5 or 6 pieces
Onion – peel and roughly chop
Sweet potato (not shown) – peel and cut into pieces, slightly larger than the carrot
Helen’s Fuss Free Tip
The carrot takes longer to cook than the sweet potato. Cut it a little smaller, and both should be ready at the same time.
Step Two – Start by heating the oil in the bottom of a large saucepan or casserole.
Add the prepared onion and cook over a medium heat, stirring from time to time until fragrant, translucent and just starting to turn golden.
Add the spices and stir these in. Allow to cook for another minute.
Step Three – Add the carrot, celery and sweet potato. Give it a good stir so they are coated with the spice mix and cook for another minute.
Add about 3 cups of water to cover the vegetables, and then add the stock cube or pot.
Helen’s Pro Tip
You can always add some more water or stock at the end if the soup is too thick. You can’t take it out. If in doubt, err on the side of caution.
Step Four – Now put the lid on, and simmer over the lowest heat for about 20 minutes, until all the vegetables are soft. Depending how small you chopped, it might need another 5 minutes.
I use a heat diffuser to keep the soup simmering rather than boiling. They are inexpensive and last for decades, making them a great investment.
Step Five – Use a stick blender to whizz the soup to a silky smooth consistency. Taste and season. Add a little more water if needed.
Fuss Free Tip
I nearly always use a stick blender to whizz my soup. They are inexpensive, easy to clean and last for years.
You can use a jug blender or food processor but take extra care when blending hot liquids. Make sure that the central bung is loose to allow steam to escape. Cover it with a folded tea towel to catch any liquid and blend in short pulses allowing steam to escape between each pulse to avoid blowing the lid off.
I often stir through a handful of finely chopped green herbs before serving, or a knob of butter to make the soup extra creamy. It’s up to you!
Garnish to serve – a swirl of cream or yoghurt is delicious, as well as a sprinkling of seeds. Serve with your favourite fresh bread, toast, crackers or savoury scones.
- You can vary the vegetable base. You want approximately the same quantities of carrot and sweet potato, and about a quarter as much again of onion, celery, leeks etc.
- Vary the spicing to taste. I used a mix of garam masala, smoked paprika and ground cumin. You can add any warming spice. Try a hotter chili, mild curry powder, turmeric or ground coriander seed. Ginger, mace or nutmeg will also work.
You do not want to overdo it and overwhelm the delicate flavour of the carrot and sweet potato, so use about 2 tsp of spices in total at the most.
- For a lighter brighter soup add a squeeze of lemon. The acidic lemon juice works as a flavour enhancer.
- Make this more substantial by adding a pouch or tin (rinsed and drained) of ready cooked lentils or grains.
- For an Asian twist, make my coconut and ginger carrot and sweet potato soup.
This sweet potato and carrot soup recipe will serve six with some hearty bread, so if you are making it for one or two, you will have plenty for the next few days.
Fridge – Once cool, cover and store in the fridge, where it will keep for up to three days. Reheat in a pan on the stove or in the microwave.
Freezer – Transfer the cooled soup to airtight containers and freeze your soup for up to three months.
Reheating – Defrost your sweet potato and soup in the fridge overnight, or on the kitchen counter for a few hours. Reheat in a pan on the stove top, or in a safe container in the microwave. When using the microwave, I like to use a Pyrex-style jug as you can lift it out one handed and pour it out easily.
Hints and tips
When you are chopping vegetables for a blended soup, you don’t have to worry about making them look pretty and even, but if you have vegetables that cook at different rates, cut the slower cookers smaller.
If you must use a jug blender, leave the bung loose or out, and cover with a tea towel. I really do recommend using a stick blender instead. It’s so much easier and they are cheap to buy.
Carrots are famously high in beta-carotene, the orange pigment that can be converted in the body to vitamin A, also called retinol. Sweet potatoes also contain beta-carotene in abundance.
Important for a healthy immune system and skin, it is also essential for healthy eyes and good vision. Yes, carrots really do help you see in the dark (and light)!
There are lots of other vitamins and micronutrients in these vegetables too – vitamin E, vitamin K, iron, choline… many great reasons to enjoy your soup.
Sweet potato is sometimes called ‘yam’ in the US but it is not related to the true yam, which is popular in West African and Carribean dishes.
It’s not a true potato either, though they are distantly related. Instead, this North American vegetable is the tuber of a form of bindweed or morning glory. Full of vitamins, minerals and fibre, it is delicious roasted, chipped or in soups.
Yes. I tend to stir in a knob of butter at the end for a creamier version, but you could use cream or creme fraiche instead. Do this at the end before you serve and allow it to come up to temperature without overheating.
If you are going to freeze your soup, add any liquid dairy afterwards when you have reheated it.
If you have leftover roasted sweet potato, this is a great way to use it up. Add it once the carrot is soft and let it heat through before you blend.
Sweet potato and carrot soup
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1 sticks celery
- 350 g sweet potato (prepared)
- 400 g carrots
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp cumin (ground)
- 1 cube stock, chicken or vegetable
- 750 ml water
- pepper and salt (to season)
- fresh herbs such as parsley to stir through and garnish
- knob of butter
- Peel, trim and chop the vegetables as necessary. Ideally, you should cut the carrot a little smaller than the sweet potato, which will mean that they cook at the same rate.1 medium onion, 1 sticks celery, 350 g sweet potato, 400 g carrots
- Heat the oil in the bottom of a large saucepan or casserole. Add the onion and cook over a medium heat, stirring from time to time until it is soft and starting to turn golden. And the spices and continue for another minute.1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp garam masala, ½ tsp cumin, ½ tsp smoked paprika
- Add the carrot, celery and sweet potato. Stir to coat with the spice mix and cook for another minute.
- Add about 3 cups of water to cover the vegetables, and then add the stock cube or pot.1 cube stock, chicken or vegetable, 750 ml water
- Cover and bring the soup to a gentle simmer. Cook on the lowest heat for about 20–25 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
- Blend to a smooth consistency with a stick blender. Check the soup and adjust seasoning, adding more liquid if needed.pepper and salt, fresh herbs such as parsley to stir through and garnish, knob of butter
- Stir through some herbs or a knob of butter if desired before serving hot.