VEGAN SPICY SWEET POTATO SOUP
The Complete Vegan Kitchen
Hearty whole-grain bread is an especially i)ood accompaniment to this soup.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
• 2 teaspoons cumin seed or 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 tablespoon oil
• 3 medium onions, cut into a medium dice
• 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced, or 2 teaspoons garlic puree
• 1/2 bunch celery, cut into a medium dice
• 2 medium carrots, cut into a medium dice
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
• 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (optional)
• 8 cups water or Vegetable Stock
• 3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1- to 2-inch cubes
• 1 small dried chipotle or 1/2 canned chipotle, drained
• 1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
• Salt and pepper
• 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
• Fresh cilantro leaves, whole or coarsely chopped
If you are using cumin seeds, toast them gently in a soup pot over medium heat just until they begin to brown. Add the oil and raise the heat to medium-high. Add the onions, garlic, celery, and carrots. Cook without stirring until the vegetables brown slightly. (This will take some patience and restraint.) When the vegetables have begun to brown, add the chili powder, ginger, and ground cumin, if not using seeds. Cook this mixture until a heady aroma rises from the pot and vegetables are fairly soft.
Add the stock and the sweet potatoes. Cook until the sweet potatoes are very soft, just about falling apart, about 40 minutes. Taste the soup and add chipotles accordingly. Remember that the heat of the chipotle will continue to develop over the next day or so, so if you are heat-averse, be conservative at this point.
Puree the soup and return it to the pot. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. If the soup is too spicy, a bit of sugar will tone it down a little. If the soup is too mild, a little more chipotle will add some kick.
Toast the pumpkin seeds either in a saute pan over low heat on top of the stove or in a medium oven, until they begin to pop and plump up.
Ladle the soup into bowls. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and cilantro.