Here’s just a quick soup I came up with when I happened to have basil on my counter and I needed to get rid of some sweet potatoes. It has a great balance of sweet and savory, and I love that I didn’t need to add any kind of stock—the flavor was great without it. The sweet potato rounds out the acidity of the tomatoes, and can be the main star of the soup, or just play a supporting role.

Sweet Potato Tomato Soup

I listed the kinds of tomatoes that I used, but you can always substitute with what you already have. It’s all going to be blended up in the end. I used my Blendtec to puree this soup, so I was able to leave the skins of the sweet potato on. If you think the skins will be too much for your blender, you can peel them off before adding them to the soup.

1 or 2 sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1 28-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes
1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 pinch cayenne pepper
1-2 cups water

1. With a fork or sharp knife, poke several holes in the skin of the sweet potatoes and place them on the center rack in the oven. Place a parchment paper or aluminum foil lined baking sheet on the bottom rack of the oven to catch any drips. Roast sweet potatoes at 425ºF for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 325ºF, and roast for 30-40 minutes more, or until the flesh is tender to the point of a knife. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2. In a large pot, heat oil over low heat. Stir in onion, celery, and carrot. Cook for 10-12 minutes until vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add in garlic, seasoning, and salt, and cook for a minute more. Stir in tomatoes, cayenne pepper, and a cup of water. Increase the heat to medium low and bring soup to a simmer. Chop up sweet potato, and add to the pot. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and blend soup until very smooth. Place soup back in the pot, and add more water and salt to achieve the desired consistency and flavor.

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