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As its name suggests, sweet potato soup is a type of soup made from sweet potatoes. It is typically made by pureeing cooked chunks of sweet potatoes. Fresh or canned sweet potatoes can be used in this type of soup, and other ingredients may include other vegetables, like onions and squash, along with spices and milk.
Sweet potatoes are only distantly related to regular potatoes. They are actually members of the Convolvulaceae family, commonly known as the morning glory family. These tuberous roots have a somewhat sweet taste with yellow to orange flesh.
Two types of sweet potatoes can be used to make sweet potato soup. The sweeter variety has dark orange to brown skin with very bright orange flesh. These are sometimes erroneously labeled as yams, although the two are very different. The paler variety of sweet potato has yellow to tan skin with yellow flesh. It is typically believed to be less sweet, but more nutritious.
Fresh or canned sweet potatoes can be used to make this type of soup. When using canned sweet potatoes, all a cook usually has to do is open the can and cook the sweet potatoes. Using fresh sweet potatoes to cook sweet potato soup, on the other hand, typically requires a bit more work.
Fresh sweet potatoes should be firm and free of any bruises or other blemishes. When making this type of soup with fresh potatoes, they must usually be peeled first. They can then be chopped into small uniform chunks to ensure even cooking. The sweet potatoes are then boiled until they are tender.
Other ingredients may also be cooked along with the sweet potatoes. Onions, for instance are often added to most types of sweet potato soup. Squash is also a popular addition to sweet potato soup. Butternut, acorn, or yellow squash is sometimes added to this type of soup.
After all ingredients are cooked, they must then be pureed. This can be done with either a food processor or a blender. Spices like salt and garlic are also usually added to the soup. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves can also be added. Milk or cream may also be added, and the soup is reheated before serving.
A number of sweet potato soup variations exist today. Some cooks may add meat, like sausage, to their soup, for example. Others may enjoy a spicier soup, however, and they may add chilies or jalepeño peppers.