The beauty of this soup lies not only in the gorgeous hue of the purple sweet potatoes but also in its simplicity. Four ingredients plus aromatics and a couple of spices/herbs make for a humble but flavorful soup, made luscious with fresh goat cheese, stirred in at the end of cooking.

Bowl of purple sweet potato, broccoli and goat cheese soup.

The inspiration for this soup comes loosely from the iconic and comforting broccoli and cheddar soup. Every year I’m taken in by the alluring purple sweet potatoes when they arrive at my local food COOP. I think they are a seasonal occurrence, whose presence waxes and wanes through the seasons, but if you can get your hands on even just one of these beauties, you are in for a visual and culinary treat. The idea that I can eat something purple that is savory, and get all those anthocyanins that blueberries contain, excites me and combining it with gorgeous green broccoli, for a powerhouse of a soup, excites me even more. So here we go!

What are the Features of this Soup?

  • Broccoli Cheddar Soup Vibe -Fresh goat cheese (a.k.a. chevre) is stirred into the soup at the end for incredible flavor. Fresh goat cheese has a mild tangy flavor and is lighter than hard cheeses, but it lends a wonderful creamy texture and flavor.
  • Flavor Profile – Unlike its milder cousin, broccoli cheddar soup, this soup has a punchiness that comes from a trio of cumin/oregano and cilantro as well as an avocado jalapeno crema drizzled over the top. You can dial that back as you wish, by leaving the jalapeno out of the crema, but the trio of herbs/spices gives the soup a subtle flavor that elevates it beyond the broccoli and cheese concept. Unlike many sweet potato soups that get their sweetness from the addition of maple syrup or other sweeteners to play up the sweetness, this soup is savory.
  • Velvety smooth texture – The combo of sweet potato, white potato, and goat cheese give this pureed soup a wonderfully smooth and velvety texture.
bowl of purple sweet potato soup with toppings.

Above: Cilantro, goat cheese, and crispy onions make great toppings for this soup, as do small bits of broccoli.

Ingredient Notes + Substitutions

  • Purple Sweet Potatoes – While this recipe is built around a purple sweet potato, you can certainly substitute any sweet potato you have or want to use. There is probably some subtle taste differences between the different types, but nothing significant.
  • Broccoli – The broccoli is chopped small and cooked separately in some water, and added to the pureed soup at the end of preparation so that the soup remains purple. The broccoli cooking water can be used as needed to thin the soup at the end of cooking and lend more broccoli flavor.
  • White potato – The white potato acts to thicken the soup and balance the sweetness of the sweet potato.
  • Puree – I’ve pureed the soup in its entirety, before adding the broccoli and cheese, but you can also puree less, and leave some of the potato chunks intact for a chunkier soup.
  • Goat Cheese – Goat cheese lends a wonderfully tangy and dairy flavor to the soup, without adding as much fat or salt as hard cheeses. You could use feta if you cannot get goat cheese. It would be saltier, and take a bit longer to melt because it is dryer and a bit lower in fat.

Above: The broccoli is cut up smaller than usual for this soup, before boiling quickly. the water used to cook the broccoli can be added to pureed soup to adjust the thickness of the soup.

Ingredients for sweet potato and broccoli soup.

Above: The ingredients are simple and humble, but yield a nutritious and wonderfully tasty soup.

Method + Timing

  • Prep – A few minutes spent washing and chopping the ingredients is all that is needed.
  • Cook – This soup couldn’t be easier. Saute the aromatics, add the potatoes, spices, and broth then cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, you blanch/boil the broccoli.
  • Blend and Finish – The cooked soup is blended, then the broccoli and goat cheese are stirred into the soup.
  • If using, the crema ingredients are blitzed into a light green sauce and used as a topping.

Above: This soup uses a simple process of sauteing the aromatics (garlic, onion), then adding the chopped potatoes, spices, and broth to cook.

Above: Once the potatoes are cooked, the soup is pureed and returned to the pot, where the cooked broccoli and fresh cilantro are stirred in, followed by the goat cheese, which is stirred in until it melts and is incorporated.

Above: Avocado Crema ingredients are blitzed in a blender or food processer for up to a minute depending on the amount/vessel, so that it fully blends into a whipped green sauce, reminiscent of mayonnaise, light and fluffy from the avocado.

crispy onion package.

Crispy Onions!

I don’t usually promote packaged foods, but I love these crispy onions found in the produce section of my local grocer, near the tofu and croutons, etc. They taste just right without too much grease or salt. Homemade fried shallots (just fry shallots in a shallow pan of oil) are also amazing, but I recommend these.

Serving + Reheating

This soup is fun to top with any of the following for visual impact as well as added flavor and crunch:

  • Avocado Jalapeno Crema – the jalapeno heat goes well with the cumin flavoring in the soup, and the fact that there is cilantro, both in the soup and in the crema.
  • Reserved cooked broccoli and goat cheese
  • Scallions
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Crispy Onions – see the info box above about these.
  • Chili flakes

The soup reheats beautifully on the stove-top or in the microwave. Take care not to bring it to a boil on the stove-top, or the melted goat cheese might separate.

bowl of purple potato and broccoli soup with a cup of avocado crema sitting next to it.
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Bowl of purple sweet potato, broccoli and goat cheese soup.

Purple Sweet Potato Soup with Broccoli and Goat Cheese

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Servings4
Calories326
The beauty of this soup lies not only in the gorgeous hue of the purple sweet potatoes but also in its simplicity. Four ingredients plus aromatics and a couple of spices/herbs make for a humble but flavorful soup, made luscious with fresh goat cheese, stirred in at the end of cooking.
Kitchen Tools
  • 1 3 qt soup pot
  • 1 blender

Ingredients
 

  • 2 olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion (chopped (I used the food processor))
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp dried cilantro (or 2 Tbsp fresh chopped)
  • 1 medium-large purple sweet potato chopped
  • 1 medium potato chopped (russet or any type)
  • 1 quart vegetable broth (I use low sodium)
  • 1 crown broccoli (about 2 cups chopped smallish)
  • 4 oz soft fresh goat cheese (a.k.a. chevre)
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
Optional Avocado Jalapeno Crema
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup plain non-fat greek yogurt (or your choice, but should be plain)
  • 2 scallions (a.k.a. green onions)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 tbsp diced jalapenos (canned, or pickled) (leave out if you don't like the kick)

Method:  

  • Chop broccoli into small pieces as shown in photo. We don't want large chunks. Steam/boil in about 1 cup of water a few minutes, until tender (leftover water can be used to thin soup later). Set aside to add to soup after it is pureed. See note.
  • Heat olive oil in pot, add onion and garlic and saute 5 minutes until soft. Add cumin, cilantro, oregano and saute briefly, then add potatoes (both) and broth and cook about 10 minutes until potatoes are tender.
  • Puree soup in blender, food processor or with immersion blender until smooth.
  • Return pureed soup to pot on med-low heat. Stir in broccoli and goat cheese (reserve some broccoli and goat cheese for garnish if you like).
  • Once goat cheese is incorporated, then taste and add salt and pepper to taste.
Make Avocado Jalapeno Crema (optional)
  • Place all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until uniformly green. Add salt and pepper to taste. See note.

Notes

Soup Note: I intentionally keep the broccoli aside from the rest of the soup until after it is pureed, to keep the hue of the soup purple. There is no reason you cannot include it and puree it with the potatoes if you prefer.
Crema Note: This quantity of crema is perfect for 4, but is not a large amount, and it can be a tad tricky getting it blended. As you can see in my photos, one batch is thoroughly green and uniform looking and one batch (shown ready to serve in glass dish), is lighter with green specks. I find it blends differently in a high-speed blender versus a food processor, and adding a bit more water/lime juice allowed me to achieve a more uniform green color, but is not necessary.
Nutrition Facts Note: The nutrition facts are calculated based on the avocado crema being divided into four servings. You may not find you eat a full 1/4 of it, per serving.

Nutrition (an estimate)

Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 168mg | Potassium: 788mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 142mg | Iron: 3mg | Magnesium: 58mg | Net Carbohydrates: 25g
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