Philacatessen | Tomato Soup, Saved by the Sweet Potato


Last Sunday, I made tomato soup for dinner. It was not a typical Sunday dinner, but we had been on a bit of a tear with parties and restaurants and wanted something light.

I threw together a simple tomato soup using a can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes, onion, broth, you know, the usual, and it came out very acidic. Edible, but not tasty.

I considered tempering it with cream, but we were aiming for a lighter repast so I noodled around in the larder and came up with a sweet potato. It was an ideal addition — the sweet potato added texture, tamped down the acidity and boosted the nutrition.

Of course, I had to retrofit the soup by boiling the sweet potato separately as a repair job, but henceforth, I will use it as a key ingredient. The version below is vegan/pareve, but it could easily be made meat or dairy using chicken or beef broth, sautéing the onions in butter instead of oil, or adding cream.

bowl of tomato soup
Photo by Keri White

Tomato Soup Saved by the Sweet Potato

Serves 4

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Generous sprinkling of pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 large can whole peeled tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 2 cups vegetable broth

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, salt, pepper, turmeric and cumin. Sauté until the onions are softened.

Add the remaining ingredients, bring them to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are soft.

Puree with an immersion blender or, using extreme caution, a regular blender or food processor.


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