Chipotle sweet potato soup with spiced pecans

Chipotle sweet potato soup with spiced pecans DSC3758

Tonight I made one of my favorite soups, a thick sweet potato soup made fiery and smoky with chipotles. I make this soup often in the cold-weather months, but for some reason I’ve never shared it with you. Well that’s about to change.

I’ll be going home next week and with my clothes a bit snug and my complexion splotchy, I decided to do a quick, two-day detox before the holidays. Over the weekend I drank furry apple juice spiked with cayenne, sipped dandelion tea mixed with lots of lemon and ginger, and downed the occasional glass of almond milk for a bit of protein.

I didn’t have much energy, so I just lay on the couch reading my friend’s new book. The weather was mild with high temperatures and gentle breezes, so in the afternoons I’d go for walks by the river. I made up this regime, so I don’t know if I was following proper detox form, but after a couple of days I was less puffy and possessed a sense of peace and restfulness I hadn’t had for quite a while.

Chipotle sweet potato soup with spiced pecans | Homesick Texan

But enough about my detox—you want to know about the chipotle sweet potato soup! It’s recommended when you conclude a detox that you shouldn’t overburden your system. So smoked brisket and a big bowl of queso—no matter how much I was craving them—were out of the question.

In my refrigerator, however, were some sweet potatoes. And I knew that this quick soup would be a fine, fine way to re-enter the land of the eating. There’s not much to it, you just throw together your aromatics, the chopped sweet potatoes, some chipotles and spices, pour in some chicken broth and let it cook. After about half an hour, let it cool a bit and then puree it. Ladle it into bowls and serve.

I like to top it with sour cream and some chipotle-cinnamon roasted pecans, for a bit of cream and crunch. But honestly, this soup is equally fine on its own.

Chipotle sweet potato soup with spiced pecans | Homesick Texan

After Thanksgiving, if you have leftover sweet potatoes, this is a wonderful way to use them. Or this soup would also make for a stunning starter. Though you don’t really need a special occasion to eat it. I find that I love it best on those cool, quiet evenings when I’m seeking something simple and satisfying. And this chipotle sweet potato soup always does the trick.

Chipotle sweet potato soup with spiced pecans DSC3758
5 from 2 votes

Chipotle sweet potato soup with spiced pecans

Servings 8
Author Lisa Fain


Ingredients for the soup:

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, about 2 large, peeled and cubed
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 to 4 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Sour cream for serving

Ingredients for the pecans:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • Salt


  1. Heat the olive oil on medium low in a large soup pot, and cook the onions and celery for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 more seconds. 

  2. Add the sweet potatoes, broth, chipotles, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg to the pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender. Turn off the heat and let the soup cool for 10 minutes.
  3. As the soup cools you can make the pecans. Melt the butter in a skillet on low heat. Add the pecans and stir them until they are covered in the butter. Add the cinnamon and chipotle powder and stir to coat. Cook the pecans, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  4. In batches, puree the cooled soup in the blender. If you prefer, you can use an immersion blender in the pot instead. Once the soup has been pureed, stir in the lime juice and add salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream and some of the chopped cinnamon-chipotle pecans.

Recipe Notes

Please note that the chipotle chiles are not 2 to 4 entire cans, simply 2 to 4 individual chile peppers from a can.

  1. WildCilla

    First comment! That's exciting. I'm up for anything with chipotle, and I've never tried it with sweet potatoes. Sounds wonderful.

    By the way, I'm a Texan too – I still live here, in Lubbock – and I love, love,love your blog. The recipes always make me think of summers with my Oma in Lockhart… Thank you.

  2. This looks fabulous, and I am most definitely going to try it soon!

    But I've got to ask – WHAT is furry apple juice?

  3. Kelly @ EvilShenanigans

    Well, that sounds so good! I imagine the addition of the lime juice really makes the soup bright yet earthy. Those pecans, by the way, sound like good New Years Eve party food … they would be very popular with some bubbly!

  4. I can just imagine how this must taste – WOW. Thanks for a keeper of a recipe!

  5. This soup sounds perfect for these cold West Texas nights. It's on my list for the weekend! Thanks!

  6. Lisa Fain

    WildCilla–Awww, thank you. And you have to try chipotles with sweet potatoes–it is an amazing combination.

    ToyLady–Furry apple juice is unfiltered–it still has all the pulp so it looks and feel a bit furry.

    Kelly–The pecans would indeed go well with some bubbly. I'll definitely be serving them at my holiday gatherings.

    Katrina–You're welcome. Hope you enjoy it!

  7. This sounds simply marvelous! I will definitely give it a try!

    I've been feeling the same way- we started exercising again and eating vegetarian dinners this week to balance everything out. It is helping quite a bit.

  8. Lovely! I'm a big fan of having a big pot of soup made ahead of time to serve for supper on the Wednesday — otherwise, in all the flurry, there's a 'fridge full of food' and nothing to eat.

  9. Rebecca / ربيكا

    I'm a homesick Texan (and huge fan of your blog) currently living in Cairo, Egypt and planning a seriously multicultural Thanksgiving dinner for next week. This recipe will definitely be on the list. Can't wait to try it! It sounds amazing

  10. Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer

    Two of my favorites together!! Cannot wait to make this.. Sounds and looks DAMN incredible!

  11. kickpleat

    This sounds amazing!! I love chipotle and I might give this a try with squash since I've got a lot on hand. Yum.

  12. This looks so good! I love the chipotle pecans addition.

  13. Gabriela

    Yummmmmy!Chipotle and Sweet Potatoes are calling my name! Just yeasterday I was tempted by this one by Feating on Art.

  14. This looks amazing!! Next time it gets cool here in FL, I will DEFINITELY be making this!!

  15. Alejandra

    That sounds lovely! On Sunday I hosted a "fake-Thanksgiving" and made braised sweet potatoes that I cooked in a braising liquid of Malta (a latin malt soda), chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, and chicken broth. They came out fantastic and are basically the same ingredients in your soup. I should just blitz the leftovers up into a soup.

    Your detox sounds quite lovely, btw. I love a good juice fast every now and then. I usually do a mix of green juices and cayenne lemonade with a pecan or almond milk with cinnamon just before bed. I might do one this weekend, actually (I'm definitely feeling a bit puffy…).

  16. Austin Realname

    Sounds delicious for Thanksgiving night! Adding some leftover turkey might do very well.

  17. Farmer Jen

    Thanks for both delicious recipes. I have made winter squash soup, but neve sweet potato soup. I will try it. And those pecans sound scrumptious!

  18. Tasty Eats At Home

    Oh yum, this sounds so comforting and delicious! Maybe I need one of these detoxes after Thanksgiving, hmm.

  19. Lisa Fain

    Phoo-D–I'm always amazed at how much better you feel when you eat well and exercise. Junk food really is poison.

    Alanna–That's a great idea!

    Gabriela–I make that, too! So easy and delicious.

    Rebecca–Oh, that sounds like it's going to be a wonderful feast.

    Cathy–Thank you! It is pretty incredible.

    Kickpleat–I can put chipotles in just about anything.

    Denise–Watch out–those pecans are addictive!

    Amy–Hope it gets cool for you soon!

    Alejandra–Yep, sounds like your leftovers are almost there. I wish I could stand the green juices as they're so healthy, but I just can't stomach them.

    Austin Realname–Oh, yes! That's an excellent idea!

    Farmer Jen–You can eat the pecans anytime! I love them!

    Tasty–I highly recommend doing a short detox. Makes you feel much better.

  20. heidigoseek

    oh, good gracious. i have vegetable barley soup simmering in a pot right now, but this makes me wanna toss it to the side and start over. i won't…but i'm tempted.
    i cannot imagine a more tempting combo than sweet potatoes and chipotle. i am 31 weeks pregnant. feeling miserable. i will make this for myself tomorrow. i think it'll be a better day than today 🙂

  21. Fresh Local and Best

    I love all of the wonderful spicy and bright flavors in this dish! Delish!

  22. Lisa Fain

    Heidogoseek–I don't know, vegetable barley soup sounds pretty satisfying as well! But hope tomorrow is indeed a better day for you!

    Fresh local and best–Thank you!

  23. I love chipotles and love the idea of using them to spice up a sweet potato soup. Can't wait to give it a try – thanks!

  24. TexasBlueEyedBandit

    I've been real depressed about Thanksgiving this year, because now my parents are in a nursing home, and we can't take them out for the day. So, Lane (my 5yr old son that I've told you about) and I are going to eat lunch there with them. But, I want to fix us some sort of Thanksgiving at home-because I'm Texan and it would just break the law if I didn't! ha! So, I'm more spirited after seeing this! This year we're going to have a Tex Mex Thanksgiving! And, I'm using the Fiesta dishes instead of the Blue Willow this year!!! Think I'll make the squash casserole, too. Mike is going to smoke a ham-must give ya those directions!! We coud SELL those things if we had time to do them! BUT, how about coming up with a tex mex dressing?? THANKS for lifting my spirits for Thanksgiving!! Also, on the Ro-Tel blog, do you know when the contest for the first time ends? Im fixing to change my e-mail stuff up, but Mike said to wait until that contest is over–he loves that grill, and I guess he thinks I'm the only person to enter the contest!ha! Thanks for your blog!!!

  25. Hi Lisa

    This soup sounds delicous. It reminds me also of a Tamasin Day Lewis sweet potato and ginger soup.
    Its the same method, the only veg is the sweet potato and onion and the spice is ginger only, but at the end, after blending you add (heavy)cream, tamari, maple syrup and lime juice.

    She says "… the soup should taste deep, warm, sweet and slightly spicy. If the flavour seems slightly on the surface, add a little more tamari – it will have a wonderful grounding effect".

    I will definitely try yours when I can get some chipotles – not so easy to come by in England.


  26. thecosmiccowgirl

    this is a beautiful and nourishing-looking soup. can't wait to try it. the pecans may make an appearance before the soup for me, too!

  27. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I have everything on hand to make this soup, and I've been looking for a different way to incorporate sweet potatoes into my holiday meal. One questions: why store your sweet potatoes in the fridge? I never do that but maybe it's the best way?

  28. the fashionable traveler

    I've been thinking about this ever since you posted it.
    I'm so happy it uses chicken broth instead of cream. I also love the earthy flavors paired with sweet potatoes as opposed to the typical marshmallows and sweet stuff. I had walnuts so I did the walnuts in cinnamon, ground espelette, and a dash of Louisiana hot sauce, & course sea salt (great cocktail party food, thanks for the bonus) I know this will become one of my fall favorites!

  29. Lisa Fain

    Caitlin–It's a match made in heaven!

    TexasBlueEyedBandit–Fiesta dishes always perk up any occasion! And my uncle makes a wonderful Tex-Mex dressing, which I'll have to watch him make so I can write about it.

    Jo–I love the addition of tamari! As for chipotles, have you tried

    CosmicCowgirl–The pecans have become my new favorite snack. They're addictive!

    Lydia–If it can't be stored in a jar then it goes in the fridge as I'm afraid of attracting little furry creatures!

    The Fashionable Traveler–Glad you enjoyed it! And good to know that walnuts can be substituted for the pecans. I love that you perked them up with espelette and a dash of Louisiana hot sauce–I'll have to try that!

  30. Heidi in DF

    I made this yesterday and just want to say hot damn! that's good eating! And even hotter today since the chipotles tend to do that 🙂 I left some of the soup unpureed since we like soup a little chunkier at my house. This is gonna get made again soon…I'm thinking soup party. Thanks for sharing the recipe and Happy Thanksgiving to all.

  31. The smoky heat of the chipotles would go well with the sweet potatoes!

  32. tbsamsel

    I have several containers of butternut squash puree in the freezer. I think I will try this with the squash. Thanks.

  33. Do you mean to use ground cinnamon and ginger in the soup?

  34. Lisa, ever since I saw the photo I haven't been able to get this soup out of my mind. I posted it on my Facebook page and had my friends drooling.

    Last night I made it, and it was delicious! I didn't have any chipotle in adobo, but being a good Texan I had some dried chipotles and once reconstituted were delicious. I also am dairy free and try to stay away from soy so I used MimicCreme instead of sour cream…delicious! I ran out of chipotle powder a while back and so I used Pasilla on my pecans, and they were WONDERFUL.

    I was a little surprised by the sweetness of the soup, but perhaps my carrots were too big. I still loved it, it was just not what I was expecting. I will definitely make this again! I am also going to post photos on my blog this evening, not as pretty as yours though 😉 Thank you for the wonderful recipe!

  35. Lisa Fain

    Heidi–Excellent news! I'm so happy you enjoyed it. And soup party? What a wonderful idea!

    Kevin–Yes the do! It's one of my favorite combinations.

    TBSamsel–That sounds like a fine idea!

    Asriel–Yes, the cinnamon and ginger are ground. Thanks for pointing that out to me–I'll revise the recipe!

    Marissa–It is a bit sweet, but perhaps if you cut back (or even eliminate) the carrots it would be less so. And I love that you used pasilla on your pecans–I need to grind some of mine up and try that combination! Happy Thanksgiving!

  36. Lisa, the Pasilla spiced pecans were SUCH a hit with my boyfriend. I am even thinking about making a batch for his parents for Christmas.
    I am headed to Houston to see my family over Christmas and I am bringing a suitcase to pack with dried chilies 😉

    I have to say that the soup was even better today. This time I stirred in the vegan cream (MimicCreme) instead of just drizzling it on top. Love!

  37. Phoebe and Cara, The Quarter-Life Cooks

    This sounds so so delicious!!!

  38. Hi Everyone,
    I wanted to tell you that I made this recipe today and it is absolutely amazing, extremely flavorful, and pretty easy. That being said a warning to those who haven't adjusted their tastebuds to a bit of spicy yet – the Chipotle Chiles(canned) were a bit of a surprise for me. I had no idea they would be quite as spicy as they are and I am quite thankful the sourcream dollop is included in the recipe. It did make all the difference as to whether I could eat a bowl or not. I have no idea if I was suppose to remove the seeds from them since they were canned or if for me "the weenie" I should have started with one then maybe added another half, but either way…..
    I WILL absolutely make this recipe again! I highly recommend it!
    Next I am going to try the Hatch Potato Casserole recipe – I can't wait! This is my only blog as a follower and totally my favorite!

  39. Lisa Fain

    Marissa–I always bring an extra suitcase home as well to fill with goodies!

    Phoebe and Cara–Thank you!

    Cathie–I never remove the seeds, though that might contribute to the heat factor. I'm so happy you enjoyed the soup!

  40. This recipe looks so yummy! I'm vegan so I'm looking forward to "veganizing" this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Anonymous

    Try smashed sweet potatoes with chipotle instead of regular ol' mashed potatoes at your next gathering. Roast about 2.5 pounds of sweet potatoes, peel & mash with butter & milk, stir in 2-3 finely chopped chipotles in adobo sauce, add salt to taste, and you're done! It's always a hit with my family. Love the soup and will try it soon. Thanks! – Kris

  42. Mmmm, this one hits home. I'm from Texas also and I'm always finding things to remind me of home… nothing better than southern food.

  43. we are never full

    wow… this sounds great. this is a total upgrade to that "other" potato soup. fabulous color. gotta make this!

  44. I tried this tonight and added one roasted golden beet — nice earthy undertone — and served it with homemade sourdough croutons and sprinkled the top with a little gorgonzola. Turned out pretty well…thanks for the inspiration.

  45. WOW, this was delicious, but SPICY! I have an extremely high spice tolerance, so I figured I could handle two chipotle peppers no problem, but the spice level pushed my limits. Next time, I'll use one pepper. That said, my father and I thought this was a fantastic flavor combination. I served the soup with cheddar-jalapeno scones. I'll be making this again, with the heat dialed down!

  46. JacobSingh

    I really liked this. I didn't have chipotles, so I added about 1Tbs of chipotle powder. In addition, I threw in a red pepper with the carrots. Oh, and I threw in a diced habenero too which is kicking my ass right now and gives the soup a great flavor.

    Also used a few dollops or yogurt instead of sour cream… TASTY!


  47. Anonymous

    This sounds wonderful. A few weeks ago I met a friend for lunch at Applewoods and the soup of the day was a sweet potato with jalepeno. It was awesome. I think your recipe is going to be awesome too.

    Aunt Mer

  48. Anonymous

    I am enjoying the leftovers right now! I made this without the pecans and added a little splash of orange juice at the end. Really good! I love the warmth of the chipotle.
    Quick tip- either remove the seeds from the chipotle before adding, or strain the soup after pureeing to weed out the seeds.

  49. I made this tonight and wow – it is perfect. Smoky, sweet, comforting. I did underestimate the power of the chipotles, though – I used three and probably would've been fine with one. A big dollop of creme fraiche evened it out nicely, though.

  50. The Wickless Wrangler

    I had some sweet potatoes to use up before they went bad and decided to give this a try. IT IS WONDERFUL!!! This is definetly going to be one I make again, and again, and again…….Thanks for sharing!!!

  51. Anonymous

    Love this soup! Only modification I make is I put chunks of ham in it, and top it with pumpkin seeds instead. Thanks so much for a great recipe!

  52. beachdaddy

    Interesting all the little variations … An excellent recipe!!!! I used Greek Yogurt as my stir in, and sprinkled with roasted and salted pipitas right out of the bag … excellent … Someone was surprised at the heat of the chipotles… I use the cans with some regularity and find some peppers are just hotter than others so you never know if you need more or less till you try … and it can be different each time. Excellent!!!! (my tip… freeze extra chipotles from the opened can in a ziplock bag placed flat with all the air squeezed out .. then can just break off what you need next time.

  53. Roberta W.

    Yum yum! Just made this tonite! Loved the flavor! Was in the mood to have soup and looked online for sweet potatoes soup and found you had recipe! Whoo hoo! You sure are a great cook and love your ingredients and of course pictures that tempts us! I didn't have celery, cloves or nutmeg and neither did I have pecans. I added Jamaican allspice, coriander and cumin (1/2 tsp for each) plus a few drops of tamari. Mashed by hand. Will definitely make this every winter! Thanks for this recipe! Ya rock!

  54. Anonymous

    DELICIOUS! I just made this – it is wonderful! I thought I was taking it easy on the heat by "only" using two chipotle peppers – my mouth is on fire! But it's a tasty burn! 🙂

  55. Vicki Bensinger

    I've been looking for a heart healthy sweet potato soup and yours sou ds perfect. There's a store here in town that makes one I love that I'd like to diicate but yours sounds even better. Thanks for sharing this recipe.

  56. No offense to the original recipe but those sugared pecans MAKE this soup! A delightful addition to my recipe box. This will help me keep up with the weekly Meatless Monday Meals!

  57. Heidi in DF

    This is still one of our favorite soups, three years later 🙂 Just made some today.

  58. Brittany M

    5 stars
    I have been making this recipe the past 7 years! This will be the perfect addition to your Holiday spread. I make the soup without any substitutions… except possibly making more pecans for the topper (they’re so tasty!)

    • Lisa Fain

      Brittany–Thank you! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the soup over the years! I also like to make extra pecans and save some for snacking.

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