Spiced Yam Soup

The weather is slowly struggling and fighting its way towards summer, here in Australia. Some days are glorious—sitting on the balcony with a book requires an iced tea instead of a hot coffee. The next day it’s a blustery rainy day where that chai looks a whole lot better steaming hot.

I’m still in the mood for hot soups, especially when leftovers mean a filling lunch the next day. And sometimes, things in the fridge just come together into a lovely combination. Yams are very forgiving when it comes to soups—you could really chuck in any veggies into this and it’d still taste great. Ah, yams, how I love thee.

While taking photos of this soup, I discovered that it tastes great cold too. (Sometimes photos take a while, so hot soup gets cold in the process. But can you tell in the photos? Nup. I wonder why I bother reheating leftovers for photos most of the time, actually.) So consider this a great recipe for all year round!

Spiced Yam Soup

Makes: 6 servings
Cooking time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy


  • 2 medium yams / kumara
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper / capsicum
  • 2 large onions (or four small)
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 tbsp sherry
  • 1 tsp each dried parsley, coriander, paprika, and marjoram
  • 1 tsp minced ginger (or 1 tsp dried)
  • cayenne pepper to taste (1 tsp for quite spicy, 1/4 tsp for normal people)
  • salt and pepper, olive oil

Chop onions and garlic, fry with a bit of olive oil in a large saucepan. When onions and garlic have softened and are beginning to go slightly golden, add the spices, cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Chop veggies and peel the yams, and add to the cooking onions. Cover, stirring frequently until the pepper/capsicum begins to soften. Add the vegetable stock and sherry. Cover partially and simmer on medium-low for 45 minutes or more until all the vegetables are lovely and soft.

Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few moments, then transfer the soup into a blender or food processor (or use a hand-held immersion blender) and process until smooth and all lumps have disappeared. Return to saucepan and heat through again for 10-15 minutes; taste and add salt or adjust spices as necessary.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt and some pita bread. Yum!

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