Gourds often steal the limelight when it comes to cold-weather cooking. Of course, you can't skip indulging in a bowl of creamy butternut squash soup or tossing together a squash-filled autumnal salad, but we think these recipes will inspire you to put a few humble sweet potatoes in your shopping cart. The oft-overlooked spud has a slightly sweet flavor that shines after it's been simmering on the stovetop in a large pot with other seasonal ingredients. Spanning a creamy, Thai-inspired recipe to a spicy, veggie-packed chili recipe, ahead are eight sweet potato soups that prove the orange spud is a cold-weather hero ingredient.
The Hero Ingredient: A dollop of coconut milk, which adds a decadent creaminess to this hearty, slightly spicy soup.
The Pro Tip: If you're planning to make this soup in a slow cooker, Laura of The First Mess has a hot tip for you. "I think you could swing this on the 'low' setting for seven to eight hours," she says. "One thing to remember is that spices tend to lose their power once you get into the six- to eight-hour timeline. Taste and adjust if need be!"
The Recipe: Maple Cream Sweet Potato Soup
The Hero Ingredient: The maple and cinnamon make this sweet potato soup taste like everyone's favorite Thanksgiving side dish in a good way.
The Pro Tip: "You [can] make [this recipe] vegan by replacing the cream with full-fat canned coconut milk, which is actually better than cream in my personal opinion, but I love coconut milk," offers Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
The Recipe: Creamy Thai Carrot Sweet Potato Soup
The Hero Ingredient: While most Thai-inspired recipes call for peanut butter, this dish gets its nutty flavor from almond butter.
The Pro Tip: "Top the soup with tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) and roasted almonds, and it's autumn soup perfection," says Tieghan of Half Baked Harvest.
The Recipe: Roasted Sweet Potato and Leek Soup
The Hero Ingredient: Another cold-weather hero ingredient, leeks lend this soup a depth of flavor that takes this dish to the next level.
The Pro Tip: "It's hearty, creamy, totally satisfying, but also surprisingly good for you," says Jenny of Spoon Fork Bacon. "It makes you feel like you're indulging… without the weird New Year's guilt."
The Recipe: One-Pot Kale Sweet Potato Curry
The Hero Ingredient: The maple syrup is the perfect sweet counterpart to the spicy curry paste in this dish.
The Pro Tip: "This would make the perfect weeknight meal when you're craving something hearty yet healthy," says Dana of Minimalist Baker. "Add your protein of choice—I went for green peas and roasted salted cashews, but you could also go with chickpeas or lentils!"
The Recipe: Curried Potato and Lentil Soup
The Hero Ingredient: The homemade curry powder, a mixture of cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and other flavorful spices.
The Pro Tip: The soup "requires just one pot and around 45 minutes to make," says Dana of Minimalist Baker. "Plus simple ingredients likely lying around your pantry right now."
The Recipe: Sweet Potato Coconut Curry Soup
The Hero Ingredient: The crunchy, spicy chickpea topping adds texture to this luxuriously creamy curry soup.
The Pro Tip: "The flavor comes in waves. First savory, then sweet, then 'whoa, this is spicy,'" says Dana of Minimalist Baker. "If you prefer it less spicy, simply add less chipotle (or cayenne) powder or omit it entirely."