Maya Feller’s Sweet Potato and Leek Soup

published Feb 17, 2023
Sweet Potato and Leek Soup Recipe
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Credit: Christine Han

Inspired by Nigerian yam production, this simple soup boasts complex flavors and a good dose of fat-soluble vitamins along with phytonutrients. It’s hard to find yams in America — yams are larger than sweet potatoes and have a rough, dark skin — so in this recipe sweet potato is used. Whiskey imparts some herbal and citrusy notes when paired with the chicken stock to deglaze the pan. The entire soup comes together topped with flavorful crispy potato skins.

Sweet Potato and Leek Soup Recipe

Serves 6

Nutritional Info


  • 5

    sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped, peels reserved

  • 3 tablespoons

    avocado oil

  • 2

    leeks, chopped

  • 1

    yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons

    ground turmeric

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 cup

    rye whiskey

  • 6 cups

    low-sodium chicken stock

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • Zest of 1 lime

  • Juice of 2 limes

  • 3 tablespoons


  • 1 cup

    sour cream, for serving

  • 2 cups

    cooked quinoa, for serving

  • 1 bunch

    fresh cilantro, chopped, for serving


  1. In a large stainless steel pot, place the sweet potatoes and 2 tablespoons of the oil over high heat and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, allowing the potatoes to caramelize. Add the leeks, onion, turmeric, and cayenne.

  2. Deglaze the pot with the whiskey, add the chicken stock and cook for 40 minutes at medium-high heat.

  3. Allow the soup to cool, then carefully blend with an immersion blender. Season with salt and black pepper to taste and add lime juice and lime zest.

  4. Preheat the oven to 400°F.

  5. Season the potato skins with the remaining 1 tablespoon of avocado oil. Place the skins on a sheet pan and cook for about 8 minutes, or until crispy. Place the cooked skins in a shallow bowl and season with the togarashi.

  6. To serve, ladle the soup into a bowl with sour cream and quinoa, then garnish with the cilantro and crispy potato skins.

Recipe Notes

Ingredient Highlight: Togarashi, also known as the Japanese seven-spice powder, is composed of a variety of ingredients depending on local tradition or the preferences of the cook. Traditionally, it contains chili, orange peel, seaweed, ginger, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds. These spices all exert a wide variety of benefits as a source of vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins and vitamins A, D, and E. Seaweed is an excellent vegetarian source of omega-3s.

Recipe from EATING FROM OUR ROOTS. Copyright © 2023 by Maya Feller

Photography copyright © 2023 by Christine Han

Published by goop Press/Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

Reprinted with permission.