You’re probably looking at me right now like I have grown 7 extra heads. How on earth can I have a Leek & Sweet Potato Soup recipe that isn’t a gloriously orange-hued?
Here’s the thing. When I came up with this Leek & Sweet Potato Soup, I was thinking of the classic version, made with leeks, (nightshade-laden) white potatoes and enough dairy products to feed a small bovine. I didn’t want to use white potatoes since I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy this soup, including people who were either on a Whole 30 or following Autoimmune Paleo. I needed a potato substitute, but your standard issue orange version is just way too sweet: it would totally overpower the subtle leek flavor. Cauliflower – no matter how many people have tried to tell me otherwise – doesn’t work for me as a potato-type flavor. It has way too much of a cabbage-like overtone. Dangit.
Sweet Potatoes Aren’t Always Orange
So what did I use here? White sweet potatoes! Did you know that sweet potatoes come in a veritable rainbow of colors? They can be white, yellow, orange, purple or even brown. Sometimes the color of their skins is completely different to the color of their flesh. I decided to use the white variety (which has a tan colored skin) for this Leek & Sweet Potato Soup because they are starchy like a white potato but they don’t have the overwhelming sweetness of their orange cousins. The other neat thing about the white sweet potato? When you puree them into soups, they help create a cream-like texture. Yay!
I didn’t just rely on the white sweet potatoes to evoke the silkiness of a good traditional Leek & Potato Soup – I also added some coconut milk at the end, which tipped this Leek & Sweet Potato Soup right over into “are you sure there’s no dairy in this?” territory. One last thing: don’t skip the dried thyme leaves. The thyme rounds out these simple homey flavors beautifully – and is probably the added little touch that will make people beg for the recipe!
I garnished my Leek & Sweet Potato Soup with some extra sliced green onions and bacon bits. Because, bacon.
This recipe is Whole 30 and Autoimmune Paleo compliant.
It’s also included in Phoenix Helix’s Roundtable of 100% Autoimmune Paleo recipes – go take a peek!Print
Leek & Sweet Potato Soup
This Leek & Sweet Potato Soup is deceptively creamy, combining coconut milk & white sweet potatoes instead of the usual sweeter orange variety.
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 45 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- 2 tbl coconut oil or avocado oil
- 6 cups leeks, chopped (about 3 – 4; do not use the thick green tops)
- 1 tsp sea salt, divided
- 8 cups broth of your choice
- 4 cups white sweet potato (about 2)
- 2 – 3 tsp dried thyme leaves, to taste
- 1 13.5 oz can coconut milk
- Heat a large dutch oven over low-medium heat. Add the coconut oil, chopped leeks and 1/2 tsp of the sea salt. Saute the leeks until they begin to release water, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently so that they do not brown.
- Turn the heat down to low and continue to cook the leeks until they soften, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so that they do not stick.
- Add the remaining sea salt, stock, diced white sweet potatoes and dried thyme leaves. Turn up the heat to bring the stock almost to a boil, then reduce the heat so that it comes to an even simmer. Cook until the white sweet potatoes are just tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir through the coconut milk and cook for a further few minutes, until the soup is warmed all the way through.
- Use an immersion blender to carefully puree the soup in the pan before serving.
You definitely want to use white sweet potatoes instead of the usual orange varieties to make this soup. Why? Because they are much less sweet, which means when pureed they help create a rich, silky smooth texture that makes up for this recipe’s total lack of dairy for creaminess.
This recipe is Whole 30 and Autoimmune Paleo compliant.
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I love white sweet potato, I look forward to making this soup when they come in season (they aren’t available at the moment here in Australia)
I have never seen or heard of white sweet potato. Where do I find them? When are they in season?
Sweet potatoes come in all kinds of colors – even purple! I don’t know where you live, but Safeway usually has them. They’re available all year round like most other root vegetables. The outside skin is a little lighter than the orange varieties, but the flesh inside is yellow-white. I like them because they’re nowhere near as sweet as an orange sweet potato, so they sub better in savory recipes.
Thanks!! I’ll check-out a couple local grocers and farmers markets. I’m in Illinois (near Chicago). No Safeway. I can’t wait to try this soup. We have so much snow and cold weather that this will be a comfort. Thanks!!
Ooooh, I love leeks! I’m definitely bookmarking this recipe to try. Thanks for sharing it at the AIP Recipe Roundtable!
I made this soup as a starter for dinner tonight and I got rave reviews all around, kids included. I couldn’t find white sweet potatoes anywhere so I substituted with 1/3 orange sweet potatoes and 2/3 red potatoes. Thanks so much! Who knew healthy could taste so good? And I finally got to use my Le Creuset!
Awesome! This makes me super happy 🙂
Made this tonight and it was suuuper yummy, but my soup turned out more green and the thyme was a bit too strong. Less thyme and more bacon will make it a winner.
I think the greenness (is that a word?) will depend on the size of your leeks and how much of the green thicker tops you use – I trim mine and added that to the recipe, thanks 🙂
It’s possible I went a little heavy on the thyme since I love it – maybe try 2 tsp next time? Thank you for the feedback!
I LOVED this soup! I made it tonight for my family but had to load up my dads portion with cheddar, bacon and chives but he liked it! I’m the only one in the family eating AIP and watching everyone else eat heavy rich lovely things makes it hard for me to keep up but this really hit the spot.
Aw, this is so great to read! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
Do you think this soup would be ok to make early in the day and then keep warm in a slow cooker until dinner? I work evenings and I like to leave something easy for my husband and kids to eat while I’m gone. 🙂
I haven’t tried this myself, but don’t see why there would be any problems! If coconut milk gets too hot it will break and separate, but I don’t think the “warm” setting on a slow cooker would be hot enough for that to happen 🙂
This recipe was phenomenal! So many AIP recipes leave me disappointed but this one did not. Thank you!
This totally made my day! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂
What type of stock do you use? I thought chicken would taste best but I have beef bone broth. Do you think it will taste okay with the beef broth?
If you’re using a commercial boxed stock, I’d stick to chicken. If you’re using homemade (and don’t add too many onions or strong tasting veggies), you could try using beef, pork or even lamb. If your homemade stock is mild flavored, it doesn’t really matter which bones you used 🙂
OMG! Got home from work at 10:30 pm. Had to use up leeks before they went bad…got this recipe I had seen on Pinterest and made it. Again, OMG!!! Delicious!!! As soon as It was finished cooking I was putting it in glass jars to store for lunch. I was seduced by the smell and had to have a taste. Two cups later, I smile and say out loud “Yummy”. This recipe is a total keeper! Next time I’ll try it with a crumbled bacon garnish, which will be soon!
I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Judith! I always think that leeks are perhaps a little unloved and underrated, so it always makes me happy to see them getting their moment 🙂
I MADE THIS SOUP LAST WEEK WHEN I GOT HOME FROM WORK AND AS I WAS STORING IN IN MY 2 CUP MASON JARS, I TASTED IT…OMG!!! DELICIOUS – SO GOOD! I ENDED UP HAVING A WHOLE SERVING – YIKES! THIS WILL BE A REGULAR SOUP TO WORK RECIPE. THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR RECIPE CREATION GIFT WITH THOSE OF US WITH AUTO IMMUNE
Thank you so much for this recipe! Because I have so MANY food allergies, I’m always researching the web for tasty options…and yours is excellent! Because I am allergic to coconut, I substituted the coconut milk for a very creamy oat milk! Turned out well! Thanks again!