Smoky Yam Soup and Variation

This is a great recipe for using up yams and other root vegetables, especially in winter when they are in abundance. What really makes it work is the smoked paprika, giving the whole soup a warm, smoky flavor. The recipe was originally conceived as a clever way to use up Thanksgiving leftovers. I learned about it thanks to my former vegetable delivery service, Beachgreens.

Smoky Yam Soup

Smoked paprika – it’s a must!


We decided to make this recipe the other night since we were in the mood for a hearty soup and had most of the ingredients already. A few different bounties from the Rittenhouse and Fitler Square farmers’ markets went into the making of this, including carrots from Z Food Farm (pictured below), butternut squash and sweet potatoes from Beechwood Orchards, parsnips from Rineer Farms, and celery root, fennel, red bell pepper, and leeks from Highland Orchards.

Farmers’ Market bounty from 11/3/12, including carrots from Z Food Farm

When you use yams as the recipe calls for, between the yams, carrots, and paprika you’ll get a lovely bright orange colored soup in the end (as with the photo at the top of this post, taken earlier this year). Our version from this week was less colorful, but just as tasty. Instead of yams, we used a mix of yellow sweet potatoes, butternut squash, parsnip, and celery root. We used fennel instead of celery, since that’s what we had on hand, and half a red bell pepper rather than lipstick peppers. We also used Oolong tea instead of turkey broth (using tea to substitute for broth is a trick we learned from our class at COOK with Alexis Siemons of Teaspoons & Petals, but we’ll blog more about that later).

Here are the leeks, carrots, peppers, and fennel:

And now with the mixed root vegetables added in:

Then mixed with the smoked paprika:

And now with broth:

After it was cooked, we blended it with a stick immersion blender:

And done!

We served our soup with a simple salad and some toasted Three Seed bread from Big Sky Bread. Delicious!

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2 thoughts on “Smoky Yam Soup and Variation

  1. REMCooks

    Very nice. I like it. I’ve never seen Mas Portell brand smoked paprika. We use La Chinata. It comes in sweet, bittersweet and hot. we like it a lot but a little goes a long way.

    1. Holly Post author

      Thanks, Richard! I’ve used Chiquilin brand before, which is what I was able to find in Spanish markets in California. Now that we’re in Philadelphia, we used what was available at our local store. They only have the sweet+smoked but I’d be very interested in hot+smoked. Love the flavor it contributes to a dish, especially in paella or even sprinkling over roasted cauliflower.