Smoky Sweet Potato Apple Soup



  • 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, divided (preferably the hot kind)
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and chopped into big chunks
  • 1 ½ teaspoons cumin powder
  • 1 quart vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), preferably without salt
  • Cilantro, for garnish
  • Queso fresco or feta cheese, for garnish
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a bowl, toss the cut sweet potatoes with 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, ½ teaspoon of the smoked paprika, and salt and pepper. Spread evenly in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until soft and lightly charred, about 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven and hold but leave the oven on.
  2. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot on the stove over medium-high heat. Add the onion and stir for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned. Add the garlic and ginger and stir for another 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the apples and saute for 5-6 minutes, until the apples start to soften. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon smoked paprika and the cumin powder, reserving a pinch of each for the pumpkin seed garnish. Stir frequently for 1-2 minutes to cook the raw flavor out of the spices. Add the sweet potatoes and stir to combine.
  3. Add the vegetable broth, bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Once cooled enough to handle, puree the soup in the batches, adding the coconut milk directly to the blender. Return the pureed soup to the pot on the stove and keep warm.
  5. In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin seeds, a small drizzle of oil, and a pinch each of salt, smoked paprika, and cumin. On the same baking sheet that you roasted the sweet potatoes, spread out the spiced pumpkin seeds and toast in the oven for 6-7 minutes until lightly browned.
  6. Serve the soup with cilantro, the toasted spiced pumpkin seeds, and crumbles of cheese.


  • Serving Size: Serves 4