Sweet Potato, Collard and Black-Eyed Pea Soup 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Feb 11, 2015

This cold-weather soup starts with a brilliant base: a vegetable broth made from sweet potatoes, which get pureed to give it a lovely color and a body previously found only in meat stocks.

Make Ahead: The sweet potato broth and the finished soup can each be refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Storage Notes: The recipe makes 10 cups of sweet potato broth, but you'll need just 4 to 5 cups for the soup, so refrigerate or freeze the rest for another use.

8 - 12

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8-12 servings; makes 10 to 12 cups

  • For the sweet potato broth
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, well scrubbed, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into large chunks
  • 6 cups water
  • 5 whole cloves (may substitute 2 or 3 star anise)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or more as needed
  • For the soup
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 large carrot, scrubbed, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch coins
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or more as needed
  • 14 1/2 ounces canned, no-salt-added diced tomatoes, and their juices
  • 2 bunches collard greens, stemmed and torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups; may substitute kale or mustard greens)
  • 30 ounces canned, no-salt-added black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, or more as needed


For the sweet potato broth: Pour the oil into a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Stir in the onion, celery and carrot to coat; cover and cook until the onion has softened, 8 minutes. Add the sweet potato, water, cloves, salt and black pepper. Increase the heat to medium-high; once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low, so the liquid is barely bubbling. Cook, uncovered, until the sweet potato is very soft, about 30 minutes. Find and discard the cloves.

Use an immersion (stick) blender to puree until smooth. (Alternatively, transfer in batches to a blender or food processor, removing the center knob of the blender lid so steam can escape and holding a towel over the opening; puree until smooth.) Taste, and adjust the seasoning as needed.

For the soup: Heat the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery and carrot to coat; cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables just begin to soften, 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, fresh and dried thyme, and crushed red pepper flakes, then pour in 4 cups of the sweet potato broth, along with the tomatoes and their juices. Increase the heat to medium-high; once the mixture comes to a boil, stir in the collard greens. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low so the liquid is barely bubbling around the edges. Cover and cook until the greens are tender, 40 to 45 minutes.

Add the black-eyed peas; cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, so the flavors meld. If the soup seems too thick, add up to another cup of broth or water to reach your desired consistency. Season with the salt; taste, and adjust with more salt or crushed red pepper flakes as needed. Serve hot.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Soul Food Love," by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams (Clarkson Potter, 2015).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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