Creamy Sweet Potato Soup with Hazelnuts
Nov 08, 2017, Updated Jan 01, 2024
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The creamy sweet potato bisque with hazelnuts offers a harmonious blend of the earthy sweetness of sweet potatoes enriched with a nutty, buttery undertone from the hazelnuts, creating a luxuriously smooth and flavorful experience.
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Creamy Sweet Potato Soup with Hazelnuts
The flavor profile of sweet potato soup with hazelnuts is a delightful symphony of earthy sweetness and nutty richness, creating a culinary experience that is both comforting and sophisticated. The natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes forms the backbone of the soup, lending it a subtle, caramel-like flavor that is inherently warming and inviting. This sweetness is beautifully balanced by the addition of hazelnuts, which infuse the soup with a deep, buttery richness and a hint of toasted, woody notes. The hazelnuts not only complement the sweet potatoes but also add a delightful textural contrast to the smooth, velvety base of the soup. Depending on the recipe, a hint of spices like nutmeg or cinnamon can be added to enhance the warmth of the soup, while ingredients like cream, butter, or coconut milk contribute to its luxurious creamy texture.
Sweet potato soup with hazelnuts is particularly enjoyable during the cooler months of the year, making it a perfect dish for autumn and winter. Its hearty and nourishing qualities provide a comforting respite from chilly weather, embodying the essence of cozy, home-cooked meals. The soup’s rich and creamy texture, paired with its warm flavor profile, makes it an ideal choice for festive occasions, such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinners, where it can be served as an elegant starter or a satisfying main course. Furthermore, its visually appealing orange hue, garnished with the rustic charm of hazelnuts, adds a touch of elegance to any dining table. However, its simplicity and ease of preparation also make it a great choice for a weeknight dinner, offering a quick yet indulgent option to wind down after a long day.
How to Make Perfect Sweet Potato Soup
First assemble the following ingredients:
- Olive oil (2 teaspoons) – Adds a mild, fruity base to the soup, perfect for sautéing the onions and garlic and enhancing their flavors.
- Onion (1) – Contributes a subtle sweetness and a savory depth, forming a flavorful foundation for the soup.
- Garlic (1/4 cup) – Introduces a pungent, aromatic quality that deepens the overall taste profile of the soup.
- Cumin (1/2 teaspoon) – Offers a warm, earthy note, complementing the natural sweetness of the sweet potatoes.
- Red pepper flakes (1/4 teaspoon) – Adds a gentle heat, bringing a subtle spicy kick to balance the soup’s richness.
- Sweet Potatoes (2 lbs) – The star ingredient, providing a natural, creamy sweetness and a velvety texture to the soup.
- Chicken stock (5 cups) – Serves as a savory liquid base, enriching the soup with depth and complexity.
- Heavy cream (1/2 cup) – Infuses the soup with a luxurious creaminess and smoothness, elevating its richness.
- Salt (1/4 teaspoon) – Essential for seasoning, it enhances all the flavors and brings the soup to life.
- Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup) – Adds a salty, nutty element, and when melted, contributes to the soup’s creamy texture.
- Flat-leaf parsley leaves (2 tablespoons) – Offers a fresh, herbal accent as a garnish, adding a pop of color and a light, clean flavor.
- Hazelnuts (1/2 cup) – Provide a unique, toasty crunch and a rich nuttiness, complementing the sweet potatoes beautifully.
- Smoked Paprika – Introduces a subtle smokiness and a hint of sweetness, adding another layer of flavor to the soup and a colorful garnish.
Use this Method:
Sauté Vegetables. Add oil to pan, heat on medium high. Swirl to coat pot. Add onion and garlic, sauté, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until soft and lightly browned, about 6 minutes.
Spices. Add the cumin and red pepper, sauté one minute till fragrant. Add the peeled cubed sweet potatoes. Toss in spices and oil.
Add Liquid. Add stock to pan with onions and bring to a boil. Boil potatoes until soft. Slowly add in cream and cheese, mixing well. Return heat to medium high.
Blend. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until thick and creamy. Stir in salt. Divide soup evenly among 6 bowls.
Garnish. Sprinkle roasted hazelnuts evenly over top. Garnish with parsley or fresh diced sage if desired.
Tips and Tricks for Creamy Sweet Potato Soup
Choose the Right Sweet Potatoes: Opt for varieties that are known for their sweetness and creamy texture, such as Beauregard or Garnet.
Toast the Hazelnuts: Toasting hazelnuts in a dry skillet or in the oven before adding them to the soup will bring out their nutty flavor and add a pleasant crunch.
Blend for Smoothness: Use a high-quality blender to puree the soup, ensuring a silky smooth texture. For an even finer texture, you can strain the soup through a fine-mesh sieve.
Balance the Sweetness: If the soup tastes too sweet, balance it with a bit of acidity, such as a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
Season Appropriately: Don’t forget to season the soup well with salt, pepper, and possibly a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon to complement the sweet potato flavor.
Creamy but Healthy: For a lighter version, use coconut milk or almond milk instead of heavy cream. This substitution can also add a unique flavor to the soup.
Garnish Wisely: Garnish the soup with chopped toasted hazelnuts for texture and a drizzle of cream or a dollop of yogurt for visual appeal.
Add Depth with Aromatics: Sauté onions and garlic before adding the sweet potatoes to the soup to build a base layer of savory flavor.
Consider Other Vegetables: Adding carrots or pumpkin to the soup can introduce additional layers of flavor and complexity.
Adjust Consistency: If the soup is too thick, thin it with a bit of vegetable or chicken broth to reach your desired consistency.
Experiment with Herbs: Fresh herbs like thyme or sage can add a nice aromatic touch to the soup.
Prepare in Advance: This soup often tastes better the next day as the flavors have more time to meld together.
Freeze for Later: Sweet potato soup freezes well, so you can make a large batch and store portions for a quick meal later on.
While fresh sweet potatoes are recommended for their flavor and texture, canned sweet potatoes can be used in a pinch. Drain and rinse them well before use.
You can achieve a creamy texture by blending the soup well. For a dairy-free option, use coconut milk, almond milk, or cashew cream as alternatives to heavy cream.
Use raw, unsalted hazelnuts for this recipe. Peeling is optional, though it can improve texture and taste. Toasting the hazelnuts before using them enhances their flavor.
Yes, you can cook the soup in a slow cooker. Combine all ingredients except the cream and hazelnuts and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Blend, add cream and hazelnuts, and then heat through.
If the soup is too thick, add more broth or water until you reach your desired consistency. If it’s too thin, let it simmer uncovered to reduce and thicken.
The soup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
Yes, use a plant-based cream alternative and vegetable broth to make it vegan.
Yes, sweet potato soup freezes well. Cool it completely before freezing and leave out the cream if you plan to freeze, as it can separate. Add cream when reheating.
Reheat it on the stovetop over low heat, stirring occasionally. If it’s too thick, add a little broth or water to thin it out.
What to Enjoy with Sweet Potato Soup
Crusty Bread or Rolls: To soak up the rich, creamy soup and add a satisfying crunch.
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches: A classic pairing, offering a comforting and hearty complement to the bisque.
Roasted Vegetables: Like Brussels sprouts or carrots, which can add a delightful contrast in texture and flavors.
Green Salad: A light, fresh salad with a vinaigrette dressing can balance the richness of the bisque.
Garlic Bread: For those who enjoy a garlicky crunch with their soup.
Herbed Croutons: Homemade or store-bought, these add a delightful crunch and extra flavor.
Sautéed Greens: Such as spinach or kale, seasoned lightly, can add a nutritious and flavorful touch.
Apple Slices or Apple Salad: The sweetness of apples complements the flavors of sweet potato and hazelnuts beautifully.
Quiche or Savory Tart: A small slice can make the meal more filling and add a different texture to the experience.
Rice or Quinoa Pilaf: A light, fluffy pilaf can turn the bisque into a more substantial meal.
Toasted Pecans or Walnuts: If you want a variation from hazelnuts or just additional crunch and nuttiness.
Grilled Chicken or Shrimp: Adding a protein can make the bisque a more complete meal, especially for those who prefer a non-vegetarian option.
Cheese Plate: A selection of cheeses, particularly milder ones, can pair wonderfully with the sweet and nutty flavors of the bisque.
Roasted Chickpeas: For a protein-rich, vegetarian-friendly crunch.
Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt: A dollop on top can add a tangy contrast to the sweetness of the soup.
If you love this recipe, check out some of my other favorite side dishes – great for Thanksgiving, Christmas, or anytime you want to celebrate! Try these sides next: Crispy Herbed Potatoes, 10 Minute Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Green Bean Salad, and Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts with Ghee.
Creamy Sweet Potato Bisque with Hazelnuts Recipe
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- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup garlic, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 lbs sweet potatoes peeled and diced into 2" chunks
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, optional
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped and roasted
- dash of smoked paprika, to garnish
- Add oil to pan, heat on medium high. Swirl to coat pot.
- Add onion and garlic, sauté, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, until soft and lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the cumin and red pepper, sauté one minute till fragrant.
- Add the peeled cubed sweet potatoes. Toss in spices and oil.
- Add stock to pan with onions and bring to a boil.
- Boil potatoes until soft.
- Slowly add in cream and cheese, mixing well.
- Return heat to medium high.
- Using an immersion blender, blend soup until thick and creamy.
- Stir in salt.
- Divide soup evenly among 6 bowls; sprinkle roasted hazelnuts evenly over top.
- Garnish with parsley or fresh diced sage if desired.
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Nutrition InformationYield 8 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 290Total Fat 14gSaturated Fat 5gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 8gCholesterol 24mgSodium 391mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 5gSugar 11gProtein 9g
Nutrition is automatically calculated by Nutritionix - please verify all nutrition information independently and consult with a doctor or nutritionist for any and all medical and diet advice.