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Spiced Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe for Thanksgiving

by Jeanette on November 9, 2011 · 24 Comments
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Spiced Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

Spiced Carrot Sweet Potato Soup

Recently, a friend asked me if I knew what she could eat to help her heal from surgery. I hadn’t really thought about foods that helped speed the healing and recovery process after surgery. But, it makes sense – your body needs nutrients to help rebuild cells and tissue, and you want to make sure you are providing your body with the right nutrients so it can efficiently repair any damage and start anew.

As I started researching this topic, I came across a number of vitamins and minerals that are supposed to help speed things along during the recovery process, all of which are (not surprisingly) whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seeds, and lean proteins. Several articles also recommended eliminating all processed food, and either eliminating dairy or using low-fat dairy products. Sounds pretty much like a healthy whole foods diet, doesn’t it?

Specifically, vitamins C, A, E, B complex vitamins, zinc and bromelain are supposed to help with healing.

  • Foods high in vitamin C include: red bell peppers, citrus fruits and juices, berries, kiwi, mangos, papaya, cantaloupe, leafy greens, broccoli, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, sweet potatoes
  • Vitamin A is in sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach
  • B complex vitamins are found in whole grains, potatoes, bananas, lentils, chili peppers, tempeh, beans
  • Vitamin E is in mustard greens, turnip greens, chard, spinach, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, kiwi, tomato, blueberries, sunflower seeds, almonds
  • Zinc can be found in sesame seeds/tahini (hummus), lean cuts of red meat, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, peanuts
  • Bromelain is naturally found in pineapple

An easy way to incorporate as many of these foods into a diet as possible is by making soups or smoothies. I had a stash of sweet potatoes from my CSA Box, and have been thinking about Thanksgiving foods, so I made this Spiced Sweet Potato Carrot Soup for my friend, full of  vitamin A, C, and B6 vitamins. The pumpkin seeds on top provide an added boost of zinc. Not only is this soup good for you, but it’s pretty enough to serve for company as a starter to your Thanksgiving feast.

If you’re looking for a healthier soup recipe for Thanksgiving that doesn’t compromise on flavor or that rich mouthfeel, here it is. With warm spices of coriander and fennel seeds, this soup would make a nice start to a Thanksgiving meal. Although there is no cream in this recipe, it is as rich tasting, warm and comforting as traditional cream soups. Trust me, your guests will thank you for helping them enjoy a day of Thanksgiving in a healthier way.

P.S. My friend loved the flavors in this soup. Since her mom is an excellent cook, I took that as a big thumbs up for this recipe (friends and family make the best taste testers!).

5 from 1 reviews
Spiced Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
This soup has a luscious mouth feel, and the coconut milk adds some richness. I loved the toasted pumpkin seeds as a garnish - there's something fun about having a contrasting crunch to the creaminess of this soup.
Serves: 4-6
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 shallots, minced
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 6-7 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds, ground
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • 1 clementine peel
  • salt, to taste
  • light coconut milk, for garnish and serving
  • toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add carrots, sweet potatoes, stock, coriander, fennel, oregano and clementine peel.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook until vegetables are tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. Remove orange peel, and puree soup in a blender, being sure to remove the stopper from the cover (otherwise, you might have an explosion of soup!). You can also use a food processor or immersion blender.
  5. Season with salt to taste.
  6. Ladle soup into bowls. Add a drizzle of coconut milk and sprinkle some toasted pumpkin seeds on top before serving.
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  1. This looks fabulous!! Great recipe and photo

  2. The soup looks fantastic!

  3. i love this soup! the flavors here are right on. sweet potato soup just sounds so hearty and warming to the soul. i’m all about using whole foods to heal :). can’t believe thanksgiving is just two weeks away. time to start planning…

    • Thanks Junia – this is a warming soup with the spices that are in it. Holiday season always comes around so quickly, doesn’t it!

  4. What a great post Jeanette – nice that you put together an overview of healing nutrients. Incidentally, many of these antioxidants help support the immune system – ACES – during flu season which we are smack in the middle of! Your soup is gorgeous and you did such a nice job with the presentation.

    • Thanks Kelly – yes, you are absolutely right now, doesn’t ever hurt to give our immune system an extra boost, especially this time of year.

  5. This sounds so good. Definitely gonna be making this in the next few weeks!

  6. This is a great recipe! I can’t wait to give it a try!

  7. I think using foods to help our bodies heal is a wonderful thing and when it comes in a tasty form like this, all the better!

    • I’m all about trying to heal our bodies through whole foods prepared in a healthful, delicious and beautiful way.

  8. Gorgeous soup! I don’t love cooked carrots, but somehow, in soup, I can eat them. Definitely saving this recipe.

    • Thanks Lydia – you can leave the carrots out, I just like it because I think it loosens up the soup a bit, makes it a bit starchy.

  9. I will have this BEFORE Thanksgiving!

  10. I definitely believe there’s something to the idea that healthy food can be curative. However, I also believe it can be preventative which is why I eat it at all times! I am loving the sound of this soup. Two of my favorite orange veggies and tons of great spices…can’t go wrong.

    • Absolutely, I do believe eating healthy all the time is the best preventative medicine, and can help cure illnesses or help the body recover.

  11. You can take one look at your soup, Jeanette, and know that it’s both good and good for you. :-) And I mean that in an understated way, because I can tell this soup is super delicious. Love the info on foods and their properties for healing–thanks!


  12. Just made a carrot soup the other night. Something so comforting about it this time of year and so much great beta carotene!

  13. Great information Jeanette. I had no idea there were that many healing foods. That will be helpful in preparing healing foods for post workout meals. Your soup sounds lovely and a light dinner on a cold night. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Recently, I’ve been trying to cook and bake more healthfully. This carrot/sweet potato soup is something I’ll definitely try.

  15. This is something new to me,looks so delicious! I like its color.

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