North African Inspired Sweet Potato, Peanut Butter, and Paprika Soup

This soup is rich, creamy, and soothing, and the sweet paprika adds just the needed amount of spice and fragrance.

Serves 4

2 large orange skinned sweet potatoes or Garnet yams, scrubbed and sliced in half lengthwise

6 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1 yellow onion, diced

4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/2 cup creamy salted peanut butter

2 teaspoons sweet paprika

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cup cream or half 'n half

Juice of ½ lime (about 1 – ½ teaspoons)

¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish

Sea salt, to taste

2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts, chopped, optional garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking pan with tinfoil (for easy clean up). Brush the flesh of the sweet potatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil; roast flesh side down for 40-45 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Cool. Scoop out the flesh, and discard the skins.

2. In a deep pot over medium heat, sauté onion in remaining 4 teaspoons olive oil for 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add cooked potato flesh and broth. Bring to a boil; reduce to low, and add brown sugar, peanut butter, sweet paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook 7-8 minutes. Turn off heat, and cool 5-10 minutes before pureeing.

3. Working in batches, puree the soup in a blender until smooth; return to the pot over low heat. Add the cream, lime juice, and cilantro; stir occasionally until the soup is thoroughly heated, 8-10 minutes. Season to taste with salt. If you prefer a thinner soup, simply add a bit more broth until desired consistency is reached.

4. Garnish individual bowls with thinly sliced fresh cilantro and chopped peanuts.