Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup loaded with tender chicken, hearty sweet potatoes, Israeli couscous, carrots, celery, and onions makes the perfect cold weather soup.
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Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup Recipe
Chicken Sweet Potato Soup takes the classic comfort food up a level with the addition of hearty sweet potatoes and turmeric. This cold fighting soup is easy to make, freezer-friendly, and a hit with the whole family.
Last week it seemed like everyone we knew had colds and since food is my love language, I immediately whipped up a big batch of soup. First I thought of chicken noodle soup since that’s the best cold-season comfort food, but I wanted to mix things up a little so it wasn’t totally traditional. That’s where the sweet potato and turmeric comes in.
Let’s start with the sweet potato. It adds a subtle sweetness to the entire dish that makes it hard to put down your spoon. Seriously, creamy sweet potatoes in chicken soup is something that should be happening more often. Plus nutritionally speaking, sweet potatoes are excellent for fighting colds. They are packed with beta carotene, which our bodies convert into Vitamin A. Vitamin A boosts our immune system and is especially important for colds since it helps our mucous membranes stay healthy and function properly. This is critical for fighting off a cold.
Next up, another special addition to this soup is the turmeric. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice that comes from a root, similar to ginger. In terms of flavor, it adds a slightly sweet and earthy flavor. In this soup, it basically enhances the natural flavor of the sweet potato. Nutritionally speaking, turmeric is an antiviral, perfect for fighting colds. Additionally, it boosts immune-cell activity and enhance antibody responses.
Add those two power-packed ingredients to garlic (also an antiviral) and chicken broth (packed with nutrients), this soup is a powerhouse is helping to ease cold symptoms.
How to Make Chicken and Sweet Potato Soup
Like any good chicken soup recipe, this recipe starts with mirepoix. Mirepoix is simply a combination of onions, carrots, and celery cooked in either butter or olive oil. This classic combination of aromatics creates the base flavor for tons of dishes but is especially important in chicken soup. This is especially true when using store-bought chicken broth, which sometimes lacks some of the subtle vegetable flavors in homemade broth.
Once the mirepoix has cooked down, it’s time to add the sweet potatoes. Letting them cook slightly and brown helps intensify their flavor in the soup. It will give you a stronger sweet potato flavor then if you simply added them to the boiling broth.
Next up is the garlic, Italian seasoning, and turmeric. Adding the garlic and spices and letting them cook for a minute, deepens their flavor. Everything should get very fragrant during this step as the herbs and spices open up.
Now it is time to add the chicken broth. If you are using fresh chicken, this is the place you will want to add it as well. Since chicken broth is one of the most important ingredients in chicken soup, make sure to choose a flavorful broth or stock. Bring the soup to a simmer and let it cook for 10-15 minutes until the sweet potatoes begin to become tender and the flavors in the soup combine.
Add the Israeli couscous, or whatever pasta are using, and let it cook until al dente. Since the pasta will continue to cook as the soup sits, I usually try to cook it until it is just tender, especially if I am planning on lots of leftovers. Then add in the chicken and season with salt and pepper.
Recipe Ideas and Tips
- For a lower calorie and Smartpoint soup option, swap in butternut squash for the sweet potatoes.
- Add some greens by throwing in a few handfuls of spinach or kale. The kale should be added at the same time as the sweet potatoes since it takes longer to cook while the spinach can be added with the chicken.
- Make it slightly spicy with the addition of 1-2 tablespoons of canned chipotle peppers in adobo or some red pepper flakes.
- To add some fiber, consider adding in a can of drained chickpeas in place of the Israeli couscous. If you want to use both, you may need to add extra broth.
- Leave out the chicken and swap in vegetable broth for a vegetarian option.
- Make it Paleo by swapping in an extra sweet potato instead of the Israeli couscous.
- If you don’t have Israeli couscous on hand, swap in any pasta or grain you like. This soup would be great with orzo, brown rice, quinoa, or farro.
- For those unfamiliar with Israeli couscous, it is essentially just small balls of pasta.
- Serve the soup with fresh parsley and lemons to add even more flavor and cold-fighting power.
How to make this soup with fresh chicken?
I love using rotisserie chicken to make chicken soup since I find that the chicken always stays nice and tender, plus it usually is nice and flavorful. However, this soup works great with raw chicken as well. You can use chicken breasts or thighs. Simply, add the chicken to the pot at the same time as the chicken broth. Bring the chicken broth to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Let the chicken poach in the soup for 10-15 minutes until cooked through. Remove and chop or shred. Add back to the soup right before serving.
How to freeze chicken sweet potato soup?
Like most soups, this is a great option to make ahead of time and freeze. Start by letting the soup fully cool. Then pack the soup into individual or family-sized servings and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
One of my favorite tricks is to use these large ice cube trays for freezing soup. Once they are frozen, pop the soup “cubes” into a freezer-safe bag. Grab 1-2 cubes and simply microwave or heat up in a saucepan for a quick meal.
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