Sweet Potato Soup – Ahwahnee Lodge

Summary: The Ahwahnee kitchen estimates that it serves about 45 gallons of soup at every seating of the annual Bracebridge dinner.


  • 5 medium orange-fleshed sweet potatoes
  • Salt
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large leek, white part only, trimmed, cleaned and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and chopped
  • 1 rib celery, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 10 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground white pepper


  • 1/4 cup cranberry oil or 1/4 cup of pesto or diced ham or creme fraiche


  1. Put potatoes into a large pot and cover with cold water. Add 2 large pinches salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until soft when pierced with the tip of a knife, 30-40 minutes. Drain and set aside to cool enough to handle. Peel and quarter potatoes, then set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, leaks, carrots, celery and garlic and cook, stirring often with wooden spoon, until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add wine, scraping any browned bits stuck to bottom of pot and cook until alcohol has evaporated, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add stock and reserved sweet potatoes to pot, increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until vegetables are very soft, about 30 minutes.
  4. Working in batches, put vegetables and stock into a food processor or blender and puree until smooth, then return soup to pot. Stir in cream, season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Drizzle some of the cranberry oil or one of the other optional ingredients, if using, over each serving.