Creamy Sweet Potato, Pear and Leek Soup with Spiced Croutons |

Creamy Sweet Potato, Pear and Leek Soup with Spiced Croutons

This post was originally published here January 4, 2016. I’ve since adjust the recipe slightly. And I’ve updated the text and photographs to reflect those changes.

Welcome to “orange food season”!

I wish I could say that the above statement is a joke. But I think we all know there is some truth behind it. Butternut squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and carrots will be frequenting our kitchens for the next several months. And while I’m certainly going to miss sun-ripened tomatoes, tender baby greens and juicy watermelons, I’m also here for these other foods. It’s all par for the course.

I’m also strapping on my boots today for soup season. Are you ready???

I have a serious soft spot in my heart for puréed soups. Not that I don’t love a good chunky, hearty stew. But silky, puréed soups have always appealed more to me. And I really think they are some of the most versatile and easiest types of soups to make. Any recipe where I don’t have to be super precise about chopping the ingredients neatly is a win for me. It’s all going into the blender in the end anyway, so no need to be exact!

Creamy Sweet Potato, Pear and Leek Soup with Spiced Croutons |

This Creamy Sweet Potato, Pear and Leek Soup with Spiced Croutons is a total breeze to make. You can have it done in about 45 minutes, so it’s very do-able for a weeknight dinner. Serve it up with a big green salad and you’ve got the perfect low-fuss Fall meal. I’m also of the opinion that the leftovers are even better (the flavors from the spices and other aromatics become more pronounced overtime), so I frequently find myself enjoying it for lunch the next day, too.

And because I have a rule about no naked soups, I never skip out on making these spiced croutons! They really do so much for both the taste and texture of this soup. Just pop them in the oven while the ingredients for the soup are simmering on your stovetop and you’re good to go!

Creamy Sweet Potato, Pear and Leek Soup with Spiced Croutons |

Before I send you on your way to soup heaven, I’ve got a couple quick notes on the ingredients. First, you could substitute an equal amount of peeled and cubed butternut squash for the sweet potato, if you prefer. You could also use an apple (any variety) instead of the pear. And don’t forget to wash your leeks really well before using them. Leeks are grown in sandy soil and the sand tends to get trapped in their layers. So unless you want some unexpected crunchies in your soup, give your leeks a good rinse under cool running water.



Creamy Sweet Potato, Pear and Leek Soup with Spiced Croutons

Creamy Sweet Potato, Pear and Leek Soup with Spiced Croutons

At a Glance:
Yield: Serves about 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour


For the Soup:

  • 2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups peeled and cubed sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup thinly sliced leeks
  • 1 pear, cored and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced

For the Croutons:

  • 4 cups cubed bread (a rustic Italian or French loaf works best)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. garam masala


  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, warm 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the sweet potatoes, leeks and pear. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes. If the bottom of the pot starts to get dry, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.
  2. Stir in the garlic, ginger, tomato paste, salt, pepper, curry powder and paprika. Cook for an additional 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Then stir in the vegetable stock, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Cover the pot with the lid so it’s slightly ajar and bring the soup to a simmer. Cook until the sweet potatoes are very soft, about 20-30 minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow the soup to cool slightly.
  3. Once cool enough to handle, purée the soup using an immersion blender, blender or food processor with the blade attachment. Work in batches as necessary and be careful when transferring warm liquids.
  4. Return the puréed soup to your pot and re-warm it over low-medium heat. Stir in the heavy cream. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper, if necessary. Cover to keep warm.
  5. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the bread cubes with the olive oil and all the spices. Spread the coated bread cubes out onto a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to your pre-heated oven and bake until the bread cubes are dry and slightly crisp, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  6. To serve, ladle the warm soup into bowls. Top with the croutons and fresh parsley. Enjoy immediately.

63 comments on “Creamy Sweet Potato, Pear and Leek Soup with Spiced Croutons”

  1. MMMMMmmmm!!! Pears in soup is something I’ve never done but it sounds incred. This something that my mom and I would both love!

  2. I hear ya -I’m craving soup with much stronger force than smoothies these chilly days! Sweet po soup is my faaaaave! The pear + leek addition sounds amazing..definitely on my to make list!

  3. I had a smoothie this morning for breakfast and it was just SO DANG COLD. I have all the ingredients for this soup in the fridge at home so totally putting this into the rotation this week!

    • I’ve been drinking lots of smoothies too, but my house is so darn cold in the morning that it’s kind of not as enjoyable as it usually is. I hope you love the soup, Abby!

  4. Perfect soup weather here too Liz! This one sounds delish! Happy New Year!

  5. Haha I love your thinking…a lot of smoothies are being posted today! I would much prefer to indulge in this soup. It looks so warm and comforting, especially with the sweet potatoes and leeks! What a great recipe for the new year!

  6. I’ve was so curious about this soup when you teased it on Instagram. It looked delicious and couldn’t wait for the recipe. Definitely love it. What great flavours!

  7. I definitely had waaaay too many sweets last month! I know exactly how you feel. This soup looks fantastic! Can’t wait to try this when I get home!!

  8. This looks so creamy and delicious- stunning photos. Pinning!

  9. It is freezing here today too! I’m all about the soup these days! I didn’t make any resolutions either this year, which is a first but I think I feel less pressure on this year now, haha! I will say that I want to eat more soup in 2016 though and this soup is just so gorgeous looking! I love all the flavors in it 🙂

  10. I’ll take this over a smoothie ANY day…this is my kind of soup! It looks so velvety smooth and that color is gorgeous. I need a bowl right now to get me through the rainy day blues!

  11. Yum! I’ve been craving soup like nothing else lately!

  12. Liz, oh my gawd woman!!!! This soup looks AMAZING!!!! oh my gawd and LOVE the almond milk!!! (ha! I did have a smoothie today!) 😛 and yes to homemade croutons!!! Thank you!!!

  13. How creative! This seems like a wonderful and healthy way to kick off the new year with hearty tastiness. Thank you for a wonderful recipe and eye-candy photos!

  14. Happy New Year, friend! You’re starting it off with a bang – this soup is so colorful! Sweet potatoes and leeks are a favorite combination over here. And awesome that it’s dairy-free!

  15. I am currently shivering my butt off in my own house, wish I had some of this STUNNING soup to warm me up!!

  16. I may or may not have had one too many sugar cookies last month too. I feel like I’m definitely in need of some healthier meals right about now. This soup looks absolutely delicious and perfect for this cold weather! These pictures are so gorgeous, Liz!

  17. This is the prettiest bowl of soup I ever did see. Unless you count eating more donuts in 2016 a resolution, I skipped the whole convention entirely. Love this recipe. Pinned!

  18. This sounds so unique! I just love sweet potato soups, especially this time of the year. Your leek and pear version is amazing, pinned 🙂

  19. This looks so fabulous, Liz — I love the sweet/savory combination and those rustic croutons. Yum!

  20. So, don’t mind me if I swim around in this gorgeous soup! xoxo

  21. This soup is perfection, Liz! It’s such a gorgeous color, and those croutons sound ridiculously good. This is all I want on my first day back in freeeezing Seattle, haha!

  22. What a gorgeous soup, Liz! It is FINALLY cold where I live so I will definitely be adding this to my dinner rotation! 🙂

  23. This looks fantastic!

  24. Girl, I completely fell off the wagon with way too many cookies and Pina Coladas! HA! But, you know, that’s how the year rolls. Our diets ebb and flow with mood and season. No doubt I’m craving all things comfort… tonight it’s either a big batch of squash mac and cheese or a white bean and kale soup. OH how I want that mac and cheese, but I’ll fold, I’m sure for the healthier option. Of course, I could whip this delicious soup up! Those spicy croutons put this recipe in the comfort department anyway. Delicious! So glad winter has arrived at your door. Certainly I’d think twice about rescuing that cake from the water! Happy New Year my dear! xo

    • Mac and Cheese vs. Soup = the daily struggle is so real, isn’t it? Happy New Year, friend. I hope 2016 is the year we meet in person!

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  27. I made this for dinner tonight (minus the parsley, because I forgot it – oops) and it was excellent! The pear added just the right amount of sweetness and the croutons were awesome.

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  29. I found this recipe a couple of weeks ago. The almond milk and the pear caught my attention. You were right about the croutons. The soup is good on it’s own but the croutons add an extra dimension.

    I found your site from a Buzzfeed listicle linking to your Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownies. They were really good.

    • Hi Melissa! I’m so glad you found me and have been trying out some of the recipes. Yay! That makes me happy. Glad you loved the soup (and the croutons!). 🙂

  30. I have never been much of a soup-as-an-entree person but I came across this recipe looking for something to do with some leeks I got and it sounded so delicious I had to try! Im a sucker for anything sweet potato. And I had to come back and comment to let you know that I LOVED this soup! I couldnt stop eating it! And the croutons: AMAZING. I even made them with Glutino Gluten Free bread and they were perfect! Im so glad it made a good amount too because Im looking forward to leftovers tomorrow! Thank you!!

    • That’s so awesome to hear, Kim! Thank you so much for commenting and letting me know. You totally made my day! And the croutons are addicting, aren’t they? 🙂

  31. thanks for sharing the recipe with us.

  32. How many will this feed?

  33. hahaha! “Orange food season!” Love it, Liz and your update. The combination of sweet and savory is a favorite, and especially that you included pear (a underutilized fruit IMHO), but those spiced croutons are absolutely wonderful and a perfect addition to this soup.

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