Cooked and puréed sweet potatoes, yams and leeks (rather than cream and flour) give this soup its golden-orange hue, rich, velvety consistency, thick and chunky texture and naturally sweet flavor. Vegan, dairy and gluten-free.
1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Stir in the sliced leeks. Drain the diced sweet potatoes and yams and add them to the pot.
2. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon of salt and a dozen twists of freshly ground pepper. Stir in the thyme and bay leaves. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in the stock or water. Bring the soup to a boil. If using bouillon paste, add it now. Lower the heat so the soup simmers, partially covered, for 20 minutes. The sweet potatoes and yams will be quite tender.
4. Use a blender to purée one-fourth of the soup until very smooth and creamy. Return the purée to the pot. Adjust the salt to taste.
5. Just before serving, swirl in the fresh spinach until wilted,
6. Serve Sweet Potato Leek Soup with Fresh Spinach garnished with thinly sliced scallions and leaves of fresh cilantro.