Sweet Potato Orange Soup with Maple Syrup

Adapted from Rose Reisman’s Rose Reisman’s Light Vegetarian Cooking

Each week, The Medium chats with a UTM professor or professional staff about one of their favourite recipes.

It’s midterm season and as we all know, our focus tends to shift from eating healthy and regular meals to upcoming deadlines and test dates. Of course, Mother Nature doesn’t help us out by lining up the arrival of fall and shorter days with this time of year. If you dare to counteract these forces of nature (academic ones included) and stand up against another day of random snacks you find at the bottom of your backpack or buying lunch on campus for the umpteenth time—what can and should you eat?

Perfectly timed to suit those middle-of-the-term blues, Professor Mairi Cowan of the Department of Historical Studies shares her love of soups with Blackboard Special this week. “I love soups, especially in cool weather, and this soup [recipe below] is very good when you’re feeling the shortening of days,” she says. “With its bright colour and flavours, it’s like having sunshine in a bowl.”

Cowan explains that the soup is also easy to make in large batches and suitable for many people since it happens to be vegan and gluten-free. “I have fed it to TAs while they were grading final exams, so I like to think that the deliciousness of this soup has already benefited UTM students,” she adds.

If it’s done the trick for Cowan and TAs alike, then why “rewrite history”? Get peeling instead!




  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) corn oil
  • 2–3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cups (1 L) vegetable stock
  • 3 bay leaves
  • grated zest of 2 oranges
  • juice from 2 oranges
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) maple syrup (or more, to taste)
  • salt and pepper



1.Heat oil over medium heat. Add bay leaves and onions. Cook for a few minutes. Add garlic. Cook for a few minutes more.

2.Add sweet potatoes and stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft.

3.While soup is cooking, remove zest from two oranges and set aside. (Note: Do not use the peel of the orange, only the zest.) Collect the juice from these oranges and set aside.

4.Once sweet potatoes are soft, remove bay leaves from the soup and discard. Add orange zest and orange juice. Purée the soup until smooth.

5.Add maple syrup, salt, and pepper to taste. Thin the soup if desired.

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