Hearts of Palm Soup w/Sweet Potato Croutons

Hearts of Palm Soup | She Paused 4 Thought

Silky. Sassy. Sexy.  I know these are not adjectives that are usually associated with food, but this sensational soup is no ordinary medley. It is a tribute to Mexico’s African heritage known as The Third Root, and this soup fully embodies each of those adjectives. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted anything like it.

The recipe is thanks to Pati Jinch, a former Mexican Policy Analyst and historian turns her focus to the culinary arts and explores the way Mexican foods have fused north and south of the border. Her latest cookbook Mexican Today – New and Rediscovered Recipes for Contemporary Kitchen is a unique blend of modern Mexican food with regional and global influences.

Pati is the chef and host of the PBS TV series, Pati’s Mexican Table that is currently in its fifth season and has been nominated for 2 James Beard Awards and 2 Emmy Awards. She is a regular guest on NBC’s Today, ABC’s The Chew, CBS’s The Talk & NPR’s The Splendid Table.

Pati Jinich Mexican Today Cookbook Signing

I recently met Pati and sampled some of her recipes at Melissa’s Produce book signing luncheon. She is as delightful in person as she is on TV. Her passion for Mexican food is as contagious as her cookbook is inspiring.

Mexican Today meal at Melissas Produce

We were treated to a Mexican meal fit for a king!

Mexican Today Cookbook| She Paused 4 ThoughtPotato & Poblano Rajas Salad (p. 54) & Simmered Shaved Corn w/Chiles & Epazote (p. 251)

Mexican Today chicken Pibil | She Paused 4 ThoughtFast-Track Chicken Pibil (p. 214)

Mexican Today Cookbook| She Paused 4 ThoughtPickled Onions & Cabbage (p. 119) & Tacos al Pastor (p. 138)

Mexican Today cookies | She Paused 4 ThoughtTita Chelo’s Frosted Flakes Cookies (p. 271) & Everything In-The-Pantry Cookies (p.272)

Today’s Recipe:

Hearts of palm are easy to find in most grocery stores. All you need to do before you use them is drain them thoroughly and give them a quick rinse under cold water to remove any metallic flavor from the can. Let them drain for a few minutes before you slice them.

Hearts of Palm Soup | She Paused 4 Thought

Hearts of Palm Soup with Sweet Potato Croutons
Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: Mexican-African
This tangy soup tastes as fresh as spring.
  • ¼ cup canola or safflower oil I used olive oil)
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon ancho chile powder, chipotle chile powder, or paprika (or to taste)
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 12-inch dice (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 10 scallions (light green and white parts only) thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans hearts of palm, drained, rinsed, and sliced
  • 5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet or baking dish with parchment or foil.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons of the oil, ½ teaspoon salt, the chile powder or paprika, and pepper. Add the sweet potato and toss until thoroughly coated.
  3. Spread the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the baking sheet, taking care not to overcrowd. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping and turning them halfway through, until golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. In a large heavy pot, heat the butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium-low heat until the butter is melted and bubbling. Stir in the scallions and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until completely softened, 12 to 14 minutes.
  5. Raise the heat to medium, add the hearts of palm, and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, until heated through. Add the broth and ½ teaspoon salt. Raise the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. In batches, pour the soup into a blender and puree until completely smooth, holding down the lid of the blender with a towel to contain the pressure from the hot soup. Pour the soup back into the pot, stir, taste, and adjust the seasonings. Reheat if necessary before serving.
  7. Ladle the soup into individual bowls, spoon about ¼ cup sweet potatoes into the middle of each bowl, and sprinkle the chives around the sweet potatoes.
COOKING TIME: 25 minutes

MAKE AHEAD: The soup, without the sweet potato cubes, can be made up to 4 days ahead, covered, and refrigerated.

I was fortunate to have my mother with me at this flavorful event.

Carolyn Nelson & Cathy | She Paused 4 Thought

She is a big fan of Melissa’s Produce. Not only is their produce wonderful, but their generosity to the food community and their families is beyond compare.

Chefs Toys-Giveaway | Melissas Produce
Special thanks to Chefs Toys for the Fajita making tools.

I won this fun kit in their social media photo contest. 🙂

You can check out their store online here and read about my recent my visit to their warehouse highlighting a few of my favorite tools here.

she paused 4 thought line break

“The best of Mexico’s food is made in home kitchens.” – Pati Jinich

With “Mexican Today” as your guide, I believe the best Mexican food can successfully be made in your kitchen.
…and then, she paused for thought.


Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I was given a copy of Mexican Today cookbook to cook with. All opinions are my own.

About Cathy Arkle

Cathy Arkle is a food blogger, culinary explorer, graphic artist, and cooking class junkie. Her inspirations come from her travels across the globe (50 countries) in the last 20+ years partaking in various ethnic cuisines while working as a graphic artist for major networks (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX & ESPN). She has collected a few Emmys in the field of graphic design for sports & entertainment. Cathy is also a graduate of the Pro Chef courses at The New School of Cooking in Culver City, CA

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17 Responses to Hearts of Palm Soup w/Sweet Potato Croutons

  1. Kelly Page (@TastingPage) April 27, 2016 at 2:03 pm #

    Wow, what great flavors and did you say sweet potato croutons? That’s brilliant and something I need to eat very soon!

    • Cathy Arkle April 27, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

      Sweet Potato crouton is so brilliant. I think it would work in any pureed soup. I didn’t miss the bread croutons at all. I wonder what other veggies I could make “croutons” out of. Oh, the possibilities.

  2. Nan April 27, 2016 at 3:36 pm #

    That recipe looks absolutely amazing! Can’t wait to try it. I agree, the sweet potato croutons sound wonderful.

    • Cathy Arkle April 28, 2016 at 8:55 am #

      This is a very unique recipe that would wow any guests at a dinner party. I am curious if people could readably identify the main ingredient. I must experiment with that. 🙂

      • Nan April 30, 2016 at 8:57 pm #

        I agree, I never would have guessed.

    • Nan April 30, 2016 at 8:58 pm #

      First meal home, I made the recipe. Yum!

  3. sippitysup April 28, 2016 at 8:00 am #

    This post proves just how rich Mexico’s culinary heritage really is. GREG

    • Cathy Arkle April 28, 2016 at 8:56 am #

      I was fascinated by Mexico’s rich culinary diversity as well.

  4. Susan Herrmann Loomis April 28, 2016 at 2:16 pm #

    Ok, Cathy. How’d you do it? How did you make soup look so delicious?! I could eat it right out of the picture. Great to see that your mom was with you!

    • Cathy Arkle April 28, 2016 at 2:38 pm #

      Thanks Susan, I was inspired by a great recipe. 🙂

  5. Adair @ Lentil Breakdown May 7, 2016 at 9:31 pm #

    What a fascinating recipe, and I love how you and your mom are so festively color-coordinated! 🙂

    • Cathy Arkle May 8, 2016 at 10:11 am #

      I think you would really like this recipe Adair. That is hilarious about our color coordinated outfits, I didn’t notice that.

  6. Melody Welch May 23, 2016 at 11:12 am #

    This looks so yummy! I love how you included your mom❤️

  7. CC June 4, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    Oh dear, another fab event at Melissa’s that I missed! THE FOOD! How lovely that your mother went with you, Cathy! And congratulations on winning the fajita kit!

    Mexican food is one cuisine I want to make more of, and this Hearts of Palm soup looks so tasty and easy to make. Thanks for another fab post!

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