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Source: El Rayo

Spring may be around the corner, but it’s not here yet. Cold temperatures and maybe even some snow are in the forecast. I think we could all use a bowl of sweet potato, coconut and chipotle soup. It’s sure to warm us up in a big way.

The recipe comes from a favorite restaurant in Portland and Scarborough, Maine — El Rayo Taqueria. I asked general manager Kathryn Poze to give us a bit of restaurant history and tell us how they aim to please their customers.

Her answers:

El Rayo opened in Portland on the corner of York & High Streets in May 2009, in an old gas station. From the beginning, we have been committed to providing our customers with flavorful, healthy food in a fun, relaxed, and colorful environment. We strive to source the freshest & most sustainable ingredients available, with a focus on organic and farm-raised products.

In July of 2014, we opened our 2nd location at 245 US Route One in Scarborough. This 4500 square foot restaurant has allowed us to expand our food and drink offerings, while still maintaining our same commitment to quality.

We try our best to provide a welcoming and enjoyable experience at both of our locations. Hiring happy and pleasant staff and then training them well has been a key to our success. We view our team as El Rayo ambassadors, who make the El Rayo experience a positive one. Our #1 priority is looking after our customers. We strive to make their experience better each time, keep them coming back for more. 

We have multiple healthy choices on our menu. All items are made to order and we are happy to make omissions and substitutions, as requested. Our famous tacos are both delicious and filling, creating a perfect light meal.

Many of our soups are vegan, full of flavor and a great compliment to any of our appetizers. Our ever-changing daily specials include homemade chorizo tamales, smoked chicken enchiladas, and fried shrimp tostadas. 

Regardless of what you order at El Rayo, you can be sure that it was made with love, using all natural ingredients.

Thank you, Kate!

Sweet potato soup/El Rayo Taqueria
Source: El Rayo Taqueria

Sweet Potato, Coconut & Chipotle Soup


  • 2 pounds sweet potato, peeled & cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups white onion, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 1 sprigs epazote (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chipotles in adobo (puree)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water


  1. Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Coat in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in a 450° oven until tender and golden.
  2. In a large stockpot, sauté sliced white onions until tender. Add cumin and epazote sprigs. Sauté until onions are fully cooked. Remove sprigs before adding the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Add sweet potatoes, roasted garlic, chipotle puree, stock or water and coconut milk to stockpot. Taste for seasoning, add stock or water to thin.
  4. With an immersion blender puree soup until smooth.

Enjoy and stay warm!