Heat olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring often, 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add sweet potato, cloves, desired amount of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, and water. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until sweet potato is tender. Discard cloves. Let mixture stand 15 minutes. Process, in batches, in a food processor or blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Use immediately, or cool completely, and refrigerate in an airtight container up to 5 days.
You can freeze cooked and cooled mixture up to 2 months.
Recipe adapted from Soul Food Love, copyright 2015 by Alice Randall and Caroline Randall Williams. To be published by Clarkson Potter on Feb 3, 2015.