Friday, January 16, 2009

Sweet Potato and Red Pepper soup


I don't know about you but in the heat of Summer my thoughts constantly turn towards strong flavours. For dinner tonight I made a punchy combination of chorizo, courgette, and apple all fried with some garlic and a sprig of rosemary, and then served with spaghetti, a salad of lettuce and spring onions and lots of salty pecorino cheese. For lunch we had a sweet potato and red (bell) pepper soup which whilst milder was certainly no wallflower by comparison.

As I have mentioned before I am not a great fan of raw pepper but roasting them first loses that harshness that I do not like. This is a soup made by roasting the base ingredients rather than frying - ideal if you already have the oven on for something else, the sunday roast perhaps.

- Peel and roughly chop into big chunks an onion, a couple of cloves of garlic. Roll them about in an oven proof dish in a tablespoon or three of olive oil along with some salt and a sprig of thyme if you have some. Chop up the pepper the same, remove the seeds and add to the onions and oil etc.
- pop it all into the oven and leave for a good twenty minutes until soft and blackened at the edges. A hot oven is best, as hot as it will go but it depends what else is in there. I often put them in when the roast first goes in and then turn the heat down when the peppers etc come out.
- Pour the oil from the bowl into a saucepan (keep the vegetables of course!) on high heat and pop in a big sweet potato (kumara here in New Zealand, I got the right one this time) that you have peeled and roughly chopped, big chunks again.
- Stir around until the kumara blackens at the edges then add in the pepper, onion etc.
- Pour in a pint and a quarter of half strength vegetable stock and turn the heat down to a gentle boil.

I suppose you could roast the kumara as well but I have a theory that stock made from powder is better cooked for a good while so I usually do it this way.

- Twenty minutes or so later the kumara should be soft so blend the whole lot smooth. Oh - remember to take out the thyme stalks first because they just stay as irritating little bits after blending.
- Reheat and serve.

We had ours with some bread made with my favourite curry spice mixture (I used ground cinnamon and chilli powder) and topped with mint leaves. The bread was not that exciting on its own but went really well with the soup.

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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

This soup is amazing. I have made it twice now and my friends are huge fans. We added a bit of paprika last time and it gave it a really nice extra kick.
Thanks!

Peter said...

Thanks for that - and I'll certainly be trying the paprika in it next time I make it . . .

peter

Sarah said...

We've also made this soup twice now, once for guests, and they were all asking for the recipe. We chopped half a chilli and added that in as we like a bit of spice.. it was perfect! Thank you for sharing this.

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