Curried Sweet Potato Soup
A very warming soup in Winter, with the intensity of the spices and chilli softened by the beautiful sweet flavours of the lime and the coconut milk. This will also stretch the budget in Winter with Sweet potatoes being very much in season.
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
2 onions, chopped
4 Australian or locally grown garlic cloves (to support local industry)
4-5cm piece of ginger, peeled or grated
1-2 red chillies, finely chopped and deseeded, or to taste (It is quite spicy using two chillies)
1 tablespoon garam masala
2 teaspoons curry powder
4-5cm piece fresh turmeric, peeled and grated if you have it (optional)
3 sweet potatoes (about 700g) peeled and cut into 2cm dice ( or substitute some pumpkin)
1 litre vegetable stock or homemade chicken stock (depends on whether you are a true vegetarian or not)
400ml can coconut milk
A small handful of coriander, roughly chopped (I grow it because I love this stuff)
Juice of 1-2 limes ( or a good tablespoonful)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
A few tablespoons plain (full-fat) yoghurt (optional)
A small handful of coriander, roughly torn
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add the chopped onions and saute for about 10 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the spices, the garlic, ginger, chillies, garam masala, and curry powder, and stir for a minute to intensify the flavour.
Tip in the sweet potatoes and stir until they are well coated in the spices. Add some salt and pepper to taste and pour in the stock. Increase the heat and bring to simmering point. Cook gently until the sweet potatoes are very tender, usually about 15 minutes.
Remove the soup from the heat, cool slightly and then puree with a stick blender until very smooth, unless you like the lumps. Return soup to the pan, stir in the coconut milk and warm through on a low heat.
Remove from the heat and add the coriander and lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Serve the soup topped with a good spoonful of yoghurt, scattered with some extra torn coriander, and some homemade sourdough bread. As a final garnish grind some black pepper over the top, delicious!
Thanks to Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from River Cottage for this recipe which I have adapted.
This recipe can be further adapted by substituting the sweet potato for 180g of red lentils, and adding chopped carrot, celery, and a couple of bay leaves to the onions. You might need more stock if using lentils, eg 1.3 litres, and the juice of 1/2 lemon.