To make my sweet potato or butternut squash soup you will need:
- Four shallots
- One stick of celery
- One medium sized parsnip
- One medium sized carrot
- One large sweet potato or a smallish butter nut squash
- A small piece of fresh ginger
- One clove of garlic
- Ground cumin
- Ground corrinder
- Paprika powder
- Turmeric powder
- Tomato puree, about three good dessertspoonfuls.
- Sea salt and crushed black pepper
- 500ml of stock or water
- Olive oil or alternative
- Peel the shallots, slice finely and cook in the olive oil in a heavy saucepan until caramelised
- Meanwhile peel and slice the root vegetables finely. If using a squash deseed it. Crush or mince the garlic and grate or chop finely the piece of ginger.
- Once the onions are cooked add the garlic and allow to cook stirring all the time so it doesn't burn.
- Add the ground spice and ginger and cook for a minute or so, still stirring.
- Add all the other vegetables. Sauté for a further few minutes stirring well to coat with all the spices.
- Add some stock a little at a time and the tomato puree. Season being careful not to over season. Especially if using stock that has been seasoned.
- Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the soup to cook until the vegetables are tender enough to blend.
- Check the seasoning. Blend the vegetable until they are smooth and velvety. You may need to add a little more stock or water to blend depending how much water has evaporated in cooking.
- Return to the pan, reheat if necessary and serve with good bread or creamy mashed potatoes...
This amount should serve four as a starter or two to three as a main course.
I love making soups like this when I'm busy working at home. The hardest thing to do is chop up all the vegetables. The smaller you chop them the quicker the soup will be ready and easier to blitz. It's a great way to hide some of the vegetables that not everyone likes. The squash or sweet potato have such lovely flavours that they mask the others. I like to add some earthy spices, but not too much, and only a little garlic. I also like to use shallots while in season too as they are much quicker and easier to peel, slice and cook than onions.