Tuesday 16 October 2012

Stinking-Cold, Spicy Sweet Potato Soup

H's home, with what my father...and probably the famous five... would have called a "stinking cold". ( He used to say "gosh" a lot too...but I  never noticed until A pointed it out.) Poor thing she has a temperature, runny nose, barking cough and sore throat.

She's been drinking lots of fluids including my special magical-pep up remedy and at last is getting her appetite back. I made this soothing but spicy sweet potato soup because she wanted something that wouldn't scratch her swollen throat but was spicy enough to taste, as the cold has affected her senses.

For my Stinking-Cold, Spicy Sweet Potato Soup you will need:

  • One large sweet potato
  • Two medium sized red onions 
  • One carrot
  • One turnip
  • One pint of stock. I used chicken stock because according to Nigella it's supposed to be good for colds...Jewish Penicillin and all that...
  • One pint of hot water
  • One crushed and peeled clove of garlic
  • A small piece of ginger root, grated
  • A small amount of each of the following ground spices: Turmeric, Coriander, Cumin, Paprika
  • A couple of bay leaves
  • Crushed chili flakes
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and crushed black pepper


  1. Peel and finely slice the onions, then place in a saucepan and cook in olive oil until caramelised.
  2. Meanwhile, peel and chop into small pieces: the sweet potato, carrot and turnip. Leave in a bowl covered with cold water (with a squeeze of lemon juice if you have any) to prevent from discolouring.
  3. When the onions are soft and caramelised add the crushed clove of garlic, grated ginger and all the other spices and cook for a few minutes.
  4. Drain the vegetables and add to the saucepan, stirring well to incorporate all the flavours.
  5. Season with salt and pepper, remembering that if using stock it may be highly seasoned. Err on the side of caution you can always add more later.
  6. Cover with the warm stock and water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and then leave to cook until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Remove the bay leaf and check the seasoning, adjust if necessary.   Serve.

This is a lovely velvety soup. If cooked long enough the vegetables are soft and smooth. You can liquidise if you like, but it's nice with a few chunks of the sweet potato left whole for a little texture. The ingredients are enough for two people as a main course or four as a starter. 

A deliciously warming soup...real comfort food that H declared was 'lush'...so I'd say that's a big thumbs up!

or maybe jolly spiffing...

...I'll definitely be making lots more of this...


  1. whoops a daisy...I forgot to credit the famous five image. I found it here:


  2. I do hope you do not catch the cold. Yummy soup!