Sweet Potato Soup

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When I was little sweet potato was an uncommon vegetable on Aussie dinner tables – none of my friends would have recognised one. It was one of those foods that confirmed my status of ‘hippy kid’.  Sweet potato  became a regular feature in our kitchen when our bohemian pantry was at its most dreary – I think of that time as the Era of Culinary Austerity.  No extras on hand to spice up a meal so our cooked sweet potato was bland, and yet often the tastiest element of the meal.  Sad days.

This recipe has been adapted from one in the latest Woolworths Australian Good Taste magazine. Woolworths is running a promotion which involves inviting readers to cook specified recipes and upload to the www.taste.com.au website.  Since I am always on the hunt for inspiration, I thought I might as well give this challenge a go, and try to break my bad attitude towards the humble sweet potato.

I don’t think I would have tried this recipe if it weren’t for the promotion because I wasn’t convinced about using red curry paste in this kind of recipe.  I also thought there was a risk that the sweet potato would be too heavy a flavour for the soup. However, the result was a delicious and filling dish, and one that even the sprogs enjoyed.  We ate it with a crunchy crusted hot sour dough bread with lashings of butter, and it was a fabulous winter night’s meal.

Recipe

  • 4 T olive oil
  • 1.2 kg sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 lg brown onion, diced
  • 1 1/2 t Massel  chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 6 c boiling water
  • 2 t fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 t brown sugar or honey
  • 1/2 c light sour cream
  • 2 T chopped fresh coriander or parsley
  • 1 fresh red chilli, very finely chopped (optional)

Saute onion, celery and curry paste in oil for 4 minutes. Add carrots and sweet potato and saute for another 2 minutes.  Add boiling water and chicken or vegetable stock. Bring soup to boil for 2 minutes and then reduce heat to simmer soup for 30-40 minutes.  Cool slightly.

Blend soup until smooth.  Heat gently on low for 4-5 minutes. Add lime jiuce and sugar.

Combine sour cream, chilli (if using) and coriander or parsley.  Serve soup with hot bread and sour cream.

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About baking bohemian

My name is Jen and I am the baking bohemian. My blog identity comes from the cultural background of my mother’s family, (Bohemian), and my mother’s more left wing lifestyle (bohemian). The big ‘B’ Bohemian refers to the rich cultural heritage of our family that emigrated from Bohemia when it was still its own country (it now comprises two thirds of the Czech Republic). Food featured prominently in the family and broader social life of that part of my family. No social interaction was without sustenance, and any celebration, large or small, was an invitation to cook up a storm. My own family emigrated from the United States to Australia when I was a child. For the most part we lived with our mother, and my dad eventually moved back to the US. The little ‘b’ bohemian relates to the semi-alternative lifestyle we led with our mother. I hesitate to refer to her as a hippy, for that conjures up so many misconceptions, but certainly she was on that side of the fence. She was probably more eccentric than radical at the end of the day, but she could really cook. We always set extra plates at the dinner table because inevitably people would visit at dinner time. I started cooking when I was about eight. Cookies. Obviously I was motivated by desire! I loved cooking, I loved that the kitchen was always, in every way, the heart of the house, so I was always part of anything else that was happening while I was cooking. I loved people loving my food. With all the different things that I have done in my life and am interested in, food has remained my most consistent and enduring passion.

2 responses »

  1. Your mother introduced me to sweet potato and I still love it. What a joy to read your family history, suc wonderful memories. I will certainly try this yummy looking soup and think of you all with every delicious mouthful. Love La

    • Hey La! She really could cook but the strict dietary rules were truly awful – thankfully the dreary cupboard was a relatively short spell in our cooking lives! xx

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