We all have Zohra to thank for this recipe. Zohra is my hair stylist in London who is also a foodie. She and I talk about food while she turns me back into a “natural” blond every couple of months. Out of the blue this last time she said “could you please come up with a curried sweet potato recipe?” I love that! Its a challenge and a brilliant idea. Two of my favourite things.
Curried sweet potato soup – Serves 4
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
3 tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 inch piece fresh turmeric grated or 1 tsp powdered
1 chilli finely chopped
1 medium onion roughly chopped
2 plump garlic cloves pressed
3 med (1kg) sweet potato peeled and chopped into cubes
salt to taste
Sweet potatoes are easily obtainable in the UK now, but have been standard fare in St. Lucia since …forever. In the States they are called “yams” and come in different colours. My favourite are these shown above which when peeled have a lovely orange flesh. Funnily enough the other sort which grows in St. Lucia has a white flesh flecked with purple which is somehow sweeter.
I’m sure you already know, but I’ll remind you so that my text flows nicely, that curry powder was invented by the English in the days of the Raj so that they could bring back home to the mother country the flavours they had experienced while colonising India. Different areas of India use different spices which they blend according to the dish they’re creating. I chose the 4 you see above and because I have a pile of fresh turmeric brought to me by the lovely Rosie, for making turmeric tisane, I did not include it in the powdered form, but grated it and added it fresh. Same story for the chilli. You could create your own curry powder by adding the powdered form of all these spices which are readily available, or indeed use curry powder. Up to you, but why not try and live on the wild side?? So, start with dry roasting the spices in a frying pan until you start to smell the fragrant aromas rising and the seeds start to pop and crackle. Don’t let them burn please. Tip them into a mortar and pestle or a spice mill and grind as finely as you can get them. See photos below. You will end up with more than you need, but what a treat to have this lovely curry powder ready for use in another dish. Use only 2 heaping teaspoons for this soup.
Heat up the oil in a largish saucepan and soften the onions. Add the garlic, chilli and turmeric and stir to coat in the oil. Add 2 heaping teaspoons of the curry powder and marvel at the smell which emanates. After a few minutes add the sweet potato and continue stirring briefly. Cover with water and leave to simmer until the veg are soft.
Using a hand blender or indeed whatever method you are comfortable with, render your lovely soup smooth. You may need to add some water depending on how thick you like your soup. I then swirled in a large dollop of cashew cream (click here for recipe) which also added to the unctuousness and rich loveliness of this soup.
We did not feel the need for any accompaniment with this curried sweet potato soup. It was complete satisfaction.
If you would like more recipes like our curried sweet potato soup, send me a message with some suggestions 🙂