I am hoping that you guys are already in the know about the sweet potato and ginger combination…? If you are, you will know that it is a total winner – sweet potato rösti with ginger; roast sweet potato salads with a zingy ginger dressing. I would call it the bees’ knees of veggie flavour combinations. Throw me some turmeric and chilli too and we have got the makings of a really wonderful, aromatic, velvety soup – and every now and then we all need something that is going to clear out those sinuses and provide all of the healing, healthy warmth that a soup should.
My sister Flora is a fabulous chef and has been working in India as a consultant over the past five years on some huge projects. Whenever she comes home (which is not often enough), she always reminds me to go big when it comes to spices and flavours, and here lies the trickery with this super healthy soup recipe. Be bold with that hugely nutritious turmeric and cut your ginger into generous chunks – if you do, you will then get little bursts of ginger as you eat which adds texture, flavour and offers your body a fantastic dose of antioxidants while soothing and boosting the digestive system at the same time.
Did you know? Turmeric is an ancient medicine and is known to act as a powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and liver cleanser.
I have chosen to bake the sweet potatoes in the oven for this recipe, not only because it makes for a seriously easy healthy lunch or dinner option, but also because it brings out the natural sweetness in the potatoes and gives them that super smooth finish. All you then need to do is cook off your onions and spices, scoop out the flesh of the potatoes, blitz away and it’s ready.
Like most soups, this recipe freezes brilliantly; so make up a big batch on a cold afternoon and store some in the freezer for when you are tired or short on time. It will perk you up no end.
SWEET POTATO, TURMERIC & GINGER SOUP
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes
- 1 onion, diced
- ¼ teaspoon of salt (I like to use pink Himalayan salt or good quality rock salt)
- 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
- ½ a medium red chilli (more or less to taste)
- 1 medium clove of garlic, finely chopped
- 3g of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
- 2 teaspoon of vegetable bouillon powder
- 550ml of boiling water
- Pre-heat the oven to 175°C (347°F/gas mark 4).
- Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven with their skins on for 1 - 1.5 hours until soft at the centre. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- While the sweet potato is cooling, add your onions to a pan with the sunflower oil and sweat on a gentle heat with the salt and pepper until they have softened. Next, add the chilli, garlic, ginger and turmeric and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes until it begins to release those delicious smells. If the pan looks like it is getting a little dry, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time to loosen the mixture.
- Whisk the vegetable bouillon powder into the boiling water and add to the pan.
- Chop the sweet potatoes in half lengthways and with a spoon, scoop out the flesh from the skin and add it to the pan. Transfer the mixture to a blender and blitz until smooth – alternatively, use a stick blender; I find it eases the dreaded washing up!
- Once smooth, correct the seasoning if necessary and enjoy!
Serve with some or all of:
- A dollop of yoghurt (I like to avoid cow’s yoghurt so prefer to use sheep or coconut yoghurt instead)
- A generous slice of toasted rye with melted coconut oil
- Toasted pumpkin seeds or chopped toasted nuts
- A sprinkling of coriander, chives or both!
- Gluten-free oatcakes or crackers