Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Rocket and Roses Sweet Potato, Ginger and Chilli Soup

Kitchen Play List:  Audioslave Playlist on IPod

"Blustery winds blowing through the house with views of overcast clouds out of every window and the need for blankets to keep you warm during the chilly evenings. We haven't seen the sun for a while...."

Nope not an extract from a winter diary...that actually was our weather yesterday! Here in blighty I think the summer has abandoned us and we are being forced into an early Autumn. It's blinking cold may have picked up on this fact. lol. So when it came to selecting what to cook for my sister and I for lunch...a hearty bowl of hot soup seemed the only option! 

At the weekend I visited a lovely stately home called Castle Howard in Yorkshire and was lucky to have lunch in their restaurant. To be honest there wasn't a choice to be had when it came to selecting my meal but I was intrigued by the Sweet Potato Risotto with Ginger & Chilli. I enjoy a risotto every now and again and I am by no means a risotto purist...if I'm really honest I am far too impatient to cook that many risottos...I leave that to my seemingly never endingly patient Love. But I do tire of restaurant risottos for 'veggies' which consist of a pile of grey sludge like rice with lumps of butternut tossed in. Tasteless and disheartening offerings. 

Sweet Potato is one of my favourite veggies so I sat patiently waiting for it to arrive. And was I surprised...the risotto that was put down in front of me was bright no shades of grey. The rice grains were plump and delightful...the 'orange' coating was comforting with the creaminess of the Sweet Potato and the heat from the ginger and red chilli. I enjoyed every mouthful and after we had all finished our meal I quickly scribbled down some notes. I intend on making this risotto in the near future and will most definitely post it on here when I've cracked it. 

In my veggie box I had quite a sizable bag of sweet potatoes that My Love had picked up in the reduced section of our supermarket. 60p for 8 sizable sweet potatoes...nice, eh? I had chillies that needed using up but no fresh ginger. So I went to my spices box and pulled out my trusty ground ginger. Inspired by the flavours of the weekend's risotto I set about making up a new soup recipe. 

The results were a comforting bowl of orange goodness. The heat from the ginger and chillies was evident from the first mouthful but not an overwhelming heat...a pleasant warming glow of a heat. My sister enjoyed it and so did I...My Love will be trying it today for lunch but I am fairly confident that it will be devoured chilli and ginger are off of My Loves 'food heaven' list. change in the weather today so I will be tucked around a bowlful too! lol 

Dashed if I couldn't get my photo mojo going But here is the bowl of orange heaven otherwise known as Rocket and Roses Sweet Potato, Ginger and Chilli
Rocket and Roses Sweet Potato, Ginger and Chilli Soup Makes 10 servings
(Original recipe from the Rocket and Roses Vegan Kitchen)

1 tbsp sunflower oil
2 large onions, roughly chopped
4 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 heaped tsp ground ginger
2 small hot red chillies
3 litres hot veggie stock
6 sm-med sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup of red lentils, rinsed and drained
Salt and pepper to season, to taste

In a large pan heat the sunflower oil gently then add the onion and garlic and leave to heat through whilst you prep the remaining veggies. After a couple of minutes add the ground ginger and stir to coat the onion mixture and saute until the spice becomes fragrant and warmed through. Taking the two hot red chillies and using scissors, hold them by their stalk and then snip them into the pan...seeds and flesh. Discard the stalks and then stir them into the mixture. Cook, stirring for another minute and then add the veggie stock and stir well. Add in the sweet potatoes and the lentils and stir well to combine. Grind in some black pepper to season and a small pinch of salt. Stir well.

Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover and cook until the sweet potato is very tender and the onions are translucent. Using a stick blender blitz the soup until it's completely smooth. Taste for seasonings and adjust to your taste. Serve...