Apologies to those of you living in climates that are now enjoying the delights of warm weather, but in my part of the world, the cold, rainy, definitely wintery weather is just begging to be thwarted by a nice, big, comforting bowl of hot soup!
This is one of my favourites. It's from Jamie Oliver's Minsitry of Food, and I have only made a couple of small changes to it. The hero ingredient is the chorizo. It offers such a depth of flavour that veges alone won't. But I've also made it without the chorizo and it's still a great soup. I try to buy organic, sulfite free cured meats when possible, but chorizo can be a little hard to come by. If you want extra flavour but don't want to use chorizo, try some organic, sulfite-free bacon. Or, just go vegetarian...you won't be sorry! I also use my own chicken stock whenever possible, because of all it's wonderful immune-boosting properties.
Everything gets roughly chopped before being thrown into a pot of stock, boiled, and eventually blended till smooth. So easy! It should serve 8 people as a main, with some bread on the side.
- 2 tablespoons oil (Jamie uses olive, I use coconut)
- 2 large carrots, roughly chopped
- 2 small sticks celery, roughly chopped
- 2 medium onions, peeled and roughly chopped
- As much garlic as you like (Jamie says 2 cloves, I use a whole bulb! ), peeled and roughly sliced
- 800g orange sweet potato, peeled and roughly diced
- 1 chorizo sausage, roughly chopped
- small bunch of fresh parsley (I've also made it with corriander)
- 1 heaped teaspoon of curry powder (I use madras curry powder)
- 2 litres/ 8 cups of chicken or vegetable stock (or 2 stock cubes and 8 cups of water)
- freshly ground sea salt and black pepper
- 1 fresh red chilli, for serving (optional)
- Put a large pot over high heat and add the oil
- Add the onion and cook, stirring, til slightly softened.
- Place all other chopped ingredients, and the curry powder, in the pot, mix together well, and cook for about 5 minutes with the lid askew.
- Add the stock, or water and stock cubes (if using cubes, disolve them in some boiling water first).
- Give a good stir and bring to the boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until the sweet potato and carrot are very tender (about 10 minutes)
- Blend the soup until smooth, either with a hand held blender or pour into a food processor. Taste and add salt and pepper as required.
- Serve in bowls, topped with finely chopped red chilli if desired