Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Garlicky Croutons
Serves 8 - but I think it's more like 4 or 5!
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 leeks, trimmed and chopped (about 500g/1lb prepared weight)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
500g (1lb) prepared weight of sweet potato, diced
1 tsp each ground cumin and ground turmeric
900ml (1½ pints) hot vegetable stock, plus an extra 600ml (1 pint) stock, for serving
410g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tbsp seed mix, dry-fried, optional
A little chilli or paprika flavoured oil, optional
For the croutons:
4 tbsp olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, peeled
4 thick slices white bread, crusts removed
Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large pan and fry the leeks and onion gently for 5 mins. Add the rest of the oil and then fry the sweet potato, stirring, for about 3 mins.
Stir in the spices, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for 15-20 mins until the potato is soft. Add the chickpeas and cook for another 5 mins.
Blend the soup in a food processor until smooth. Pour back into the pan, add extra stock to get the consistency you like, and heat through. Check the seasoning. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with seeds and a few croutons, and drizzle with chilli or paprika-flavoured oil, if you like.
To make the croutons: Set the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Put the oil in a small roasting tin with the whole, lightly squashed garlic cloves. Put in the oven for 10 mins until hot. Break the bread into small cubes and stir into the hot oil to coat them. Cook them for 10-15 mins until golden, turning them halfway through cooking.
Things I didn't do :) I didn't make the croutons or dry-fry the
bird seed, but thought you might like the option anyhow so it's included in the recipe. It's a really filling and thick soup and the 'two-legged mouse' went back for seconds AND thirds!
To stretch the soup even further, add a potato and carrot. Add more spices if you want to give it an extra kick. Freeze the thick soup, adding more stock or water, on reheating. Ha, ha - fat chance of that here :)