Thursday, 3 February 2011

Sweet Potato & Lentil Soup

Look at all that direct sunlight in that photo! How many months has it been since we've seen any of that!? If that damn groundhog had seen this yesterday, it would have been 6 more weeks of winter, for sure. Fortunately yesterday was blizzarding, so it'll only be another month and a half.

Either way, there's a fair bit more of winter to go so some nice hot soup is always welcome. This isn't quite curried; there's just enough curry flavour there to give the lemongrass, ginger and sweet potato flavours some support.

6 to 8 servings
40 minutes prep time

Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup
2 cups mashed baked sweet potato (2 to 3 large)

2 cups red lentils
500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk
1 stalk lemon grass
1 teaspoon salt

1 large onion
1 large carrot
1 tablespoon mild vegetable oil
2 or 3 cloves of garlic
2 cubic inches peeled ginger root
1 teaspoon Malaysian curry powder

The sweet potatoes should be baked in advance until quite soft; the easiest thing is to bake a few extras when cooking them for another meal. The mashed sweet potato will keep for a few days in the fridge, or it can be frozen.

Put the lentils and coconut milk in a large soup pot. Trim the dried-out ends from the lemon grass, and cut it in half. Add it to the pot with the salt. Bring to a boil then simmer gently as you continue with the soup. Stir frequently.

Meanwhile, Peel and dice the carrot and the onion. Peel and mince the garlic and the ginger. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, and sauté them until softened and slightly coloured. Add the ginger, garlic and curry powder, and cook for a minute or two more, until fragrant.

Add the carrot-onion mixture and the mashed sweet potato to the soup. Stir well and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until the lentils are very soft.

Remove and discard the lemon grass pieces. The soup can be served as-is, or puréed for a smoother texture.

Last year at this time I made Parsnip Fritters.

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