Monday, April 06, 2009

foodie april ~ book club soup

Take one book club, chop finely and sauté until translucent ...

Ha. Ha. Ha.

Foodie April has been continuing at a cracking pace. Honestly I guess it's no different to (foodie) March, (foodie) Feb etc etc, I'm just giving food a bit more attention than usual (who knew that was even possible?), and I'm liking what I'm seeing.

Last week I hosted book club, always a very fun and relaxed thing to do with our bunch of lovely girls, but I have set the bar fairly high for myself in the past making falafel from scratch (ok, okay, tinned chick-peas if you must know but other than that: from scratch) and curry (totally from scratch) with poppadums and the works and other such delights. This time, after my long weekend in Joburg I didn't have that kind of energy, and in the spirit of Foodie April decided on a very simple, very cheap, very delicious soup, served with lots of cheeses and salad and ciabatta. I think it was a hit.

And so, voila ~

Book Club Sweet Potato Soup

about 3-5 large sweet potatoes

1 x onion, roughly chopped 

1 large-ish piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced [and here's a bonus foodie tip: don't you just hate it when you buy a big ole knob of ginger which invariably shrivels up and dries out before you finish using it? Get this: if you freeze it you can just shave bits off it whenever you require and it'll stay fresh n tasty for months. Don't say I never teach you anything ok?]

1 tablespoon red curry paste (you can turn the heat up or down here depending on your audience ...)

1 can unsweetened coconut milk

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth stock
3 and a half tablespoons lemon juice 
1 teaspoon kosher (or non-kosher ...) salt 
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (this is the most uncommon ingredient, but it does actually make a big difference to the taste, and it'll keep forever
so invest in a bottle. You won't be sorry.)

fresh dhania (coriander leaves/cilantro) for sprinkling 

Preheat oven to 180° C. Bake the sweet potatoes for an hour or until tender. Even better if you let them caramelise a bit. Yummo.
Remove from oven, let cool and peel (you can even do this a day before the rest, but I'd recommend peeling them as soon as they're cool enough. It's easier that way).

Heat some oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onion and ginger until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and broth and gently bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, partially cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Cut the potatoes into chunks. Add to the soup and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend/mash/puree/you get the idea. Stir in the lemon juice and salt. Drizzle with sesame oil. Garnish with the dhania.

Super easy. And super yum.

I am also happy to report that the Foodie April craze (may I call it that?) of cooking simply and cheaply is not an all-encompassing one. This weekend I enjoyed, amongst other things, a wildly innovative and delicious lunch of chicken roasted with a chocolate and chilli sauce (using Lindt dark chocolate no less), an awesomely yummy homemade chicken pie (not in the same meal which would've been weird) and some delightful lady-bug cupcakes. All made by people near and dear to me. The last so sweet that I must include a picture.

They were made by the friend who encouraged me to start on my list of 100 crafty things. She is not participating, but when I see these I think she should be ...

1 comment:

Fi said...

Ooh yum, I am going to make the soup! Love sesame oil, add it to everything :)