The weather is slowly struggling and fighting its way towards summer, here in Australia. Some days are glorious—sitting on the balcony with a book requires an iced tea instead of a hot coffee, and you start contemplating moving some of your seedlings outside. The next day it could be hailing, or a blustery rainy day where that chai looks a whole lot better steaming hot.
So, I’m still in the mood for hot soups, especially when leftovers can be put in the boyfriend’s hands for a filling lunch the next day. And sometimes, things in the fridge just come together into a lovely combination. This recipe is actually loosely based off of the African Yam Soup which you can find in the Rebar cookbook, but it’s based off of my mum’s version and then altered heavily again, so really the only similarity is a few tablespoons of peanut butter. I will just say though that yams are very forgiving when it comes to soups—you could really chuck in any veggies into this and it’d still taste great. Ah, yams, how I love thee.
While taking photos of this soup, I discovered that it tastes great cold too. (Sometimes photos take a while, so hot soup gets cold in the process. But can you tell in the photos? Nup. I wonder why I bother reheating leftovers for photos most of the time, actually.) So consider this a great recipe for all year round!
Spicy Yam Soup
Makes: 6 servings
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 2 medium yams / kumara
- 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper / capsicum
- 2 large onions (or four small)
- 1 carrot
- 1 tomato
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or whatever you have on hand, if you have some homemade chicken stock this is a great recipe to use it in!)
- 2 tbsp sherry
- 1 tsp each parsley, coriander, paprika, and marjoram
- 1 tsp minced ginger (or 1 tsp dried)
- cayenne pepper to taste (1 tsp for quite spicy, 1/4 tsp for normal people)
- salt and pepper, olive oil
Chop onions and garlic, fry with a bit of olive oil in a large saucepan. When onions and garlic have softened and are beginning to go slightly golden, add the spices (but not the salt), cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and cover, stirring frequently until the pepper/capsicum begins to soften. Add the vegetable stock and sherry. Cover partially and simmer on medium-low for 45 minutes or more until all the vegetables are lovely and soft.
Remove from heat, allow to cool for a few moments, then transfer the soup into a blender or food processor (or using a hand-held processor, or geez, a masher, just do something here!) and process until smooth and all lumps have disappeared. Return to saucepan and heat through again for 10-15 minutes; taste and add salt or adjust spices as necessary. (Remember that the stock adds plenty of salt unless it is homemade, so you almost always don’t have to add extra salt.)
Serve with a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt and some pita bread. Yum!