I first made this soup for my Dad when he was recovering from cancer surgery. It's simple title belies a tonne of delicious flavour, and good vibes for the healing power of soup.
I first made this soup for my Dad when he was recovering from cancer surgery. It’s simple title belies a tonne of delicious flavour, and good vibes for the healing power of soup.
It was 2017, and my Dad was having the kidney that was riddled with cancer removed. I went back home for a month to help Mum look after him while he completed his chemotherapy and left intensive care, and then returned home. I wanted to do whatever I could to help him get back on his feet.
One of the best things I know to cook to make people feel better and to get huge amounts of nutrition in for minimal effort is soup. I love soup, I think a good soup is an expression of how much someone cares for you. So I decided to make a different soup every day made from scratch with as many vegetables as I could – not just for Dad, but for us all. An army marches on its stomach, after all!
I started with a couple of sweet potatoes that Mum had in her veg trug, but wanted to really give it some powerful flavour. There’s nothing worse than eating drab food when you’re not feeling the best. I also knew how well sweet potato paired with Thai flavours in particular: ginger, chilli, lemongrass, and also knew that these were things that were known to help with mending things inside of us.
I loved it, but more importantly, my Dad loved it.
This recipe will make enough for 4 – 6 portions depending on size of bowl and if you’re having bread with it. It will keep for a week in an airtight container in the fridge perfectly well. Great for lunchtimes if still working from home, too.
Put shallots, garlic, lemongrass, ginger and chilli into a food processor and blitz into a rough paste.
Place a large, heavy bottomed saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add olive oil and aromatic paste and gently fry off for up to 5 minutes, careful to not let it burn or brown.
Add in sweet potatoes, and stir to cover with the aromatic paste.
Add vegetable, raise the heat to a boil, the reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sweet potatoes are just over soft.
Carefully put everything into a food blender, and blend on high speed until you have a smooth consistency to the soup.
Return the soup to the saucepan, add juice of half a lemon and stir through. Check for seasoning and, if required, add a generous pinch of salt to really make the soup sing!
Heat through until bubbling, ladle into warmed bowls or an enamel mug, and garnish.
Decant any leftovers into an airtight container, allow to cool completely, then store in the fridge. Reheat leftovers to piping hot.
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