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Wednesday 4 November 2009

Sweet potato, apple and ginger soup

I have noticed that there's been a lot of sweet stuff happening around here.

I don't think that there's much wrong with that, per se, but I am also aware that it looks as though I eat nothing but sweets. It's true that I have a sweet tooth, and I do hate it when there is not any cake in the house, but I am coming across as a bit of a sugar-glutton! So I'm upping the savoury ante, starting with this soup, which is quite special, even if I do say so myself.

I never thought I would write about soup. Soup, I always think, is boring. Boring in the making and boring in the eating. Boring boring boring.

But then, suddenly, and most often unexpectedly, along comes a good one and completely changes my mind. This soup is one of those.

It's pretty simple; four ingredients and a quick whizz in the blender. But you'd never guess when you taste it. I think that's because of the sweet potatoes. Regular potatoes never seem to make such a velvety soup, but I don't think you should hold that against them, because without regular potatoes, you would not have fish pie. Puts things into perspective, doesn't it?

Mr. Other P didn't seem convinced when I told him we were having soup with apple in it, but upon tasting changed his mind. Not that I'm worried about seeking his approval or anything. Apple seemed a natural addition to me - I remember making a lot of soups with my mum when I was younger, in her huge green stockpot, and her approach was always to chuck in whatever we had to hand. And apple and ginger is a really common flavouring for those expensive caffeine-free herbal teas you can buy, which smell absolutely amazing, and offer such promise, but which taste, disappointingly, like rusty nails.

My soup does NOT taste like rusty nails. It tastes wonderful.

Such pretty colours in the pan...

I used a Cox's Orange Pippin apple, because apple season is in full swing, and they are my favourite. As a child, I remember reading Roald Dahl write that if you shake a Cox's Orange Pippin in your hand and listen carefully, you can hear the seeds rattling inside. I also remember getting into trouble in the supermarket for doing this, so I can vouch for what Mr. Dahl says. Give it a go. But please buy the apple first.

We ate this with big hunks of tiger bread, which is exactly what we'll be doing next time as well, and what you should do, too.

Sweet potato, apple and ginger soup

You will need:

2 fairly large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 apple, cored and diced (don't peel it)
small chunk of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
1 vegetable stock cube (well, be honest...)

  1. Put everything in a pan, and pour over cold water to just cover.
  2. Bring to the boil, and simmer until the sweet potato is soft. This will take around 10 minutes, maybe a little less.
  3. Whizz in the blender, season as you like with salt and pepper, and serve.
  4. Take a moment to think about how underrated soup is. Resolve to change your mindset.
NB: Reading this back, I feel as though I have made my mum out to be some kind of Old Mother Hubbard character, working away in a soup kitchen. I would like to clarify that this is not the case. She is beautiful, glamorous, vivacious and hard-working, and I love her very much!


  1. sounds yummy! but what is tiger bread?

  2. Possibly the most delicious bread ever! It has sesame oil baked on the top, so it blackens like tiger stripes. Look here:


    Try some!

  3. Mr P, hurrah on the great photo + post! Good stuff!

    Peas Love Carrots

  4. If you replaced the apple with Asian pear, you could call it "Korean Sweet Potato Soup"! : )

  5. lovely...i have a fire going here..the soup would be perfect.

  6. Nice. Bringing a flask of it up for the fireworks on sat?

  7. Mae - Thanks very much! I think it came out ok actually, considering it was a quick snap before eating.

    Tamar - That's a great idea! Because I did think it needed an extra garnish, and if I put a nashi in there, I could have used kimchee as the garnish. The possibilities... Thanks for your comment!

    Kathy - I wish I had a fire going. I have caught a really bad cold, and there's no fire in our new place :( It's hot squash all the way for me...

    Baldyd - If I make it to the fireworks... Perce gave me his cold! Rubbish!!

  8. Sounds wonderful! I have been eating so much squash soup lately that I would like to switch it up with your sweet potato idea. Love them baked so I'm sure they're perfect in soup. Thanks for a new idea.

  9. bravo I like all this ingredients together Bravo Mister P pour ta cuisine !!
    et si tu aimes les desserts déstructurés alors c'est chez moi ; à plus Pierre

  10. Hello Mr. P. Your soup looks and sounds so wonderful that we are making a version of it at our restaurant this week. I'll report back on the results. David is promoting it as automn flavors British-style. Cheers!

  11. Vegetable Matter - I have only just read your comment about my soup.

    I am so excited that you planned to give it a go! How was it? Did you change much?

    You have to let me know! :)

  12. This soup sounds wonderful, I have a recipe for a sweet potato and orange soup which is wonderful, so I know the addition of an apple would be great. Going to try this on the very next cold day :)

  13. Yeah, we've made it a few times actually, Lisa. If it weren't for the samosas in the oven right now, we'd probably be eating it today. It's freezing here!

  14. I just made this, but I did not peel my sweet potato. If I made it again, I'd peel the sweet potato, because I think it was the source of some stringy bits that didn't get blended up properly.

    I also use vegetable broth rather than the water vs stock cube.

    Despite the stringly bits, it is really delicious! I am sick and have been craving some soup and this looked so good. Thanks!

  15. Mmmm...
    This reminds me of a soup I made awhile back, with stuff that needed to be used up. It was all orange so I ended up calling it by the misleading name of "Orange Soup."
    I'll be sure to try this, it looks wonderful. Thanks for a great recipe,

  16. First time here..you have a wonderful space..just saw your glittering Raspberry Kulfi..that look really awesome:-) between, I love this soup and I always prefer to have soup with some fruit in it..Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe...I'm following you..last month I hosted an event for preparing dishes with fruits and I'v posted the roundup today for soups..if you want you can take a look at this link..

    I've voted for your Kulfi and wishes for you to win the event:-)

  17. Ohh what is it you're saying, soup is underrated and boring? O:
    Soup is the best ^^
    Cold autumn evening, nothing as hot soup and bread, really (:
    I so like this recipe, I use ginger for everything!
    Will definitely try this out ^^ Thanks so much for sharing!


That's what he said.

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