Well – so much for autumn in the Adelaide Hills. We’ve been enduring unimaginable weather torments here for the last week or two, with day after day of warm sunshine and endlessly mild and balmy evenings. Usually, by this time of the year, I have both slow combustion fires chugging along night and day. I’ve given up shaving my legs, have dug out my trackies and ugg boots, pulled out my knitting (I’m still knitting the same jumper I started last year – I’m hoping to finish it this decade) and hunkered down with a pile of books and television shows to catch up on. Not so this year. This crazy weather has us all still in our summer clothes (yes, legs and all), enjoying barbecues by the pool and squeezing the last of the sunblock from last summer’s bottles.
Well, I’ve had enough of it. I actually like winter. I love the cosiness of the kitchen with Stanley humming away. I look forward to cooking delicious long, slow, soups and casseroles, stacking on an extra pound or two because I bake more often and warming my bum in front of the fire.
Much as I love and crave them at the end of winter, I’m completely over salads by this time of the year, so I’m embarking on my normal winter culinary habits regardless of the weather. I found a beautiful, big, sweet potato lurking in the potato box yesterday just begging to be made into something special and that is just too simple to do with the addition of some of the fragrant, sweet spices used in Moroccan cooking. Smugly pulling out some frozen stock and a container of cooked chick peas from my freezer (see my post on cooking them in the slow cooker and freezing them) this rich, fragrant soup was on the table in no time.
You could forgo the pureeing if you prefer your soups chunky rather than smooth, but be sure not to miss out on the final step in this recipe. Those last two ingredients really do kick this soup up a notch or two.
- 50 mls olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 cm dice
- 1 can chick peas
- 1 litre lamb stock (or veal or chicken – whatever)
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp sweet paprika
- juice of ½ lemon
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium flame, add onions and saute gently until they are transparent, adding the garlic towards the end to prevent it burning.
- Add all the spices and stir over heat for a minute or two, until fragrant.
- Add sweet potatoes and stir to coat evenly with spices.
- Add stock and bring to boil. Simmer gently until the sweet potato is soft, adding the chick peas towards the end.
- When cooked cool slightly before pureeing, in batches, in a food processor until smooth.
- Return to pot over a low flame, add more stock or water if too thick, and reheat.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Just before serving add the lemon juice and one dessertspoon of honey, blending completely.
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