Sunday, 25 May 2008

Kumara and Coconut Soup

Sunday 12.50pm

For Christmas this year Nicola’s work took us all out to Glen Etive restaurant in Hastings. After the bread and dips the soup came along – Kumara and Coconut. Kumara are of course a sweet potato grown in New Zealand, having originally been brought here by early Maori settlers, and make a beautiful, delicately comforting soup with a floury texture. This is my version, the restaurant one was fairly plain but being autumn just now, and raining, and with me being a bit bunged up with flu, I have put ginger in mine to give a warming background.

One small chopped onion goes into some oil and butter in a pan along with a crushed clove of garlic and a walnut sized piece of ginger also peeled and chopped

This is left to cook gently while the kettle boils for the stock and the Kumara are peeled.

Kumara are come in different colours inside, red orange and white, so I chose the red skinned ones thinking the orange flesh would make a nice looking soup. But . . . . of course when I peeled them they are white inside. But there you go, should have bought the orange ones !

- Once the onions are translucent turn the heat up a bit and add the peeled and roughly chopped Kumara along with a quarter teaspoon of Turmeric.

- Stir everything around a bit and add a pint and a quarter of vegetable stock.

- Now just turn the heat down and leave to simmer until the Kumara are soft twenty minutes or so.

- Leave to cool for a few minutes then liquidize it all and return to the now washed saucepan.

- taste and season, it will taste quite gingery now, but that's Ok.

- pour in half a tin of coconut milk and reheat , if it is like mine the ginger will disappear into the background and the soup will have a gentle Thai influenced flavour. (Nicola likes ginger of course so if you are not sure just use a half walnut sized piece.)

Enjoy – we had ours with some feta, Nicola’s idea – the creamyness and slight citrus tang went together with the Thai influence beautifully.
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