“Goin’ back to our ROOTs”. Beetroots.
This is a sweet winter wonder. Vibrant and choc-a-bloc with goodness and power. This soup will add some sunshine groove into any grey day.
I lived in Brixton, London, for a while and loved the energy of Caribbean culture and the vibrant market. This soup reflects all those happy vibes and memories. The sweet potatoes, yams and cassava were always abundant down there, which gave me new roots to explore in the kitchen, leading me to this soup.
The recipe includes sweet potato, the rest are very local (I walked to buy them from where they grow!) and a few spices from far flung lands. The chilli, paprika and all-spice give the soup some strong Caribbean flava!
This is a mixed-up root soup, which for me, sums up all that is good about this little eclectic island. We have many different roots! It also gives me a chance to put on some reggae tunes and boggie while it bubbles.
This will make one big panful, around 4 big bowls. I like cooking in bulk, save it or freeze it. Saves time and the elec/gas bill.
1 large potato, 3 medium sweet potatos, 1 medium beetroot, 1 small swede, 1 medium pasrnip, 1 red onion, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1/2 tsp all spice, 1/2 teas cinnamon, 1 teas chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 teas turmeric, 1.5L veg stock.
Onions and garlic are sliced and all other roots are chunked (peel them only if you like skinless, skins are full of goodness).
Glug of oil and fry onions on medium heat, soften then add the garlic, leave for a couple of minutes, then add all the roots. Make sure you have a nice big pan for this, your roots need room. Fry until they start to colour a little, then add the spices, cook and stir until well coated and coloured, then add the stock. Leave for 30 minutes, partially covered, to simmer (try not to boil, it takes away some flavour). Add more water if needed (lost to evap.).
When all is very tender, get a hand blender (or cool and put in a food processor) and blitz it up nice and creamy.
We had it with a dollop of creme fraiche, because it was hanging around the fridge, otherwise, have it how you like it! With good tunes on. You must dance a little after eating this soup, even if you’re wearing your slippers.
We Love It
This is true soul food (’cause it makes you feel mighty fine). The vibrant colour and the deep sense of well-being post slurp makes this soup a champion for any season.
Botanically speaking the sweet potato is a tuber. They really are the finest root (brave statement for a Brit!) mainly because they’re so damn good for you. Sweet pots are low in calories, packed with starch (which are introduced into the blood stream slowly, which is good) and flavanoids (powerful antioxidants). Best of all, they’re orange.