Published: 12/05/2011 23:59 - Updated: 19/07/2011 14:36

Spiced sweet potato soup

I ORDERED a turkey last week for a large festive occasion, and the smell as it cooked was, as you'd imagine, very Christmassy.

It seemed all wrong to have the smell of Christmas in a kitchen full of sunshine, the scent of cut grass and sunburned visitors.

However it also reminded me of Thanksgiving and the odd things Americans will pile on their plates on that festival, including sweet potato cooked with butter, orange juice, brown sugar and marshmallows.

How can that possibly go with gravy?

I always thought sweet potatoes were the same as yams but I see, on consulting a book, that this would be a serious error.

Some strains of wild yams are so poisonous they were used by African tribes on arrow tips.

Get that muddled up, and it could cast quite a blight over your Thanksgiving celebration.

Here's a very easy soup, requiring embarrassingly few ingredients, mainly sweet potato.

Recipe:

1 kilo sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon curry paste (Patak's or similar)
1 400g can coconut milk
1 pint veg stock
Fresh coriander for garnish, if available

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Heat a large saucepan and stir the curry paste around in the base for a few moments to release the spices' aroma. Add the potatoes, and stir again to coat with spice. Add the veg stock and coconut milk, and bring to gentle simmer.

Simmer until sweet potatoes softened. Liquidise the soup. If it's still so thick it could coat an arrow tip, add a little more stock. Stir in a tablespoon or so of fresh chopped coriander. Tasty served with a naan bread and a marshmallow.

Joking about the marshmallow.

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