Saturday, September 3, 2011

Kumara and Lentil Soup

Hi there folks, I promised I would post every day in September (except my birthday), but already that attempt has been foiled!  I wrote the review of Journey to the Centre of the Earth on Thursday afternoon, and scheduled it for Friday morning, but when I decided to change something in the post and clicked 'update', blogger decided to publish it then and there.  This is what I get for trying out this new interface, I suck at figuring out new things.  So please count Thursday's second post as Friday's post, and we'll all get along just fine.

I absolutely love this recipe, it's flavourful and really good for you.  For anyone not from New Zealand, kumara is a variety of sweet potato brought to New Zealand with the Maori a few hundred years ago.  It has a different flavour to the sweet potato I had while in Australia, quite a bit sweeter.  It also has a texture that's softer than a regular potato when cooked, and is a little stringy.  In New Zealand, you can buy purple (see below), golden, and orange (depending on season) in every supermarket in the country.  I'm sure sweet potato will work just as well in this recipe, though it will taste a little different.  Please do include the apple, though, as it adds another type of sweetness and a subtle flavour that really makes the soup.

Picture from Wikipedia

Kumara and Lentil Soup

A drizzle of oil
2 tsp curry powder
2 onions, grated or chopped finely
3 cloves of garlic
1 apple, grated or chopped finely
20 g coriander
Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
Salt to taste
800 g kumera (sweet potato), grated or chopped finely
1.2 L stock
100 g red lentils
300 ml milk
Juice of 1 lime (optional)

Drizzle a large saucepan with oil and add the curry powder and heat, stirring, until fragrant.  Add the onions, garlic, apple, coriander, and ginger.  Season to taste, and cook slowly for 5 minutes.  Add the kumera, lentils, stock, and milk, and simmer covered for 20 minutes or until everything is cooked.  Blend until smooth and stir in lime juice if using.

Variations:  Try pumpkin in the place of sweet potato.  Instead of using curry powder, try using your own favourite mix of spices.  Instead of using milk and stock, try coconut milk/cream (and add water as needed), add minced/finely chopped lemongrass, and limit the spices to tumeric and chilli, and make a Thai-inspired sweet potato/pumpkin soup.

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