Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sage and Kumara Soup

I was about 12 or 13 when I had my first taste of pumpkin soup. Up until then, the only pumpkin flavoured food I had was in the form of dessert (pumpkin and red bean anyone?) and the idea of a savoury pumpkin sounded absolutely absurd. And herbs? My Chinese palate had yet to discover those!



I remember being quite excited about pumpkin soup, thinking how lucky my friends were to be able to have what is essentially a dessert for a meal. I can proudly tell you that I was ever so polite and finished my meal but I was thoroughly confused. 

I went home and shared this revelation with my mother who, incidentally, had experienced the same thing just a few months prior -with Kumara soup. At home, our idea of kumara soup is to boil large chunks of kumara in hot water. That's it. It doesn't sound terribly exciting but I can assure you it is tasty.

We bonded over crazy western foods that night.



Since then, my palate has developed considerably and there is not a lot I won't eat. While pureed soup is not my ultimate favourite food, it is up there on my list of winter warmers because it is so easy to make but packed full of goodness. 

If you have find yourself a little short of time after work this week, give this Sage and Kumara Soup a try. Everything cooks in one pot so clean up is also a breeze!

Sage and Kumara Soup
(Serves 4, adapted from Mindfood, June 2015 issue)


Ingredients:

1 Tbs olive oil
4 rashers streaky bacon, chopped into small pieces
2 onions, roughly sliced
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1.2 kg golden kumara, peeled and chopped
1 Tbs sage, roughly torn
1.5 L chicken or vegetable stock

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add bacon and fry until crispy. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. Keep the oil and bacon fat in the pan.
2. Add onions and 1/3 cup of stock. Use a wooden spoon to uplift any bacon bits that have stuck to the pan. Cook until onion is soft and translucent and the stock is mostly evaporated.
3. Add garlic and stir until fragrant.
4. Add kumara, sage and remaining stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until the kumara is soft.
5. Use a stick blender to puree the kumara until smooth and season with salt and pepper.
6. Sprinkle bacon bits on top and serve with warm bread.