Usually when we make vegetable soups, we use stock as a base because it adds flavour but with this recipe you can just use water. There is no need to fry the vegetables first so it is the easiest soup to make. It is a rich sunshiny vibrant orange soup and is an ideal soup to make anytime of the year, warming in Winter, cheery in Summer!
Serves 4 (doubles easily)
450g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch chunks
1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 small bay leaf
500ml cold water
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 sprig thyme
50g Cheddar cheese, grated
4 slices pancetta, cut into strips
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Put the sweet potato, onion, bay leaf, cold water and a pinch of salt into a large saucepan. Bring the water to the boil and turn it down to a simmer. Put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are very soft. Remove the bay leaf and discard. Add a grinding of black pepper, the thyme leaves and the Cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese melts. Blend until soft and velvety.
2. Fry the pancetta in its own fat in a frying pan. Garnish the soup with the warm crispy pancetta and a drizzle of good olive oil.
– Use leftover cheddar that has become hard (remove any mould) and switch from thyme to marjoram or rosemary if that’s what you have in your fridge. Try vintage cheddar in this recipe or use any cheese that melts well.
– Leave out the pancetta if you wish to make a vegetarian soup. Instead garnish it with sprouted seeds.
– 450g sweet potato is about one large sweet potato.