Sweet Potato & Parmesan Soup

Written by: Georgina Ingham | Posted: 16-04-2010

“Soup is cuisine’s kindest course. It breathes reassurance; it steams consolation; after a weary day it promotes sociability, as the five o’clock cup of tea or the cocktail hour.”

Louis P. De Gouy, The Soup Book (1949)

The vibrant bright orange colour of this silky soup has got to be enough to put a smile on your face hasn’t it? Even if it is springtime and yet clinging on to the cold weather of wintertime, this cannot fail to make you feel all comforted and happy.

I have a real thing about soups right now, they’re (mostly) healthy, quick and simple to prepare, suitable as a starter or light meal and relatively simple to transport to work.

Sweet potatoes have a creamy texture and a sweet-spicy flavour that makes them ideal for savoury dishes. There are two types, one with bright orange flesh, the other with pale cream flesh. Sweet potatoes are native to the tropical Americas. These tubers are rich in fibre, vitamins A, C and B6, and an excellent source of carbohydrates. The orange-fleshed variety are also rich in betacarotene. They are also a low glycemic index food – meaning that they release their sugar content relatively slowly and are thus prolonged energy providers i.e. you don’t get that ‘sugar rush’ feeling after eating them and then get hungry again in an hour or so and start reaching for the snacks.

A clever way to stimulate the taste buds and add a salty-umami style depth to a recipe is to add Parmesan cheese. Parmesan is rich in natural MSG which gives it that big umami hit, the MSG leeches out of the rind and into the soup to give it deep, rich, savoury taste.

Here, the Parmesan rind is simmered with chicken stock and naturally sweet sauteed onions and sweet potatoes to create a soup rich in flavour.

I’m on a bit of a health kick so just served the soup ‘plain’ but you could drizzle with a little double cream or a spoon of creme fraiche if you so wished.

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