Hurrah, it's soup season

HEALTHY AND HEARTY: Kumara, miso and wasabi soup.
HEALTHY AND HEARTY: Kumara, miso and wasabi soup.

It's officially Winter. Which means it's officially soup season. And by this I mean the hearty, stand a spoon in it, its almost like eating mash kind of version.  

I had a German teacher at culinary school who almost failed me on a potato soup because it was too thick. My thick soup was at her mercy. And she showed me none.

I've since come to accept and embrace my thick soup faults - after all I am convinced there are far worse kitchen crimes - and a thick soup is far more joyous, indulgent and what is needed when the weather cools.

This sweet potato soup makes a little bit of veg go a long way. It's thick (as above) and it has a delightful background hit of wasabi and the delicate crunch of seaweed and sesame. It freezes like a dream (sans topping) and like any good soup lasts a week in the fridge. 

RECIPE: KUMARA, MISO AND WASABI SOUP

2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
2 French eschallots, peeled, sliced
500g kumara, peeled, roughly chopped
4 cups chicken stock
1 ½ tablespoons miso paste
1 tablespoon ginger pickling liquid (the juice in the jar of pickled ginger)
wasabi paste to taste
milk or stock to loosen
Topping
¼ sheet seaweed, finely sliced
¼ cup coriander leaves, coarsely torn
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
1 teaspoon furikake seasoning (optional)
A few slices of pickled ginger (optional)

1. Place a medium saucepan over low heat. Add the grapeseed oil and sweat the sliced eschallots until soft.

2. Add the sweet potato and toss to coat and cook for one minute until the edges are beginning to caramelize slightly.

3. Add the stock and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring regularly to break up the sweet potato, until the stock has reduced slightly.

4. Remove from the heat and whisk through the miso paste and ginger pickling liquid. Add the wasabi to taste. Do this slowly as wasabi can vary significantly in its nostril clearing punch potential.

5. Add to a blender and blitz until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, loosen with some milk or additional stock.

6. Add the topping ingredients to a small bowl and toss to combine.

7. Pour the soup into serving bowls, top with a generous pinch of the topping and serve warm.

- Daily Life