Curried Sweet Potato Soup with Chicken & Spinach
Adapted from Ainsley Harriott's Fresh and Fabulous Meals in Minutes
Vegetarians out there...it’s perfectly delicious without the chicken and done with vegetable broth. I even have a fabulous roasted vegetable broth you can make. In fact, even though I used chicken this time, I actually made the base with the vegetable broth.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 40-50 minutes
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, cut in half length-wise, rinsed well, pat dry and chop
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ tsp red chili pepper flakes (more if you like heat – this is a rich, mellow soup, but a little after kick is great)
2 heaping tsp mild curry powder (really, you don’t want the curry to overpower the flavor of the sweet potatoes)
4 cups broth – chicken or vegetable (have some extra handy in case the soup is too thick for you)
3 medium to large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small chunks
2 large cooked chicken breasts, shredded – use a fork and scrape across the grain(obviously, vegetarians…well, I don’t really have to tell you to omit)
1 small handful of baby spinach leaves per bowl (see note in step 5), coarsely chopped
Freshly ground nutmeg
Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. In a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat, melt the butter in the oil. Add the chopped onion and leek and cook for about 5 minutes – until they are tender but not colored. Add the garlic, chili pepper flakes and curry powder and cook for another minute or so…just until the fragrance makes you moan.
2. Raise the heat to high and add the sweet potato chunks (remember, the smaller the chunks, the quicker they’re done) and the broth and bring to a boil. Then reduce to low and half cover the pot. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft (anywhere from 20-40 minutes)
3. Puree the soup until smooth. You can do this in a food processor or blender, but I prefer to use my immersion blender right in the pot. Much easier on the clean up! Taste for seasonings. This is when you might want to add more broth if you find it to thick.
Note: all this can be done in advance.
4. Five to ten minutes before serving, add the shredded chicken, if using and allow to heat through.
5. Place a handful of chopped baby spinach leaves in the bottom of each bowl and ladle soup over top. The heat of the soup will wilt the spinach. Note: One thing I dislike is left over soup with slimy spinach and delicate baby spinach, slimes easily. It’s so much easier to just add a handful of fresh spinach whenever you crave a bowl.
To serve, grate some nutmeg over each bowl. It’s great with naan bread and it was equally tasty with Scandinavian Rye.