I honestly don’t remember ever eating sweet potato as a child. I don’t know if this is because 15 years ago it wasn’t a very popular vegetable here in the U.K. or if it was because my parents just overlooked it. Now I’m a grown up I pick up a massive sweet potato every time I do the grocery shopping. There’s a lot you can do with this lovely, gnarly looking tuber. This soup is fast to make and very cost effective. It’s also delicious and vegan. I use a lot of different spices in this recipe but don’t let the epic ingredients list put you off. The Pitta croutons are a great way of using up stale leftovers. You can use any bread for this but I seem to always end up with spare pittas lurking in my bread bin. This recipe makes enough for two hungry adults with a bit left over for tomorrow’s lunch. It will store in the fridge for up to five days in an airtight container or in the freezer for a month.
- 3 sticks of celery, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- Approximately 750g diced sweet potato
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of thyme
- Pinch of oregano
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Pinch of dried chipotle chilli flakes
- 2 stale Pitta breads, cut into shards
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to its highest setting.
- Sweat the onion and celery in a large saucepan with a little oil.
- When they are translucent, add the garlic, sweet potato, spices and herbs. Sautee on a low heat for 5 minutes.
- Cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer with the lid on until the sweet potato is soft.
- Whilst the soup is simmering, place the shards of Pitta on a baking sheet and drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 3 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip them over and bake for another 3 minutes, or until the croutons are brown and crunchy.
- When the sweet potato is soft, use an immersion blender and wazz until the soup is smooth and silky. At this point you may need to add a bit more liquid to your soup, unless you like it like wall paper paste. I just add water but if you’re feeling decadent you could add milk or even cream. Let the soup down as much as you feel necessary, little by little. Season to taste.
- Serve the soup with the croutons piled on top and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and black pepper.
- If you don’t have all of the spices I’ve listed here, don’t worry! Use what you have in your spice rack. The essential ones are thyme, oregano, nutmeg and paprika and I’ll bet you already have those.
- Add as much chilli as you like. I like a lot of chilli in this but my small child does not. I prefer to add hot sauce or chopped fresh chilli to my own bowl.
- If you don’t have any Pitta bread to use up, just use whatever other bread you have in the house. This will work with anything from tortilla to hot dog buns. Simply cut them to whatever shape you like and keep an eye on the baking time.
- This crouton recipe will also work for gluten free bread, but I’d recommend using a medium setting on your oven as gluten free bread often has a high sugar content which burns faster.