2 May 2012

Swede and Sweet Potato Soup with Cheese

'Writer's Block' by Peter Bjorn and John

As I was walking through Covent Garden the song 'young folks' burst straight out of the Apple shop and I was sent back to a house that was the pinnacle of east London life. This was a time when life was party party party. I was naive and would listen to this song on repeat to block out a specific person; the walls always felt like they were made from cling film then. Those were the days when I was baking all the time, and I mean every second day. I lived with six people. We all needed cake to get us through the good, bad and ugly times!

This week I haven't been craving cake, only the internet. It's been a nightmare! My hands have felt lifeless from lack of contact on the keypad. Instead I have taken this time to read, plan, and brainstorm about a new business idea. Will let you know very soon what I've been weighing up. Now I'm back to blogging, filming, recipe testing, and everything is all gravy.

Tonight's sunshine in a bowl was incredibly satisfying, tasty and just pure gold glistening on a spoon. This dish was also inspired by a lovely friend in Denmark who just informed me she achieved a sun burn today. Don't get me started on the weather here, let's just say there's no point using the tap, holding a small pot outside for 2 minutes will be enough water to start making chai. Basically it's grey and wet here.

Let me tell you what's great about soup.

Firstly there is a lot of good stuff going in and then blended to make one gorgeous colour. When I've shown kids this process, they don't believe me!
Soup is QUICK, easy and can be smooth or chunky.
Three or more ingredients fill a bowl which is nourishing and can be healthy. To achieve this, opt for potatoes instead of cream.
There is no 'food confuser' questions, you know ones like 'what's that with that?' 
Soup is warming and filling.
Bread with soup is like a pair of drumsticks for a drum: they have to be together to make an impact.

Moving forward to a bit of colour...

Sweet potato is delicious. Rutabaga or swede needs a bit of help to be honest, it's unglamorous and is a cross between a cabbage and turnip. I only bought it because Tesco had it reduced to 20p, and I thought 'why not'. Boiled, blended and partnered with sweet potato, oregano and cheese this soup will give you a healthy kick of potassium, calcium, iron and vitamin C. To be a little daring I have not added salt to this soup, instead the flavour of cheese, black pepper and oregano have been the substitute.

 ▶Here's the recipe to feed 2:

Takes 40 minutes including peeling and chopping.


2 small sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped.
1 medium swede, peeled and chopped.
2 tsp oregano
Cheddar cheese
Black Pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove crushed

Bread to serve.


: Boil the swede and sweet potato. This should take 25 minutes.
: Once they are soft, drain the water and save it in a jug. A good tip is to leave a jug in the sink, let it sit under the colander and let it collect the drained water.
: Pour a bit of olive oil in the empty pot and fry the garlic for a few seconds. 
: Then tip in the potatoes, swede and oregano, stir till they are covered.
: Take off the heat and pour in 100ml of water, use a hand blender and get whizzing.
: Keep on adding 100ml and blend, aim for something in between baby food and broth. I used 300ml in total.
: Put back on the heat, season with black pepper and grate a small amount of cheddar. 
: Taste to see if more pepper or oregano is needed. Don't be tempted to add salt at this stage, try adding more of the above flavours.
: Serve straight away with your choice of chunky bread. 
I'm all about the multigrain slices.


I love a hearty crusty bread with soup. What's the best and forgiving bread for soup dunking? Let me know what you think.

Favourite Song:
ê 'Young Folks' and 'Paris 2004'