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  • Writer's pictureChef Dylan

SWEET POTATO & LENTIL SOUP



A delicate balance of southern spices and aromatics with earthy sweetness. Roasted sweet potato bursting with spicy Southern flavours mixed with pops of texture from protein rich lentils is a surefire way to warm both the body and soul.

This soup really is a super easy meal. Whether enjoyed on a chilly winter evening, as an after school slurp-fest with hot toast or as a nourishing starter. Get ready to savour spoonfuls of pure comfort as we dive into the delightfully delicious world of homemade soup, this heartwarming dish promises to satisfy and enchant even the harshest of critics.


Did you know? Contrary to popular belief, sweet potatoes are not related to regular potatoes. The origin of the humble sweet potato is surprisingly shrouded in mystery and has a fascinating history. They are said to be native to Central and South America and were first cultivated as a food source over 5,000 years ago by ancient civilisations like the Incas and Aztecs. These civilisations quickly recognised the incredible nutritional value of sweet potatoes and prized them as a staple food. Master seafaring nations like the Polynesians mysteriously got their hands on this amazing staple and worshiped the remarkable tuber as a life giving force. Indeed they planted this crop from island to island wherever they went on their adventures across the vast Pacific Ocean. It still remains a popular food till this day.


Chef Dylan tip: 1. It’s vital to try to cut the sweet potato into uniform pieces. This ensures even cooking and prevents some pieces from becoming overly charred while others remain

undercooked. 2. Don’t be stingy with the olive oil because coating the sweet potato pieces

generously with oil helps to achieve a crispy exterior during roasting. 3.It's essential to space the sweet potato pieces out on the baking sheet, allowing for proper airflow and ensuring they roast rather than steam.


Dundee Scotland 2022

I make my way up the well worn sandstone stairs that lead to an enchanted garden where

blooming pale primrose petals dance across the rocks and emerald velvet grass seems to calm all who enter. The cloudless azure sky overhead is a wonderful change to the usually dreary grey that I’m accustomed to whenever I’m here. Continuing on I reach the Invercarse hotel a quaint watering hole with a timeless charm, quenching the thirst of many a weary traveler since 1878.


Taking a seat on the sun kissed terrace I shelter beneath the shade of two giant Scots pine trees. The view from here is breathtaking. I delight in the way the light shimmers and dances across the mercury coloured Tay as it snakes its way out to the North sea. The air is crisp and seemingly alive with the chorus of birdsong somehow echoing the very essence of natures harmony. Savouring the tranquility I close my eyes and breathe in the serenity.

“Excuse me sir?” Comes a voice in a thick Scottish accent as melodious as the birds above.

I look up to see a tall, exceptionally dressed young man in a 3 piece suit.


As he hands me the menu I catch a glimpse of an intricate tattoo just above his flashy wristwatch glinting in the sunlight. “The soup of the day is roasted sweet potato and lentil” he says with a sparkle in his eyes that mirrors the flowing river below. “Ive just had it for lunch and can say with utmost certainty that it’s one of the chef’s best yet". Well then” I reply “Lets put your tastebuds to the test” I add with a touch of jest in my voice “Put me down for a soup of the day please". “Now I’m feeling the pressure!” he says with a laugh “Would you like a drink with that?”. “A pint of Tennent’s please” I reply. “Sure thing pal, I’ll sort it for you right away” he says as he turns and heads towards the bar.


I gaze out over the river towards the kingdom of Fife and two giant herring gulls glide effortlessly through the vast sky. ‘Scotland in the sun is undeniably one of the most strikingly beautifully countries on earth’ I think to myself. As I lean back a deep sense of gratitude wells up and sends a warm glow from my heart tingling across my skin.


PREP TIME: 10mins

COOK TIME: 15mins

SERVES 4


INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sweet potatoes about 1kg, peeled and chopped into 4cm chunks

  • 1 medium onion, diced 1 cm

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken stock

  • 1x 400g can cooked brown lentils

  • 1/2 cup thickened cream

  • 1-2 tbs CREOLE

  • Olive oil to drizzle


METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Place the sweet potatoes into a bowl and generously drizzle with olive oil and add CREOLE. Toss evenly to coat.

  2. Roast sweet potato in the oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and slightly caramelised.

  3. In a large pot, heat another drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sizzle until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant.

  4. Add the roasted sweet potatoes to the pot, followed by the vegetable or chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavours to meld together.

  5. Leave chunky or using an immersion blender or regular blender, puree the soup until smooth. If using a regular blender, work in batches and be cautious of the hot liquid.

  6. Return the soup to the pot add the lentils and stir in the cream. Heat the soup over low heat until it is warmed through.

  7. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If the soup is too thick, you can add more stock or cream to achieve your desired consistency.


TO SERVE


Garnish with your choice of chopped fresh coriander, a dollop of sour cream or toasted pumpkin or pepita seeds and serve with a slice of sourdough lathered in butter.







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