A soup-er dish to grab the at­ten­tion

Rutherglen Reformer - - Chef’s Corner -

The thing that an­noys me about soup is that it is so same-ish.

Even with a cu­cum­ber sand­wich you are never sure whether your next bite is go­ing to con­tain a bit more cu­cum­ber or even a glo­ri­ous piece of crust that the pre­vi­ous bite didn’t of­fer up.

With soup, it’s al­ways the same spoon­ful.

To­day’s dish shows how to keep a guest in­ter­ested in your soup by adding wee gems of tex­ture.

Gor­don Ram­say makes a broc­coli soup in his restau­rants that con­sists of noth­ing other than broc­coli, salt and pep­per, ev­ery­thing per­fectly cooked and with­out a la­dle of stock in sight.

As well as sav­ing him a for­tune on in­gre­di­ents, this is ex­tremely gim­micky and, for the pur­pose of the home cook, a de­cent qual­ity stock is ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial, there­fore ex­clud­ing any­thing in pow­der form.

Sweet potato looks like an acne-scarred nor­mal potato with le­prosy.

It’s thick, hairy skin can break even the most ro­bust of potato peel­ers in the land; how­ever it has be­come ex­tremely pop­u­lar as a health­ier al­ter­na­tive to the con­ven­tional potato, de­spite its ob­vi­ous phys­i­cal draw­backs.

Ginger looks a bit like a rot­ting thumb and, side by side, these two core in­gre­di­ents for this dish re­sem­ble the Krankie’s af­ter a long, boozey week­end in Lan­zarote.

To­gether though, they taste fan­tas­tic. Step 1 - mak­ing the sim­ple soup

Peel and chop a medium sized sweet potato into pieces and place in a pot with two pints of sim­mer­ing chicken (or veg­etable) stock.

To this add a chopped clove of gar­lic, thumb-sized piece of ginger, shal­lot and cook out un­til the sweet potato is soft.

Re­move from the heat and blend in food pro­ces­sor or with hand blender. Re­turn to pan and mix through a small hand­ful of chopped co­rian­der and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Soup done. Step 2 – tex­ture

Add some oil and a knob of but­ter to a small pan and gen­tly cook some spinach un­til it goes a dark green colour. Re­move from heat as soon as it wilts as it will go mushy and ined­i­ble if over­cooked.

Sep­a­rately, crush a hand­ful of peanuts and chop some co­rian­der and spring onions. Step 3 – as­sem­bling the dish Pour the soup in to a shal­low bowl and place a spoon­ful of the spinach in to the cen­tre so that the spinach is stick­ing out above the soup level. Place a spoon­ful of crème fraiche on top of the spinach and sprin­kle the co­rian­der, nuts and spring onions around the soup. Lightly driz­zle with olive oil.

David has just launched his own web­site to sup­port his pri­vate cater­ing pro­ject.

You can check out his work at www. tur­tle­dove­ca­ter­ing.com.

Souped up David’s sweet potato and ginger-based soup adds new tex­ture to the soup ex­pe­ri­ence

Chef David Banks

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