Gourmet (South Africa) - - QUICK KITCHEN -

This tra­di­tional An­dean soup, warm with pota­toes, milk, cheese and Tabasco, and bright with cu­min and av­o­cado, may be the ul­ti­mate com­fort food. Serves 4

1.5kg rus­set (bak­ing) pota­toes 1 cup chopped white onion 2T sun­flower oil heaped 1/2t ground cu­min 2 1/4t salt

3/4t black pep­per

7 cups wa­ter

1 cup full-cream milk

155g (1 1/4 cups) queso fresco (Mex­i­can fresh cheese) or feta, crum­bled

2 (180g) firm, ripe av­o­ca­dos

1. Peel the pota­toes and cut into 20mm pieces.

2. Sauté the onion in the oil, add half of the pota­toes (re­serve re­main­ing pota­toes in a bowl of cold wa­ter) and con­tinue fry­ing over a mod­er­ately high heat, stir­ring, un­til onion is soft­ened, 3 to 5 min­utes. Add the cu­min, salt and pep­per and cook, stir­ring, 1 minute.

3. Add the wa­ter and bring to a boil, scrap­ing up any brown bits.

4. Re­duce heat and sim­mer, par­tially cov­ered, un­til the pota­toes are very ten­der, 25 to 30 min­utes, then mash into the broth.

5. Drain the re­main­ing pota­toes and add to the stew, then sim­mer, par­tially cov­ered, un­til ten­der, about 20 min­utes.

6. Stir in the milk, cheese and Tabasco and in­crease heat to high, then bring to a sim­mer, stir­ring. Re­move from heat and sea­son.

7. Mean­while, quar­ter the av­o­ca­dos length­wise, then pit, peel and cut into 12mm cubes. Serve the stew in large soup bowls, topped with av­o­cado.

A bot­tle of Tabasco Orig­i­nal Red Sauce con­tains 720 drops (there are 60 drops in a tea­spoon).

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