Everyone in Jamaica knows that Saturday is soup day. A big pot of chicken foot soup or beef soup or chicken noodle soup is the standard and traditional Saturday evening meal. But I have never been a fan of the traditional soups and have always leaned towards light or creamy soups and boy do I have a creamy one for you today!
I made this yesterday for dinner and actually had it with some fried fish; the salty fish with this creamy and slightly sweet soup was just… a match made in heaven. On top of that, the fish skin was crispy so yeah, I was so blown away by this meal.
Although this wasn’t a traditional Jamaican soup, I used Jamaican staples to craft it and all the ingredients were local and organic.
I came across the main ingredients and subsequently the inspiration for this meal during the week; they were gifted to us from our neighbour who has a huge farm where all sorts of plants, animals and herbs flourish! We visited the farm to get our weekly supply of eggs and my eyes caught a carrot field where an old carrot plant that was now blossoming little white flowers. I mentioned the plant to my neighbour and it was as if he heard ‘may I have some of your carrots please?’ because he quickly begun to uproot carrots two by two and packed them in a bag for me.
I knew I had to make something real tasty with these super fresh and uber beautiful carrots but ‘carrot and sweet potato soup’ didn’t pop into my head until soup day arrived and I was craving soup.
My farmer-neighbour had sent the sweet potatoes earlier in the week and as I stared at them I though, hmm, carrot and sweet potato soup? Yes! It was a definite winner and I begun to consider exactly how I wanted it to taste and what ingredients I’d add to make it an unquestionable ‘star dish’.
I made my own chicken stock which is essentially the backbone of this soup but of course store bought chicken or vegetable stock is a definite alternative. I actually added extra carrots to it, just so the soup would really scream ‘carrots!’.
And I added the wonderful herb/seasoning that is escallion (green onions) which I just adore. It delicate flavour is one of my favourites to work with and gosh is it good when sliced, fresh and added to just about any meal. Plus I just love watching them grow.
By the way, did you know that onions are a relatively new ingredient in Jamaican cuisine and escallion was what ‘old time people’ used to use instead, and you know how they always say food tasted better then.
The Jamaican staples I added were onions of course for a great sweet and distinct flavour and garlic because I LOVE IT and for its unique spicy, aromatic zest. Ginger, it goes great with sweet potato, Indian chilis for just a bit of heat and Jamaican curry powder because it adds gusto and really enhances the colour of the soup. Coconut milk, because it is my new obsession and makes this a seriously creamy soup and of course sweet carrots and sweet, sweet potatoes.
I made this soup in a heavy sauce pan and added the ginger, onions, garlic and chilis to some hot oil then seasoned with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper; I’m a big believer in ‘seasoning as you go’, this means for every batch of ingredients I add to the pot, I season it with salt and maybe pepper depending on the dish and how spicy I want it. This method is a full proof way to get your meals tasting like a Michelin star chef’s masterpiece!
To garnish, I drizzled a bit of coconut milk, added toasted organic pumpkin seeds and chopped some herbs.
This soup is perfect for those of us who will be gearing up for the colder months ahead but it really isn’t season specific so feel free to enjoy it any time.
Check out the recipe below and drop me a comment if you’ve tried this yum yum soup!
Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
This is a great appetizer or main dish meal and perfect for the colder months ahead.
1 medium onion, diced
2 Indian chili peppers, sliced
1 small knob ginger, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 large sweet potato
3 medium sized carrots
Salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
1/2 cup coconut milk + more for garnish
toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
chopped parsley (optional)
- Heat oil over medium heat in a heavy sauce pan.
- Add the onion, pepper, ginger and garlic and allow them to sweat until transluscent. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the curry powder and saute for 5 minutes.
- Slice the carrots and dice the sweet potato and toss them in. Saute until the carrots and sweet potato are lightly browned.
- Pour in the stock and lower the heat. Season with salt and pepper and allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes. The carrots and sweet potato should be tender and mashable.
- Add the soup to a blender in parts so you don’t over load it. Blend on low first then increase the speed once everything is blended together. Blend until smooth.
- Return the soup to the pot over medium heat and add the coconut milk.
- Simmer for 5 minutes. If the soup is too thick, add more stock.
- Pour the soup into bowls and garnish with coconut milk, toasted pumpkin seeds and chopped parsley.
I hope you shine today!