We nearly always have soup available in our house; you never know when somebody might drop in, or when hunger pangs will bite. There are times though when I get caught out and I have to whip up something delicious in a hurry.
I was introduced to this unpromising-sounding but actually quite delicious soup by my sister-in-law. It’s one of Jamie Oliver’s, and the secret is no secret at all: use the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on. Oh, and harissa. Harissa is THE ingredient that lifts that soup from run-of-the-mill to exceptional. Make your own if you can, my recipe is here and it’s far better than anything you can buy in a supermarket.
RECIPE serves 6, extremely generously
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 fat garlic cloves, crushed
500g sweet potato, chopped into 2cm cubes
750ml (approx) chicken or vegetable stock
200g broccoli, stalk chopped and florets detached
2 tsp harissa
In a large pan, gently fry the onion in the oil for ten minutes until lightly golden.
Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, then add the sweet potato and broccoli stalk. Stir thoroughly then add the stock, sufficient to cover everything. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes until everything is almost tender, then add the broccoli florets and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Using a stick blender (or a jug blender, but be careful of the hot liquid) blitz the soup until smooth, adding a little more water or stock to loosen it if necessary. Season to taste.
Stir the harissa through the soup just before serving, alongside crusty sourdough.