Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Kate's Kitchen: Carrot, Ginger and Sweet Potato Soup with home-made bread

I’m thrilled to be starting a new column on the PHS – Kate's Kitchen. Thanks very much to the PHS editors for indulging my foodie side!

Foodwise, January’s an odd month. It’s just after the holiday season, which tends to come with too much rich (not to mention time-consuming to prepare) food, so you need something simple and quick to balance you out again. Early January is the time of year when everyone’s still sticking to a new year resolution to eat more healthily/lose weight. And in the northern hemisphere it’s usually cold and damp or icy, meaning that comfort food is the order of the day (which would probably scupper any good intentions on the diet front!).

How do you get something that fits all three?

For me, it’s soup. This one is warming, comforting and yet light (and I love the scent of fresh ginger).

The colour is just glorious on a dull January day.

Carrot, Ginger and Sweet Potato Soup
500g carrots, peeled and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
1 sweet potato (about 200g), peeled and diced
25g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
750ml water or vegetable stock

Place everything in a pan, bring to the boil, and simmer for 30 minutes or until the carrots are soft.

Cool, then put through a blender.

Heat through to serve (though, in the southern hemisphere, it’d work nicely as a chilled soup).

If you’re not a fan of ginger, replace the ginger with the grated rind of an orange or lemon at the start, and add the juice of the citrus fruit to the blended soup just before serving.

Now, it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t add a little naughtiness. What better to serve with soup than warm home-made bread? (This lasts about 5 seconds in my house.)


500g strong white bread flour
25g butter
1 tsp fast-action dried yeast
1 tbs sugar
1 tsp salt
320ml warm water

Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then stir in the yeast, sugar and salt.

Add the water gradually and mix until you get a soft dough.

Knead on a floured board for 10 minutes, and leave in a warm place to rise in the bowl for about an hour.

Knead again, place into a 2-lb loaf tin, and leave to rise for another half an hour.

Bake at 230 degrees C for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when you tap the base.

In the UK, you can get a copy of The Doctor’s Royal Love Child (from the first Penhally series) as part of a four-in-one book, ‘Secrets in the Village’; in the US, you can still get a copy of her ice cream book, ‘A Moment on the Lips’, from the eHarlequin website.You can find out more about these books, and Kate, on her website (http://www.katehardy.com/) and her blog (http://katehardy.blogspot.com/)


  1. This soup sounds absolutely delicious. I think I may have all the ingredients on hand. Not sure how much carrot I have left in the house. Now I need to show this to my husband in the morning as he's got the final say on recipes to try.

  2. PS ~ We use up all our slightly stale bread in soup as it freshens it up. My husband picked that up from reading soup recipes which quite often tell you to put day old bread in the bottom of the bowl before serving. Much nicer than crackers. The fresh bread is just too tempting to eat with just a touch of butter or olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it.

  3. Kaelee - hope you enjoy :) And yes, that bread was too tempting. I had the kids asking, 'Is it cool enough, yet?' every two seconds, and when their dad got home from work - well, they were all like locusts. (I did get one slice!)

    Thanks for the tip re stale bread - I'll remember that one!

  4. Sounds lovely - I will give it a go! I'm an "open a can" kind of girl when it comes to soup. Caroline x

  5. Oh this sounds LOVELY! Definitely going to try it!

    We use our breadmaker for a lot of doughs, and I'm wondering if our foccacia recipe would go with this. Or perhaps a more whole-grainish oat bread or something...

  6. Caroline - LOL, I'm quite partial to the Covent Garden tubs, but this year I'm going back to making my own.

  7. Donna - it is! And foccacia would go beautifully with it (especially if it's one with rosemary). Oatbread would be nice, too, or one of those that's stuffed full of seeds.