I eat soup most of the year round, but during the dark, cold nights of midwinter it becomes more out of a necessity than choice. This seasonal, hearty and nutritious kale and sweet potato soup really hits the spot.
All of the ingredients in this recipe are organic and free from artificial chemicals, which is more than can be said for much of the food we consume in the UK.
The use of many of those additives are driven by greed rather than necessity. For example, a third of all antibiotic use in the UK occurs in cattle rearing. Antibiotics were once added routinely to animal feed to promote rapid growth, but since 2006 this practice has been banned within the European Union (EU).
Despite this, farmers are still permitted to use antibiotics as a “precaution” against “possible disease”. This represents a huge “get out clause”, and it should be borne in mind that animals are more prone to “possible disease” when they are farmed intensively in cramped conditions.
Nevertheless, EU regulations on antibiotic use are strict compared to most other countries. Farmers in major meat-producing countries such as the USA, China and New Zealand, for example, are still permitted to use antibiotics as a growth promoter.
The UK only produces around 50% of the food it consumes. That means that post-Brexit we will have to try to strike up trade deals with countries that have lower food standards than out own.
The much-derided EU “red tape” has in fact given UK citizens protections not afforded to citizens of other countries, and now those protections are under very real threat.
Anyway, back to the recipe. In this rich, nutritious soup the natural sweetness of the sweet potato is complemented by the earthy goodness of kale. The horseradish cream is optional, but I really like the boost its fiery heat gives to the dish.
All in all, a great, healthy soup to keep those midwinter chills at bay.
kale and sweet potato soup with horseradish cream
500 g organic sweet potatoes, roughly chopped
100 g organic kale, tough stems removed, roughly chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks organic celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 litre organic vegetable stock
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ tsp sea salt
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
for the horseradish cream
10 g horseradish, peeled and finely grated
100 ml cashew milk (or use soy or coconut milk)
pinch sea salt
a few fresh time leaves
1. Pour the olive oil into a large pan and place over a medium heat. Add the onion and celery, and cook, stirring, until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and, sweet potato chunks and cook for a further two minutes, stirring frequently.
2. Now add the stock, sea salt and thyme. Increase the heat and bring the soup to a simmer. Stir in the chopped kale. Reduce the heat and keep the soup at a gentle simmer. Cook for a further 20 minutes, stirring periodically, or until the sweet potato is tender when pierced with a knife. Remove the soup from the heat and leave to cool for 15 minutes.
3. Place the horseradish, cashew milk and sea salt in a blender and process until smooth. Set to one side.
4. Process the soup in a blender until smooth and creamy (you will need to do this in batches). Reheat the soup over a gentle heat, stirring frequently, and do not allow it to boil. Serve in bowls with a drizzle of the horseradish cream and a scattering of fresh thyme leaves.