{Guest Post} Nadav’s pleasure soup

Nadav

Nadav

I’ve been thinking of enlisting the culinary wiles of my talented friends for a while now, and I am very pleased to present to you the first ever guest post on Green and Ginger! My friend Nadav made this delicious soup for another friend’s birthday, and I can assure you, it is pretty darn pleasurable… Watch out for the original Persian soup recipe that inadvertently inspired this recipe, coming soon. 

A couple of weeks ago, one of Jo’s housemates brought some home-made Persian Soup into work. I mis-heard her, thinking she’d said ‘Pleasure Soup’, and although the Persian Soup was very tasty, I quite liked the idea of a Pleasure Soup, so I decided to try and invent one.

First I had to figure out what this would actually mean – what would make a soup pleasurable? I suppose that’s subjective, but to me it would be something quite flavoursome (but not too rich), creamy and smooth. But I figured it could also have indirect effects of pleasure. So, obviously, I decided to look into types of food purported to be natural aphrodisiacs. Although this list is probably not very scientifically robust, there might be something to it (and it’s quite an amusing read). It’s never going to be hard to fit ingredients like carrots, celery and garlic into a soup anyway, but there are a few other flavours in there that can be combined quite nicely.

Pleasure soup

Pleasure soup

Ultimately, it’s the combination of sweet potato, coconut cream and a bit of spice that make this soup a pleasure, and a warming treat for a night on your lonesome. But I wouldn’t rule out its extra-culinary properties, so if you’re cooking for a special someone, why not serve this up as a starter? You might end up skipping dessert. And the main course….

Sexiness aside, the ideological among you may also be pleased to s this soup is veggie, and can easily be veganised simply by replacing the butter with, well, whatever you like to fry things in.

FYI, the basil puree adds some nice relief, but if you’re short of time, green pesto will do the trick (and pine nuts are another sensuous ingredient, apparently).

Serves: 6-8

Cooking time: 10 mins prep, 50 mins cooking

What you need (‘stimulating’ components are italicised)

A bunch of celery, chopped

1 or 2 onions and/or leeks, chopped

A few cloves of garlic, chopped

1 cm ginger, chopped

A hearty knob of butter

3 medium-large carrots, peeled and chopped

3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 2.5cm cubes

1 scotch bonnet chilli, chopped

900ml vegetable stock

1 can coconut milk

½ tsp Nutmeg

1 tsp Coriander

2 tsp Cumin

Chilli powder

Salt and pepper

For the basil puree

1 pack of fresh basil, washed and roughly chopped

2-3 spoons of good olive oil

Small clove of garlic, chopped

Pinch of salt

PleasureSoupVegHow to make it

  1. To make the basil puree, just throw the basil and garlic into a food processor with some oil and blend till it’s pureed. (You can also use a hand blender, but you might end up with a few green splotches on your top. And the walls.) Transfer to the fridge.
  2. Chop up your celery, onions, leeks garlic, and ginger. Heat the butter in a big pan, and put in the veg. Sauté for around 10 minutes, with the lid on, until they are soft and shiny.
  3.  Throw in the carrots, sweet potato and chilli, and fry for a few minutes, stirring as you go. Then pour in the vegetable stock. You might not need it all, just enough to almost cover the veg – you don’t want your soup too thin.
  4. Bring to boil, then cook on medium heat with the lid on for 30-40 minutes. Check on the veg and give them a bit of a stir every 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s about ready when, if you press a piece of carrot against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon, it breaks easily, but not too easily.
  5. Now, before you blend it all up, I recommend taking about half of the pieces of sweet potato out and putting them to one side. Put them back in after you’ve blended the soup, and you’ll have a nice creamy soup with the occasional soft, sexy chunk of sweet potato.
  6. Blend your soup in a food processor, or using a hand blender, till it’s nice and light and oh so smooth. Then put it back on a low heat, and put the chunks of sweet potato back in.
  7. Pour in the coconut milk, stir and heat for a few minutes until it’s all mixed in.
  8. Now it’s just a question of seasoning. Add the nutmeg, coriander, cumin, pepper and a little salt, and more chilli powder to your taste, keeping the soup on a low heat. After a few minutes, it should be piping hot and super delicious.
  9. Serve with a dollop of basil puree (or if you’re feeling artistic, you could spoon it over the soup in the shape of a heart. Or something).
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