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Gluten Free, Vegetarian, Coeliacs, Dairy Free, Nut Free
1 medium to large onion (peeled and chopped)
1 large or 1 medium and 1 small sweet potato (peeled and chopped)
1 small carrot (optional)
1 teaspoon Quatre Epices spice mix
Stock (see tips)
Cooked chicken or goose pieces (for a non-vegetarian version)
Many thanks to Victoria Osborne-Broad for sharing her deliciously warming winter soup recipe spiced with Quatre épices.
Toss the onion in olive oil and cook for 5 minutes or so till softish. Add the sweet potato and carrot if using, then cook for a further 5 minutes. Add spices to taste – and stir well for a minute or two.
Add the stock (see tips below) and simmer for at least half an hour until the potato chunks are soft. If you have time, switch the soup off when it’s ready and leave it to infuse, so the flavours get stronger.
You can also add some bits of cooked chicken or goose to the finished soup. When ready to serve, heat it up again until it is piping hot and spoon into warmed bowls. Serve with crusty bread.
NB. This soup freezes well.
How much stock you use depends on how thick or thin you like your soup. Use enough to cover the vegetables – you can always add more if needed. The stock you use makes all the difference to any soup so it is worth making one of the following versions: For vegetarians, use potato, onion, leek and carrot simmered together in water for at least half an hour, then strained. For non-vegetarians, take the carcass of a roast chicken (or your Christmas roast goose), break it up and simmer in water (preferably water in which potatoes were cooked) along with a carrot or two and an onion or two, each peeled and cut in half. Simmer for at least an hour and if possible switch off and leave for another hour to improve the flavour before straining and using in the recipe as above.