This soup has many variations. Some include peanut butter and garbanzos (chickpeas). This version is adapted from Jane Brody's Good Food Gourmet (1990). Brody credited her recipe to New York City Bureau of Nutrition.
Today, 15 years on, I replace"vegetable oil" with olive oil, which is healthier and works beautifully. I replace beef or chicken broth with tomato juice and tomato paste plus water. Tomato cooked with oil adds lycopene to your diet.
A note - most people recommend cooks to peel yams before chopping and cooking to make soup. I like to eat potato skins and sweet potato skins when baked, so long as they're well scrubbed and thoroughly cooked. So I leave them on for soup too. Makes for easier preparation. A matter of style.
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 or more cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 small hot chillies (fresh, if available) seeded and finely chopped
- 1 red or green sweet pepper, seeded, sliced and chopped
- 1 stick celery chopped or chunk of celery root, chopped (this adds a nice flavor)
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 2 or 3 yams or sweet potatoes, washed, scrubbed and cut into small cubes (peel, before cubing , if you prefer)
- 1 cup tomato juice
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- more spice to taste: if you like the flavor/aroma, 1 teaspoon cumin or 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- dash of salt or salt substitute
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- garnish with chopped watercress or fresh parsley, basil, sage or other herbs
1. In a large heavy saucepan, saute the onion and garlic over low heat in the olive oil until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the chilies and chopped tomatoes and sweet peppers, and cook the mixture for about 5 minutes.
3. Add the yams or sweet potatoes, tomato juice, water, bayleaf and spices.
4. Bring the soup to a boil, immediately reduce the heat, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the yams or sweet potatoes are soft. Taste, add pepper and salt and adjust spices to taste.
5. Eat hot as is ( texture of a stew).
6. Or allow the soup to cool, mash the cubes of cooked yam into the liquid soup or puree the soup in a blender or pass the soup through a food mill. Return the soup to a pan and heat gently. Sprinkle with herbs before serving.
This kind of soup can be served "thin" as a refreshing appetizer. If you cook or juice your own vegetable stock, this is a recipe to pour it into in place of plain tap water. Or you can add fruit juice, from orange juice to pomegranite juice.
Or you can pump it up with more substantial variations. For a hefty garnish, in the final 5 -10 minutes of heating / reheating add a handful of frozen peas or pod peas or stir in a tablespoon of cranberry sauce and 2 tablespoons peanut butter.
For more, healthy recipes check out Potluck and Lenny Hirsch's recipes.
photos from: stockxchange