Roasted Root Soup with Sizzled Ginger and Black Pepper Crème Fraîche

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Slow-roasting root vegetables really brings out their inherent sweetness and intense flavours. Crisply sizzled ginger balances the sweetness and a swirl of peppery cream draws it all together.

Ingredients

  • red onion 1 medium
  • swede ½, weighing about 250 g/9 oz
  • sweet potatoes 2, weighing about 450 g/1 lb in total
  • potato 1 medium
  • extra-virgin olive oil 5 tbsp
  • tomato purée 2 tbsp
  • black peppercorns 2 tsp, freshly ground
  • ground ginger 1 tsp
  • garlic cloves 2 large, unpeeled
  • chicken or vegetable stock 850 ml/ pints, preferably home-made
  • white wine vinegar 2 tsp
  • salt 1 tsp

To Garnish

Method

Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5. Cut the onion, swede, sweet potatoes and potato into large, even-sized chunks – about the size you’d make roast potatoes.

Mix the olive oil and tomato purée in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in the pepper and ginger. Add the vegetable chunks and the garlic and toss until evenly coated. Tip into a large shallow roasting tray, including any oily residue from the bowl. Roast for about 20 minutes or until the garlic cloves feel soft.

Remove the garlic and put it to one side. Give the other vegetables a toss and then continue roasting for another 20–25 minutes or until they start to caramelise round the edges.

This is a good time to make the sizzled ginger threads (see cook’s notes) and the Black Pepper Crème Fraîche. Chill the cream and keep the ginger threads warm in a low oven while you finish the soup.

Once the vegetables are nicely roasted, remove from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes.

Peel the garlic and put in a food processor along with the vegetables. Process in short bursts, scraping down the bowl now and again, until you have a rough-textured purée.

Scrape the purée into a saucepan and pour in the stock. Add the vinegar and salt, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for a minute or two, stirring.

Pour the soup into shallow bowls, swirl in a spoonful of pepper cream and top with sizzled ginger threads and the parsley.

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