Sweet Potato and Swede Puree with Fresh Bread and Prawns
Every so often, I've gotta go back to basics. Go back to simple, filling flavours that warm the heart and soul. I've done this with a range of punchy flavours, broad strokes on a painting: Sweet potato and swede puree with lashings of cream and bursts of smoked paprika. On the side, giant prawns fried in butter with chilli and garlic, then sprinkled with oregano. Recipe follows!
800g Sweet Potato, peeled and cut into chunks
1 Swede, peeled and cut into chunks
1 Brown Onion, peeled and finely sliced
6 Cloves of Garlic, Peeled and minced (half for soup, half for prawns)
2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano
2 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
500g Fresh Prawns, shelled and deveined
1 Scotch Bonnet or other chili that suits your tastes, finely chopped
Fresh Bread (brioche!)
In a large pot, cover the sweet potato and swede chunks with cold water, then boil until tender.
In a seperate frying pan on a medium heat, add a lug of olive oil. Gently fry the onions, garlic, red wine vinegar and dried oregano until tender and caramelizing.
Pour the sweet potato/swede and it's water into a blender, along with the onion/garlic/oregano mixture, then add the smoked paprika. Blend on high until really smooth- no bits or chunks!
Transfer the mixture back to a pot, add the cream and stir it through. Cook on a low heat until the soup thickens up substantially. I like mine really thick - just shy of puree. Once you've reached the desired consistency, salt and pepper to taste.
The prawns are crazy simple. Take the remaining garlic, the chopped chili and two tablespoons of butter. Melt the butter on a medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet or something similar. Add the garlic and chili once it's melted, and fry for one and a half minutes, moving the garlic and chili around the pan. Once that's done, put in your prawns. Cook for three to four minutes a side depending on size. Make sure you get them nice and covered in that delicious spicy butter.
Serve the soup with warm bread, a dusting of paprika, a sprinkling of seeds and garnishing of oregano leaves. Serve up the prawns drizzled in the butter sprinkled with oregano. Grind with a bit of salt.