Swede as

May 27, 2011

I know about 5 people who get excited about swede and I’m guessing you’re not one of them. It’s great as part of a roast dinner – braised in stock, mashed with lots and lots of butter and a generous handful of fresh thyme leaves or in a gratin with pancetta and cream.  However, swede’s, um…….. ultra-rootiness (to put it mildly!) means that it is  rarely used as a stand-alone main ingredient. It’s just a bit too hardcore for most people and that’s fair enough. I’ve been wondering how to get around this for a while – after all swede is one of our indigenous varieties. It’s local, seasonal and above all, great value for money.

Last week I tried a soup with coconut milk and Thai red curry paste. I know, a very far cry from how you normally approach swedes, but it worked really well.  All that earthiness is taken down a few notches by the red curry while the coconut adds a lovely mellow note to the sweetness. Swede, you’ve met your match.

It’s a very simple soup really. Lots of onions fried up in coconut oil then some red curry paste, a few kaffir lime leaves and a dash of Nam Pla (fish sauce from the Asian supermarket), the guts of a swede and some veggie stock. About 10 minutes prep followed by 20 minutes cooking then a blast with the blender and you’re done.

As with all root veg soups, I added a handful of red lentils to fortify things plus give you the option of not bothering to cook anything else if energy levels are low after work.  This soup freezes really well and will keep in the fridge for days so it’s a brilliant standby. It’s filling but a bowl of rice or some bread are needed to complete things or you may find yourself attacking the ice-cream with more fervour than usual later on….

Thai red curry swede soup with coconut and lime

You’ll need:

3 medium onions chopped

Coconut or vegetable oil

1 teaspoon of Thai red curry paste

1 tin coconut milk

2 kaffir lime leaves – if you don’t have these it’s ok just add extra lime at the end

1 -2 teaspoons Nam Pla

600gr swede (peeled and cut into chunks)

1 cup of red lentils rinsed

1 litre vegetable stock

A lime

To garnish: chopped coriander

Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a pot and add the onions. Saute until soft and starting to change colour. Stir in  curry paste and the kaffir lime leaves then add the coconut milk and a dash of Nam Pla.  Stir well to mix all the ingredients together then throw in the swede. Pour in the stock and allow everything to come to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer over a mediumish heat for about 20 minutes until the swede and lentils are fully cooked. Take off the heat and puree with a handblender until completely smooth. Taste and add a little salt if you think it needs it then add a decent spritz of lime. To serve, top with coriander.


One Response to “Swede as”

  1. Jingle Says:

    healthy and lovely looking.

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