Recipe for Roast Butternut Soup with sweet potato, chickpeas, leeks and creamy coconut milk

olive oil, for roasting
1 kg butternut chunks
300g orange sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
3-4 small leeks (about 1 cup in total) sliced into rounds
2.5ml (1/2 tsp) ground coriander
7.5ml (1 1/2 tsp) ground cumin
30ml (2 tbls) harissa paste
zest of 1 lemon
1.25 litres (5 cups) chicken stock
400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
400g tin (400ml) coconut milk
30ml (2 tbls) lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to
Preheat the oven to 200º C. Arrange the butternut and sweet potato on a large roasting sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, then season with nutmeg, salt and black pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes until caramelised around the edges and tender.

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and leeks over a medium heat until softened, with just a bit of colour, 8-10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.

Add the coriander, cumin, harissa paste and lemon zest. Cook for about a minute, until the spices smell fragrant. Scrape the roast butternut and sweet potato in and stir to coat in the spice paste. Add the chicken stock, chickpeas and coconut milk. Bring up to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes.

Allow the soup to cool slightly before transferring to a blender. Blitz until smooth. I usually do this in 2 or 3 batches. Place the soup back on the heat, add the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Serve with feta or goat’s cheese sourdough toast.


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Recipe provided by Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36, a food blog by Dianne Bibby. For more details on monthly cooking classes hosted in Johannesburg, email