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It’s funny how food can stir up emotions. Whenever I eat clams and octopus I am immediately transported back to Positano on Italy’s Amalfi coast, where my husband and I ate a memorable plateful under the shade of a large parasol overlooking the shimmering azure blue Mediterranean Sea.
When I pick over a crab I think of all the lazy Sunday afternoons I have spent with friends in the Channel Islands, where I lived for four unforgettable years. Eating a healthy, warming bowl of soup reminds me so much of my childhood when we regularly tucked into various creations that my Mum came up with as she emptied out the fridge. She liked her bowlful completely smooth, so our portions were ladled out first because we preferred them ‘lumpy’ (so we could see all the bits and pieces we were about to spoon into our mouths) and the rest would go into the blender.
For me, soup most definitely evokes a sense of comfort and security, the equivalent of an over-sized fleece-lined blanket in that large steaming bowl. Does this resonate with you at all, I wonder?
Now with my own family, the relationship with soup has been reignited. Our children vehemently refused it in their younger years, claiming it was a non-meal, and too many rejected bowls meant soup became redundant in our household. The AIP, however, has put soup right back on the menu and this time everyone is loving it. Hurrah — bring on that fleece blanket!
- 1 tablespoon fat (coconut oil)
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 2 plump cloves garlic, minced
- 2½ lb orange sweet potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
- 3 cups chicken bone broth
- Zest of 1 large lime
- Juice of 2 large limes (6 tbsp)
- 1 teaspoon Maldon sea salt
- Swirl of coconut milk (optional)
- Snipped chives
- Heat fat in a large saucepan and add onion. Sweat it gently for 6-8 minutes until softened and translucent, then add the celery and garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
- Add sweet potatoes to the pan, together with bone broth and lime zest and bring to a simmer.
- Cover and cook for 15-18 minutes until sweet potatoes are tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.
- Working in batches, transfer soup to a blender and blend until completely smooth, making sure to leave the feeder cap open so that steam can escape and your walls remain the color they are supposed to be!
- Return soup to the pan and reheat if necessary. Taste and add salt, adjusting the quantity to suit your own palate.
- Pour into warmed bowls, swirl a little coconut milk on the top if you like, scatter over some snipped chives and serve.