Miso and Sweet Potato Soup w/ spiced chickpea poppers
I love miso, I think it’s one of the most versatile ingredients out there. It’s hard to find good miso these days though, the ones they sell at the supermarket are far from the delicious umami rich paste full of complex flavors miso is supposed to be. I highly recommend getting your hands on some of the good stuff if you can find it, but the normal one will work just as well.
Sweet potato and salty miso, you can’t go wrong with that combination, it’s a classic and it works for a reason. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of super smooth silky soups – I think they are a bit boring. Instead, I love anything that contains broth and big chunks of something whether is bread, crispy shallots, noodles or in this case, crispy spiced and super moreish chickpea poppers that are just as good on their own as a snack with a cold glass of wine.
MISO AND SWEET POTATO SOUP WITH CHICKPEA POPPERS
Serves 4 1.2 Kg sweet potato 2 heaped tablespoons Shiro miso 4 shallots or 1 medium onion 1.5L of vegetable stock or water 4 tablespoons of canola oil (No need to add salt as miso is very salty) For the chickpea poppers(adapted from the Lady & Pups “The Art of Escapism Cooking”) 400g cooked chickpeas 2 tablespoons of milk kefir or buttermilk 1 1/2 tablespoons flour 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon white pepper Canola oil, for frying Crispy basil leaves to serve (optional)
1 – Start by preparing the soup, this can be made a few hours or even a couple of days in advance. Peel the sweet potatoes and onions, then chop.
2 – Heat up over medium high heat then add the onions and cook until they are translucent. Add the sweet potatoes and cook for a few more minutes then add the miso and cook for a further minute.
3 – Add the stock and let it simmer until the sweet potatoes are soft, around 20 mins or so. When they are ready, blitz in a liquidizer or with a handheld blender until really smooth. Set aside until you need it or keep in the fridge if you are making it a day or 2 in advance.
4 – Now the chickpeas (whilst you cook the chickpeas you can start heating up the soup, they only take a few minutes to cook). Mix all the spices for the spice mix in a bowl and set aside.
5 – In a separate bowl, mix the milk kefir or buttermilk really well with the flour, the salt and the pepper then add the chickpeas and toss until they are all evenly coated. It’s ok if the chickpeas stick together as long as they don’t form large clumps.
6 – Heat up a pan over medium high heat and cook the chickpeas in batches making sure you don’t overcrowd it. Repeat as many times as necessary until are all a yummy golden brown color. With a slotted spoon, transfer them onto a plate with some kitchen paper. When they are all cooked, put them in the bowl with the spice mix and give them a good toss.
7 – Serve on top of the soup with or without the crispy basil leaves.
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