Roasted Swede, Ginger and Spiced Black Bean Soup
Roasting is a good way of bringing out the best in swede. Ginger and spices add warming pep, while black beans add a mellow earthy touch. This is a super-fortifying soup that will keep you going for hours to come.
swede 2-3 medium, weighing about 600g in total
onion 1 large
coriander seeds 2 tsp
cumin seeds 2 tsp
dried oregano2 tsp
olive oil 3 tbsp
ginger 2.5cm chunk, peeled and very finely chopped
garlic cloves 3 large, unpeeled
black beans 2 x 400g cans, drained and rinsed
lemon juice a squeeze
chicken or vegetable stock (home-made or a pouch) 1 litre
freshly ground black pepper
soured cream or crème fraîche 6 tbsp
flat-leaved parsley chopped to make 6 tbsp
1) Preheat the oven to 190ºC/gas 5.
2) Using a very sharp large knife, carefully cut the swede into quarters, then remove the peel. With the cut-side facing downwards, slice each quarter into wedges about 2.5cm thick. Peel the onion and slice top to bottom into 8 wedges. Tip the wedges into a large bowl and set aside.
3) Put the coriander and cumin seeds in a small frying pan and dry-fry (without any oil) over medium-high heat for about a minute until fragrant. Watch carefully and sniff often – don’t let the spices burn. Add the oregano and fry for a few seconds more. Quickly remove from the heat. Grind to a coarse powder using a heavy-duty mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder kept especially for spice-grinding.
4) Add the oil, ginger and a tablespoon of the toasted spices to the wedges and toss until evenly mixed. Arrange in a single layer on a large roasting tray, along with the unpeeled garlic cloves.
5) Roast in the oven for 15 minutes, then remove the garlic. Rotate the tray and turn the wedges over. Roast for another 15–20 minutes, occasionally rotating the tray and flipping the wedges over, until soft and slightly blackened at the edges. Add a splash more oil if things start to look dry. Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly.
6) Peel the garlic cloves and put in a food processor with the roasted vegetable wedges. Add 600ml of the stock and whiz to a chunky purée.
7) Pour the purée into a saucepan. Add the drained and rinsed beans, the lemon juice and the remaining spice mixture and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently, covered, for 15 minutes, stirring now and again. Check the seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
8) Ladle into soup bowls and swirl in the soured cream and parsley. Serve right away.
Recipe © Christine McFadden, January 2022