This is an easy soup to make and tasty enough on its own, but with the addition of a handful of blanched vegetables and cheesy croutes, it becomes very moreish.
2 Tbsp butter 1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 large clove garlic, peeled and crushed ½ tsp fresh curry powder 1.2 kg (about 2½ lb) kumara (sweet potato), peeled and cubed (about 5 cups) 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock 1 tsp salt 1 baguette (or sliced sough dough bread) 2 cups grated mature cheddar cheese 2 cups very small cauliflower and broccoli florets 8 rashers streaky bacon 2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 Put butter, onion and garlic together in a large saucepan. Cook gently, uncovered, until a pale golden colour. Stir in the curry powder, then add the cubed kumara.
2 Pour in the stock, add salt, and bring to the boil. Cook gently for about 20 minutes, or until the kumara is tender. Process soup in a food processor (best done in batches), then return it to the saucepan.
3 Slice baguette thickly and arrange on a baking tray (sheet) lined with baking (parchment) paper. Smother with the grated cheese, then bake croûtes for 12 minutes or so, until golden and bubbling.
4 While the croûtes bake, finish off additions to soup. Blanch broccoli and cauliflower florets for a few minutes in gently boiling salted water until just tender. Gently reheat soup. Fry bacon in a hot oiled frying pan until sizzling and crisp. Drain broccoli and cauliflower and divide amongst soup bowls. Dish soup into bowls and top with cheesy croûtes (or serve on the side). Top with crispy bacon and a little parsley and serve.