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Curried Kumara Soup
(New Zealand sweet potato soup)
When I got this recipe from Kaylie Lewell in Whakatane, New Zealand, I had no idea what "kumara" was. Turns out it is related to the sweet potato. Kaylie says it is "a purple-looking root vegetable that, when peeled and cooked, is a yellow green colour...grown in New Zealand and an important part of the Maori (native New Zealanders) diet. What it also is, is delicious--and so is this soup. Serve hot to 4-6 as a "slightly sweet and very mouth watering" first course soup. Thanks, Kaylie!
Saute the onion, garlic, ginger, and curry in the butter in a large saucepan on medium heat until the onion is transparent. Toss in the chopped kumara and cook for 1-2 minutes without browning it. Add the stock, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, until tender.
Puree the soup, solids first, then begin to thin with the milk. When pourable, return to the pan and continue adding milk until the soup is a good consistency.
When ready to serve, reheat, then ladle into bowls. Swirl a Tablespoon full of cream or coconut milk into each bowl, and sprinkle a pinch of fresh minced cilantro or scallion on top.