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Wednesday Wind-down: Sweet Potato, Roasted Cashew Nut, and Coriander Broth

soupBoo! Swine flu sucks hot death. Between this blog and other bits of journalism, I’m self-employed, so lying in bed for a week isn’t really an option.

At least it’s put an end to my unsustainable eating out splurge. Yesterday, I made a hearty and nutritious soup to make me feel a little better. This might be a little bit insubstantial for a dinner, depending on how hungry you are, or whether you have it with bread or a sandwich. It also makes a lovely lunch.

I cooked this as a broth because all our utensils – such as a blender – seem to have disappeared in the house-move (does any kitchen shop want to donate me some equipment?) I suspect, however, that it may be better as a broth than blended.

Simple to make, cheap, nutritious and delicious: perfect for a Wednesday Wind-down. The sweet potato is the dominant flavour here, and it works like a charm with the earthy cashew nuts, fresh coriander, and piquant chilli. This recipe serves four lunch portions or 2-3 dinner portions.

  • Variations: leave out the parsnip, add more carrot, omit the celery and add a shallot instead.

Chilli, Coriander, and Cashew Nut Broth


  • 2 onions or 1 leek (white part only), chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 1 small or medium parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato or 2 smaller sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 big handfuls of cashew nuts
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander, very finely chopped
  • About 750ml vegetable stock (ideally Marigold Vegetable Bouillon)
  • Olive oil or butter


  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C , and add the cashew nuts for 4-5 minutes, shaking once. Remove and set aside.
  • Sweat the onion in a covered pot with olive oil or butter, over a medium heat, until it becomes translucent and loses its raw bite, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the carrot, celery, and parsnip, and a little bit of salt. Seat with a lid for about another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Now add the garlic and chilli, stirring for 2 minutes.
  • Add 750ml vegetable stock, or enough to cover the vegetables. Now add the sweet potato. Bring the mix to the boil and immediately reduce to a simmer.
  • Cook for about 10 minutes – the vegetables are delicious if they still have a little bit of bite. About two minutes before serving, add the chopped coriander
  • Pour the soup into bowls and scatter in the roasted cashew nuts. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Poor you! Get better soon. How about adding a cup of rice to the soup to make a rice-soup dinner – quickly expands it to a more substantial dish?

  2. Ooh… great idea! Cheers Tammi 🙂