Roasting the vegetables brings out their natural sweetness and makes this sweet potato soup taste extra luxurious.
- 500g/1lb 2oz sweet potatoes, peeled and into 3cm/1¼in chunks
- 500g/1lb 2oz carrots, trimmed and scrubbed, then cut into roughly 2cm/¾in chunks
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 onions, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
- ¼–½ tsp dried chili flakes
- 1.2 litres/2 pints vegetable or chicken stock, made with 2 cubes
- freshly ground black pepper
For the topping
- 25g/1oz pecan nuts, small pieces
- 2 tsp runny honey
- 25g/1oz feta, or other cheese, lightly crumbled
- 2–3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
- Preheat the oven to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Put the vegetable chunks in a bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Scatter over a large baking tray and season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
- Roast for 20 minutes, turn the vegetables over, and return to the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown.
- While the vegetables are roasting, heat the remaining oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions for 10 minutes over medium heat, or until well softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, coriander, and chili flakes, to taste, and cook for a further minute.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven and add to the pan with the onions. Pour over 1 litre/1¾ pint of the stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Remove from the heat, and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Add the remaining stock and heat through gently, adding an extra splash of water if needed until your preferred consistency is reached.
- For the topping, put the pecan pieces in a small saucepan and dry-fry over medium heat for 2–3 minutes, or until lightly browned in places, stirring regularly. Drizzle over the honey and cook for a few seconds more, stirring.
- Ladle the soup into warmed bowls to serve. Scatter a few of the sticky nuts on each serving of the soup, sprinkle with the cheese, a few thyme leaves, and a grind of black pepper.