sweet potato

Donna’s simple mid-week soup

28th October 2019

Whenever my sister comes to visit or we meet up in Australia, I always request one of her soups. She is the queen of soup making! This was a soup she made recently when staying with us here in Portugal. A very simple, quick, no-fuss soup.


Donna’s simple mid-week soup

Preparation 40 minutes

Serves 3 


1 Tbsp ghee

2 fresh bay leaves

1 x 10cm rosemary sprig, leaves stripped

2 pinches asafoetida powder

2 stalks/300g celery, roughly chopped

1 tsp fine Himalayan rock salt

1 medium/150g potato, diced

1 medium/250g sweet potato, diced

¼ cup/50g brown basmati rice, rinsed

6 cups water

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

to serve


grated parmesan or pine nut parmesan


1.  In a heavy-based saucepan over medium-high heat, heat ghee, add rosemary leaves, bay leaves and asafoetida and fry till fragrant, approximately 2 minutes.

2.  Add celery and salt, fry for 2 minutes, occasionally stirring.

3.  Reduce heat to medium and add potatoes. Fry for 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid sticking. Add rice and fry for a further minute.

4.  Add water, bring to a gentle boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

5.  Remove bay leaves. Using a hand blender, puree to desired consistency.

6.  Add pepper and extra salt to taste. Serve with a spoonful of ghee and grated parmesan.


  • to save time, saute all vegetables together.

vegetable barley ginger soup with lemon thyme

7th December 2014


A soup to warm your hands and to strengthen your courage…

We can do anything if we sit with intention, just holding it in our thoughts, our hearts and lifting it up with LOVE, LIGHT, JOY, PEACE and COURAGE.

There are no limits to what we can do…..try it!


vegetable barley ginger soup with lemon thyme

Serves 4 – 6

Inspired by Noa.

If I am out of home-made vegetable stock, I add the rind end of a wedge of parmesan – it adds a savoury, salty flavour to the soup.  This recipe also called for 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced – I tend not to eat mushrooms, so I left them out. But if you like the deep earthy flavour of mushrooms, add them to the soup with the vegetables.


2 Tbsp olive oil

2 stalks/150g celery

3 Tbsp/30g fresh ginger, finely chopped

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 stick of kombu

1 fresh bay leaf

1 medium/300g sweet potato or pumpkin

2 medium/170g carrots

a large wedge cabbage (200g)

⅓ cup/70g whole barley

10 cups/2½ L vegetable stock or water

1 bunch/15g lemon thyme

1 bunch/30g each fresh parsley and dill

Extra parsley, dill and chard/kale

2 tsp rock salt

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper


1.  Finely chop the celery, wash and peel the remaining vegetables, then cut into generous chunks so that they do not break up in the cooking.

2.  In a heavy-based saucepan, heat the olive oil, then add the celery, ginger, turmeric, kombu and bay leaf – saute until all are coated.

3.  Add the remaining vegetables, barley and pour in the water so that the vegetables are covered.

4.  Tie up tightly the lemon thyme, parsley and dill and place on top, bring to the boil and turn down the heat  – simmer covered for 1 hour.

5.  Remove the bunch of lemon thyme, parsley and dill and discard.

6.  Add the salt and freshly ground pepper, roughly chop a handful of fresh parsley, dill and chard/kale and stir this into the soup.

7.  Using a potato masher, press down a few times to break up the vegetables – allow to sit for 5 minutes before tasting – adding extra seasoning where needed.

Serve with a drizzling of olive oil and extra cracked pepper.

Goodness shared from Stacey

mellow tofu & vegetable stew with kombu

15th July 2012

deep breath in…..

and let go….

I did ask for something tremendous to come into my life and I think this is it.

This shift. I’m grateful.

But then with these

shifts, there’s always a letting go.


mellow tofu & vegetable stew with kombu

I usually make this for a Friday lunch when the children get home earlier from school.  Change the vegetables to suit the seasons. Quick, simple and tasty.  Inspired by a friend, Sher, who was an inspirational sparkle in the kitchen, putting quick, healthy meals on the table for her 4 children.  The secret to this dish is to simmer the sweet potato until it is soft and breaks up, as it thickens the sauce and makes it especially tasty.


1 Tbsp ghee/ oil

200 grams tofu

2 medium carrots

2 medium sweet potatoes

6-inch strip kombu (kombu contains glutamic acid – a food tenderizer and flavour enhancer)

2 small zucchini

handful green beans

handful cabbage

½ tsp cumin powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

½ tsp paprika

6 – 8 cups vegetable stock

fresh coriander

salt to taste


1.  Peel the sweet potatoes and carrots and cut all vegetables into bite-sized wedges – set aside.

2.  Heat ghee in a heavy based saucepan and saute tofu, add the turmeric, paprika, and cumin powder – allow to saute with the tofu for a few seconds, then add the stock, kombu, sweet potato, zucchini and carrots – simmer for 20 – 30 minutes or until the sweet potato is soft.

3.  Remove the kombu, slice into half-inch squares, then add back into the soup.

4.  Add the green beans and cabbage, simmer for 10 minutes more or until tender.

5.  Add salt to taste and freshly chopped coriander.

Serve with rice or quinoa.


Goodness shared from Stacey

miso mushroom barley soup

5th March 2012


a nourishing soup and a afternoon walk
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barley miso mushroom soup
Serves 4 – 6

cup barley

8 cups water/vegetable stock

10 button mushrooms, halved and sliced

1 cup cabbage, finely sliced 

1 cup celery, with some of the leaves, finely chopped

1 large carrot, finely chopped

2 small sweet potatoes, finely chopped

small handful hijiki, arame or wakame seaweed

1 – 2 tsp rock salt

1 small bunch kale, stems removed and finely chopped

2 Tbsp miso (I used brown rice miso)


1.  Soak the barley overnight, or for at least 4 hours, drain and rinse.


2.  In a soup pot, add the barley and 8 cups water, bring to a boil and then turn down the heat, simmering for 20 minutes.

3.  Add sliced mushrooms, cabbage, celery, carrot and sweet potato and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

4.  Add seaweed, salt and kale.

5.  Remove ½ cup of liquid from the soup and mix in miso until dissolved.  Return to soup, taste, and adjust seasoning.  Avoid boiling the soup once miso has been added, as this will destroy all those delicious enzymes.

Enjoy the warmth.

Goodness shared from Stacey

sweet potato white bean herb & quinoa patties

26th March 2011

I have been hunting for a lentil or bean pattie dish for quite a while, but most of the ones I have found, sound less than appealing.  This variation was initially inspired by a chickpea one I discovered, however, the use of a legume and the herbs were about the only similarities.  As my sister’s husband does not eat eggs, I substituted tahini as the ‘sticky’ ingredient, which worked perfectly with the sweet potato.

Stacey and I have been taking turns with the cooking, so these have become a weekly favourite. Since the first trial, I have made these on ‘my turn’ about 4 times.  They are a perfect accompaniment to fresh hummus, which is a Tuesday treat at the health club cafe.  The smoothest, creamiest one I have tried so far has been from ‘Ali Baba’s Caravan’ in Jaffa. That was a treat my brother-in-law returned with yesterday.  Best eaten by the spoonful.  Mmmmm…..  I think the secret ingredient is the tahini that is made here, a few bottles of which will be in my suitcase upon my return. Delicious.

sweet potato white bean herb & quinoa patties


1 cup white (cannellini beans), soaked overnight

½ cup cooked quinoa

1 cup water

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks

olive oil

sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper

1 Tbsp tahini + extra for consistency

1 large handful fresh coriander leaves

1 large handful fresh mint leaves

1 large handful fresh parsley leaves

1 Tbsp black and white sesame seeds

breadcrumbs/flour (for rolling)

oil for frying


1.  If using the pre-soaked, dried white beans, bring to boil in water, reduce to a simmer until beans are tender – 1 – 2 hours.

2.  Bring the quinoa to boil in 1 cup water in a covered small saucepan, reduce to simmer until all water has been absorbed.  Let sit, covered with a piece of paper towel between lid and pan until ready to use.

3.  Place sweet potato chunks in a ceramic baking dish, add a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and cracked black pepper and toss around. Roast in a 200 degree Celsius oven until tender.  Turn once during roasting.


4.  Add beans, quinoa, sweet potato, tahini, herbs, salt and pepper in a large bowl – mix together with a fork, mashing as you go, then add in batches to a mini processor and pulse until all roughly combined (can leave some unprocessed for a rougher texture).  Return to bowl.  If the mixture is too sticky, add breadcrumbs for desired consistency to form patties.

Photo note:  First attempt = a little sticky.

5.  Spread sesame seeds and breadcrumbs/flour on a plate.  Using a dessertspoon, pick up spoonfuls of mixture and drop onto sesame plate.  Sprinkle seed mixture over pattie (prevents the mixture from sticking to hands), and using hands, form flat patties.

6.  Place on a dry plate and let sit in the fridge for approx. 30 minutes.

7.  When ready to serve, heat oil in a pan, and fry patties on both sides until browned.  Let drain on absorbent paper towelling before serving.

Serve with coleslaw, roasted beetroot or a raw beetroot salad, hummus or even better tucked inside warmed, fresh pitta with all of the above.

Goodness shared from Donna

spiced aubergine & sweet potato curry

5th December 2010

My vegetable garden is made up of six triangles in the shape of a mandala with an olive tree in the middle and a seat around.  My sanctuary, my space where I find quiet, my contentment and peace.

When I work in the garden, I usually start from one triangle and work my way around until all are rotated, weeded, mulched and planted to satisfaction.  By the time I finish with triangle six, it is time to start at the beginning again and around I go. A cycle or circle of meditation.  There are bees, butterflies, snails, big juicy green caterpillars, foxes, woodpeckers, parrots, and a mole that drives me incessantly crazy.  But my favourite of all, is my friend, the kingfisher.  In the triangular closest to us, there is a knobbly stick which I especially put in for my friend, the elegant, but grand kingfisher to sit on.  And he does sit there, but always flies off before I can get really close to appreciate him and his long beak and aqua, blue wings.

At present, I am up to triangle six, with the last of all the Summer things growing at their dreary end, but still with edible fruit.  This is where the eggplant plant is, a little unruly, but full of black globes.  I have been trying to use them in all different ways, one being this lovely fragrant curry. The sweet potato and aubergine absorb all the beautiful, complex flavours.

spiced aubergine & sweet potato curry

Serves 4


1 medium eggplant

1 small sweet potato

12 cherry tomatoes

3 Tbsp ghee/peanut oil

1-inch knob ginger, grated

3 cardamon pods

½ tsp turmeric powder

2 cups water

cup red lentils, well rinsed

1 Tbsp tomato paste

½ tsp sambar powder (or chilli powder)


½ tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

⅛ tsp asafoetida powder

a handful of spinach/kale

½ cup fresh coriander, chopped

salt and pepper, to taste


1.  Prepare the aubergine, cut into 1 cm circles, and then into small cubes, place in a colander, salt well and set aside to draw out the bitter juices for 10 mins. Peel the sweet potato – cut into small cubes and finely chop the tomatoes.

2.  Pat the aubergine with kitchen paper and place in a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, add the ghee/oil and heat until almost smoking – fry the aubergine until golden brown on both sides, then remove and drain on kitchen towel.

4.  Place a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, add the fried aubergine, sweet potato, tomato, ginger, cardamom and turmeric – simmer for 10 minutes.

5.  Pour in 2 cups water, lentils, tomato paste and sambar powder – simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until the lentils are broken down and soft.

6. Prepare the voggarane, in a small pan, heat a little ghee, add the mustard seeds, and when they start to splatter and pop, add the cumin seeds and asafoetida – fry for a few seconds.

7.  Pour the voggarane into the curry and add a handful of spinach, kale. Gently warm through.

8.  Season with salt, pepper and add coriander.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed. Serve with rice and drizzle with ghee when serving.

Goodness shared from Stacey

sweet potato, carrot & kale palya

21st January 2010

Palya is a Kannada (South Indian language) word for a dry side dish made with any vegetable or a combination of.  Palya is usually cooked in a dry heat which brings out the flavour of the vegetables; when the natural sugars in the vegetables caramelize and the flavour is concentrated. Small pieces of uniformly cut vegetables – julienne thick or thin, diced, finely shredded, or in thin diagonal slices – are sautéed in a little ghee or oil in a heavy-bottomed pan until they are partially cooked and browned. When using vegetables like sweet potato, potato, beetroot or eggplant, I usually sprinkle them with a little water and cover with a lid, and cook on low heat for 5 mins to soften them.

This is a photo of my sweet potatoes which I dug up the other day. Unfortunately, they look a little worse for wear but their taste is so sweet and delicious. I have had to come up with many dishes to use them in. This palya is a good one!


These are some of my favourite palya combinations :

– Julienne sliced beetroot, small broccoli leaves and kale

– Julienne sliced carrot, yellow and green beans (I love the vibrant colours of orange, yellow and green)

– Cauliflower, potato and peas (lightly steam the potatoes and cauliflower beforehand)

– Julienne sliced cabbage, crumbled tofu and thinly sliced carrot

– Grated carrot and mung beans (as in the easy sprouting recipe)

– Donna came up with a nice combination of tofu, mung bean sprouts and grated sweet potato which she will share with you at a later date.

I served this with mung beans with Indian spices & lemon and brown rice.

sweet potato, carrot & kale palya


1 Tbsp ghee/peanut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp rasam powder (mildly spiced)

1 small-medium sweet potato, cut into thin Julienne pieces

1 large carrot, cut into thin Julienne pieces

1 tsp jaggery/brown sugar

¼ cup dried shredded coconut, or fresh if available

100g kale thinly sliced, – or use any green leaves. I sometimes use a combination of spinach, kale and small broccoli leaves from the garden

salt to taste

fresh coriander leaves, chopped


1.  Heat the ghee or oil in a skillet over medium heat, add mustard seeds and fry until they start to splutter and pop, add cumin seeds and when they begin to darken, add the rasam powder – fry for a few seconds.

2.  Add carrot and sweet potato, mix well until the vegetables are well coated, cover with a lid and simmer for 10 mins, stirring often over low heat or until the sweet potato softens.  If you feel the mixture is too dry, you can sprinkle it lightly with a little water.

3.  When soft, add the jaggery and coconut, mixing well.

4.  Add the kale and continue cooking on low heat for a few minutes, stirring often, turn off heat and leave covered for 10 mins, or until the kale has wilted.

5.  Add the coriander and salt to taste.



Shared goodness from Stacey

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