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The idea for this soup sprang out of the classic pumpkin and ham hock soup my mum used to make in the weekends to have after sport. I’m a big fan of kumara soup and the addition of shredded corned beef turns it into something different and delicious that will warm you up on even the coldest winter night.
1 x 1-1.2 kilogram piece corned beef (silverside)
2 bay leaves
small handful parsley
1 carrot, halved
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
half an onion
1 kilogram whole red kumara (2-3 depending on size)
2 tablespoons olive oil
knob of butter
1 onion, sliced finely
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 cups vegetable stock
handful fresh coriander leaves for garnish
sour cream for garnish
prep time – 15 mins
cooking time – 4.5 hrs total
Corned beef: Place all the ingredients in a large heavy-bottom pot, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 4 hours. Top up with boiling water as needed to keep the meat covered and to stop it from drying out.
Once cooked, allow the meat to cool for an hour in the cooking liquid, then lift out onto a board and shred using two forks. Set aside until needed.
(You can prepare this a day ahead, just allow the shredded meat to cool completely before storing in the fridge.)
Soup: Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the whole kumara on a roasting tray, rub all over with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and bake for 1 hour or until the kumara can be pierced easily with a knife. Remove and allow to cool then roughly chop, skins and all.
Place a large heavy-bottom pot over a medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter and sauté the onion and cumin until the onion is soft and translucent. (This will take about 8-10 minutes.)
Add the stock and bring to a simmer. Carefully lower in the kumara, then blitz with a stick blender until completely smooth. (Or tip into a blender, process and then return to the pot). Stir in the cream then add 2 cups of the shredded beef and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
Serve hot in bowls and garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a dollop of sour cream.
Tip: Keep any leftover beef for sandwich fillings – it’s absolutely delicious.