Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based
saucepan. Add the chopped onion and fry for 5 minutes until softened.
Add the crushed garlic and finely chopped red chili and continue to fry
for a further 2 minutes. Pour in 300ml / 1/2 pint / 1.25 cups of the
stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Mix the cumin with a little stock to
form a paste and stir into the soup. Add the diced sweet potato, stir
and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 10
minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir
Add the red pepper, sweetcorn and
remaining stock and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Pour half of the
soup into a food processor or blender and process until smooth then stir
back into the pan. Serve in warmed bowls with lime wedges for squeezing
Variation: Yellow or orange peppers can be
used instead of red, but the green ones are too bitter.
Chili injects an appealing zing into this
otherwise mild and sweet vegetable combination, which makes a colorful
and unusual first course or a light lunch dish.