Sweet Potato Tomato Soup

This soup came about one day when I opened my refrigerator to see what was in there and tried to figure out what I could possibly make from the ingredients I found. It turned out so wonderful that I wrote down the recipe, and it has since become a Polli Talu classic.

Serves 8

1 onion, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 piece fresh ginger, about 2 inches (5 cm) long, peeled and cut into slivers
3 cloves garlic, chopped
8 cups (2 l) boiling water
2 white potatoes, cut into cubes
2 carrots, cut into 1/2-inch (1-cm) pieces
2 sweet potatoes, cut into cubes
5 tomatoes, peeled (optional) and chopped
salt and pepper
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped

1 In a large pot, sauté the onion in the oil until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and then the garlic and sauté for another few minutes.
2 When the garlic turns golden, add the water. Bring to a boil.
3 Add the white potatoes, then the carrots, then the sweet potatoes. Cook until the potatoes and carrots are soft, stirring occasionally.
4 Add the tomatoes and heat through.
5 Add salt and pepper to taste.
Just before serving, stir in the scallions.

Note: To peel tomatoes, make a small cross shaped cut into their upper part and submerge them whole into boiling water for a couple of seconds. Remove them from the water and peel starting from the center of the cross shaped cut. If your tomatoes do not have a strong flavor and the broth ends up without the desired hint of tartness, add a squeeze of lemon juice.