Spicy Sweet Potato Coconut Soup and Raw Kale Salad

I decided today I was going to make a bunch of food this weekend to have in my arsenal for the coming week, but I gave myself too many options. SO, I gave up and went to a movie when I couldn’t decide what to make first. When I got back, I decided that I was going to make one of my favorite soups of all time, even though it’s about a million degrees + humidity today. It’s nice and chilly in my house, it’s my ultimate comfort food that doesn’t leave you feeling like mashed potatoes and I haven’t had it in far too long.

I blogged about this sweet potato soup from The Post Punk Kitchen (the authors of Veganomicon and other great cookbooks) at least once in I Eat Veg’s previous incarnation — in fact, I think it may have been one of my first posts. But I decided it’s worthy of a second post. It’s really easy, really delicious, and really not spicy, so it should maybe be called sweet potato coconut curry soup — that would be more fitting.

I had some kale that needed to be used up, so I decided to search for a new kale recipe too. I found one that was easy, sounded light and I had almost all the ingredients (kind of).

Anyway, I’ll start with the soup:


Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, rinsed (This is usually about 2 or 2 1/2 large sweet potatoes)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 2-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced (I usually mince it)
1 Tbsp. red curry paste (or more for extra spice!)
1 15-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
3 c. vegetable broth
3 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1/2 c. fresh cilantro

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place potatoes directly on rack. Bake for 45 min. If you have smaller potatoes, I’d check them before that. You want them to be cooked but not mushy, as you’ll be cutting them into bite-sized pieces (not making mashed potatoes!) If you stab them with a fork to test their doneness, know that they will ooze liquid that will drip in your oven if you put them back in – FYI. When they are done, let them cool until you can handle them, then cut into bite-sized cubes.

2. In a stock pot, saute onion and ginger in oil for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add curry paste and cook for another minute or so.

3. Add coconut milk and veggie stock. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.

4. Add lemon juice and salt. You’re ready to serve!

5. Once in bowls, drizzle with a little sesame oil and sprinkle with chopped cilantro (as much as you like). I once thought, “This soup smells so good, wouldn’t the oil and cilantro ruin it? Are they necessary?” They are essential — soooooo good when you add these two surprise elements.

This soup has been a crowd pleaser! Everyone who has eaten it has loved it and it really is so, so simple (and cheap for that matter). I would say it could serve 6-8 servings so dig in!

And, now onto the raw kale salad…

The original recipe, from JaneSpice.com calls for the following ingredients:

1/3 c. Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari soy sauce (I just had regular soy sauce)
1/3 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. flax seed or olive oil
1/2 medium red onion (I had tons of green onions on hand, so I sliced up about 8 of them)
1/4 c. each sesame, sunflower and pumpkin seeds (Wow — I had them all!)
1 bunch kale
1/2 c. each alfalfa and sunflower sprouts (I had mung bean sprouts, but they were funky, so I had to omit them…)
1 avocado diced (Again, I didn’t have it…)

I basically searched for “kale salad” online since I was pining for the kale salad at The Golden Gate Cafe — something light and delicious — and this sound like a decent substitute. And it was! I would love to include the other things I didn’t have next time. And might even try substituting the soy sauce for some rice vinegar next time. A weird substitute, but for some reason, that sounds good to me. Anyhow, here’s how you make it:

1. Combine soy, lemon juice and oil in a blender or whisk it well. Add onions and let them marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.

2. De-stem the kale and cut into 1/4″ strips. This is important! The lemon juice acts similarly to how it does in ceviche (when it “cooks” fish). It kind of “cooks” the kale, wilting it a little. I think if you didn’t cut it into smaller pieces, this might not happen as easily.

3. Separately toast each of the seeds then cool them before adding to kale. I had raw sunflower and sesame seeds on hand (a weird coincidence) and also had roasted pumpkin seeds. I think the pumpkin seeds were maybe a little tougher, since they were already roasted, but I toasted them anyway and added them. They were just a little chewy though. Maybe they would have been that way regardless.

Here is the kale pre-dressing:

4. Add rest of ingredients to toasted seeds and kale. Skim onions out with a slotted spoon and add them, then add enough of the dressing to saturate the mixture, but not drench it. This ended up being about 1/2 c. for me. You are then supposed to massage it into the mixture with your hands — this helped me judge when enough was enough. Basically, everything seemed pretty well saturated and there wasn’t really any dressing sitting in the bottom of the bowl.

Here is the kale after adding the dressing:

I  really like it! I think there are a lot of different things you could add to it or ways you could change it up depending on your taste (even just lemon juice and olive oil alone would probably be good!) It’s been in the refrigerator now for a couple of days and has held up really, really well — better than any kale I’ve ever steamed or sautéed, so that’s a good thing too.

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3 responses to “Spicy Sweet Potato Coconut Soup and Raw Kale Salad

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