As you may know, Cohen Hall is now operating out of a vegan kitchen. This is a decision that was made primarily for health reasons (thank you, Food, Inc.) a little over two months ago. Eating vegan is amazing. I've never enjoyed cooking as much as I do now, and I love that the food we're making is wholesome, sustainable, and kind to our bodies as well as the planet.
Of course, eating vegan outside Cohen Hall is a very tricky thing, especially while traveling. For that reason, I eat vegetarian while on the road, though I try to make as many vegan choices as possible. Dairy and sugar really catch up with you, and after two weeks of travel -- and far too many buttery and sweet treats -- I found myself run down and sick. Yuck.
So, I headed to the kitchen to make some medicine. This soup is one of my favorites, not only because it's packed with amazing, cure-all ginger, but because it's just so damn delicious. I really could eat this soup every week...hmm, that's not such a bad idea.
I can't take credit for this original recipe (I found it online somewhere -- sadly, I can't remember where!), but I've tweaked it along the way to make it my own. Good food was meant to be shared, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Curried Sweet Potato & Coconut Soup
makes 5 servings
Two medium-sized sweet potatoes
just over 1 cup uncooked farro or brown rice
1 T coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
1 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
1 T red curry paste
1 15-oz can unsweetened coconut milk
2 cups (1 can) vegetable broth
juice of one lemon
1 t salt
toasted sesame oil for drizzling
fresh cilantro for garnish
Preheat your oven to 400. Put your sweet potatoes directly on the rack, and bake for about 45 minutes. Remove to a cutting board.
While the potatoes are cooking, start your farro or brown rice on the stovetop. Farro will take about 30 minutes, rice will take about 45. Follow the directions on the package and keep an eye on it.
When your potatoes have about 15 minutes remaining, start your soup. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over med-high heat, and then add your onion and ginger. Cook for about 5 minutes, and then stir in your curry paste. Once everything is well mixed, add the coconut milk, vegetable broth, and 1 cup of water, and bring it all to a boil. Then reduce your heat to low, cover, and simmer for another 5 minutes or so.
Skin your potatoes and cut them into chunks. Toss them in your soup and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in your fresh lemon juice and salt, and then remove the pan from the heat. Use a immersion blender in the pan (this is the easiest way), or process the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. You want your soup to look rich and creamy when you're done, although a few remaining chunks are okay.
By this point, your farro or rice should be done. Spoon about 1/2 cup of your grain into a large soup bowl, and then cover with about 3 ladles of your soup. Garnish with a drizzle of sesame oil and as much fresh copped cilantro as you'd like. Best of all? This delicious vegan meal clocks in at under 350 calories!
I'm starting to feel better already.