Tag Archives: winter

Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

17 Feb

Thanks to Spice cousin Alida for the beautiful Polish bowl!

It’s true, Father Spice has finally gotten to me with his kale-obsession. I was craving kale hardcore last week and so went and bought two huge bunches from Whole Foods. Two bunches of kale for one person (who is going away for the weekend and thus needs to eat it quickly) is, apparently, quite a lot of kale, but I have been enjoying it thoroughly. I made some delicious kale chips to snack on, steamed it as a side to my pancake dinner tonight (surprisingly a good combination), and put it in this soup.

About this soup. It’s awesome. The chunky sweet potato base makes it very filling– I tried eating bread with it once and it was way too much. It also kind of blew my mind because it’s a puree-type soup that I made without a blender. You can just mash the sweet potatoes once they are boiled, and then add the other stuff! This is a revelation that has me itching to go back and see if I can adapt all those soup recipes I’ve passed over because they require a food processor or blender… except that suddenly it is 60 degrees out and I am not craving soup quite so much anymore.

The curliness is deceiving-- use more kale than this!

But yes, this soup was delicious. I would definitely make some adjustments next time though, and have reflected that below. 1) Not enough kale! The kale-y flavor kind of got lost in the sweet potato and spices, and I just didn’t put enough in to begin with. 2) I definitely saw why sweet potatoes have the “sweet” in the name. Again, probably my fault as I omitted the pepper flakes when making it because I wasn’t feeling the spice. It probably would have done a good job at balancing the soup better. 3) I totally skimped on the raisins because I felt like a lot was already going on. They were actually awesome in the soup, and I added more every time I heated up leftovers.

Just bubbling away. It smelled awesome, by the way.

And finally, a word of (obvious) warning: I forget every time I make soup myself that it will be much hotter than soup I have heated up from a can. Do yourself a favor, and let it cool for a few minutes before you dig in! The hot pieces of kale were especially vicious.

Sweet Potato and Kale Soup (Adapted from KERF)

Equipment: Pot, potato masher or blender, big knife

Ingredients
About 2 pounds of sweet potatoes (What college kid has a kitchen scale? I used two huge and one mini one, for a very thick soup)
2 cloves garlic
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup other kind of milk (ie cow’s, but I used almond)
1 tsp garam masala or 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp cumin, and pinch of cloves (or other spice combination of your choice!)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups kale (Ie however much kale you want)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup raisins

Method
Wash sweet potatoes and cut into small (about 1 inch) cubes, leaving skins on if you want awesome pieces of chewy skin in your soup (you do). Dice the garlic. Add a bit of olive oil or cooking spray to a large pot over medium high heat, and add potatoes and garlic. Add coconut milk, other milk, and spices. Make sure potatoes are covered in liquid, otherwise add a bit more. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about thirty minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
While potatoes are cooking, wash and trim kale of thick stems and tear or chop into bite-size pieces. When potatoes are soft, turn off heat and mash with a potato masher in the pot (or blend). Potato pieces should be gone but pieces of skin will remain. Add raisins, kale, and vanilla, and cook 8-10 more minutes, until kale is bright green. Allow to cool slightly, and serve!

How to Survive Maine Winters

20 Jan

Gina has Le Creuset (and chili) envy

As Roxie keeps telling me, I’ve been extremely negligent about blogging recently. I ensure you that will change very shortly, but for now enjoy Emma’s scrumptious-looking white chili!- Gina

Greetings from Maine! Emma, here. I’m writing from my parents’ house in Bangor, where it’s currently 9 degrees outside and the forecast for tomorrow predicts 6-10 inches of snow. Needless to say, I’m doing everything I can to stay warm. That includes spending minimal time outdoors, outfitting myself from head to toe in fleece and wool, and cooking up cozy meals like this Creamy White Chicken Chili.

The perfect meal?!

I adapted the recipe (with only a few small changes) from one of my favorite food blogs, “Eat, Live, Run.”  I recommend serving this with a bowl of blue tortilla chips, if only to bring some color to the table. A great meal for a cold winter’s night!
Creamy White Chicken Chili (Adapted from Eat, Live, Run)
Equipment: one large pot
Ingredients:
2 lbs boneless chicken breast, cubed
2 medium onions, small diced
1 T extra virgin olive oil
20 oz. chicken broth
2 cans cannellini beans
1 can kidney beans
2 4oz cans of green chiles (found in the Mexican food aisle…that took me a while)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper (less if you’re adverse to spiciness)
2 garlic cloves, minced
.5 cups half and half
8 oz. lite sour cream 

Method:

1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Saute the onion and chicken until the onion is clear and the chicken is seared (5-10 minutes).
2. Add garlic and cook for another 3 minutes.
3. Add beans, spices, chicken broth, and green chiles and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and mix in half and half and sour cream.
Serves 6