Monday, October 24, 2011

Sweet Potato and Kale Soup

A few weeks ago it was cold here in New York City and I wanted to make a soup using sweet potatoes. As much as I love sweet potatoes and butternut squash and all of the fall squashes, I hate that their sweetness is often highlighted in dishes. I prefer to use hot or spicy seasonings to balance the natural sweetness. 

I had also picked up a head of kale, my first. I wanted to find a way to ease into the whole kale thing, as kale is great for you, but has a very distinct flavor that takes a bit of getting used to. It's not like spinach, which has a mild flavor and can be used easily with lots of different flavors. 

As I was flipping through my cookbooks, I stumbled upon a recipe by Kim Barnouin, co-author of the 'Skinny Bitch' series. What was so great about those books was that they got the attention of many people who wouldn't normally read a book about veganism with a catchy, bitchy title. Kim went on to write her own cookbook titled 'Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook'. Though I've had it for over 6 months, this is the first recipe I've attempted, mostly because as much as I love cookbooks, I often end up using recipes I've found online instead. No rhyme or reason to this habit, it's just the way it is. 
I ended up using sweet potatoes instead of the potatoes she calls for because I much prefer sweet potatoes to regular ones, which aren't the nutritional powerhouse that their orange counterpart is. I also didn't want to use beans, so I left them out. So this recipe is more inspired by Kim's recipe, and not a literal recreation. And even though this photo isn't the greatest, trust me when I say this soup was delicious. Warm from the curry I added and very filling as well. 

Sweet Potato and Kale Soup
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 cups water
2 tablespoons white miso paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
4 cups chopped kale
salt and pepper to taste

Directions are the same as always with a soup. Saute the onions and carrots in the oil until soft. Add the spices, potatoes, miso and tomato paste. Saute a few minutes, then add the water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 30 minutes to an hour. Add the kale during the last 20 minutes. 

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