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Sweet Potato, Corn and Kale Soup

Posted May 09 2013 9:18am

For my last birthday, my lovely business partner Silvia had a sixth sense about what I wanted and brought over the very cookbook I had been admiring only days before.  The reason for my admiration was the title and the reputation that came along with author Terry Walters.  This particular gem is called “ Clean Food – A Seasonal Guide to Eating Close to the Source .”  In other words, something highly aspirational that I wished I did, but feared I could never live up to.  (Have I mentioned that I’m a perfectionist lately?)

Initially, I wanted to dive right in, eagerly flipping the pages to the “winter” section and feeling empowered by the quote at the beginning of the section:

“Winter is the time of promise because there is so little to do – or because you can now and then permit yourself the luxury of thinking so.”

For me, it is clearly the latter.  I’m never at a shortage of things to do.  But I’m a big believer on taking time (even five minutes some days) for quiet.  Of course, I ruined that a bit when I immediately vowed to cook every meal from that book for at least a week.  Well, you can guess how that ended.  Who was I kidding?  And by the way, did I learn nothing from the quote?  “The time of promise” does not mean the time to make promises you will never keep.  So, I cooled off the proclamations and patiently skimmed my options.  There were times when I wanted to mix up (or lighten up) traditional holiday treats (and ended up falling in love with “Cranberry Applesauce” on page 205.  Or others when I wanted to stop being afraid of ingredients I’d never heard of (like kombu – like seaweed, or tamari – like soy sauce) and improvise on a recipe like “Lentil Soup” on page 207 that was delicious in the end.

So, when the weather started warming up, I decided to flip through the Spring section, hoping to be inspired by something seasonal.  I landed on “Sweet Potato, Corn and Kale Chowder,” a name that includes 3 of my favorite ingredients this time of year (or any) and thought I’d give it a try.  Admittedly, I assumed I would like it, but mostly just be proud of myself for trying another clean recipe.  I’m not kidding when I tell you that I was ambitiously putting leftovers in the freezer only to take them out the next day because I was so in love.

Here’s the recipe:

1 T grapeseed oil

1 small onion, diced

3 stalks celery, diced

3 carrots, diced

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced

3 cups of corn, fresh or frozen

2 tsp dried thyme

2 C vegetable stock

2 C rice milk

2 T cashew butter, dissolved in 1/4 cup of hot water

1 bunch of kale, chopped into small pieces

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

In large pot over medium heat, sauté onion in oil until soft (about 3 minutes)

DSC_2374

Add celery, carrots, sweet potatoes (I kept the skin on) corn, thyme, and stock

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Add enough rice milk to cover the vegetables.

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Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are soft (about 20 minutes)

DSC_2377

Remove from heat and add dissolved cashew butter (I did not have cashew butter and left this step out, still loving the results).  Partially puree using a handheld blender.  Add kale, return to heat, thin to desired consistency with water or stock and cook until kale is tender.  (Since I have children, I chose to bring the emersion blender back out and blend until completely smooth.  Little kale leaves floating in soup are not something my girls will gobble up willingly.)

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Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve!


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