I love to try weird foods. In fact, the more obscure and bizarre combinations the better. (I watch too much Top Chef.) That’s why when we reviewed 101 Optimal Life Foodsmy curiosity was piqued when I saw the recipe for “Curried Chicken-Banana Yam Soup.” After all, I like curry. I like chicken. I like banana. I like yam. And I like soup. BUT, I’ve never tried them together. It was going to be quite the culinary adventure for me. Especially when I saw coconut listed as an ingredient! How often do you get to put coconut in a soup?
I made this soup on a lazy Sunday, and it was awesome. Way filling, way tasty and way pleasing for even my hubby, who claims to not like coconut. (I sure showed him!) Plus, one giant pot makes eight servings, each with 280 cals, 15 grams of fat, 13 carbs, 3 grams fiber and 23 grams of protein. If you’re not known for your culinary creativity, I urge you to give this one a try. It has a complex, meaty flavor that is both unique and as comforting as food you grew up with (maybe just in another country).
2 tsp peanut oil
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lbs Amish or organic chicken pieces
1 small leek, sliced and rinsed
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled
1/2 jalapeno pepper
1 tbsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tbsp mild curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 c. shredded unsweetened dried coconut
4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 yam or sweet potato, peeled and cut into large dice
2 medium bananas, peeled and cut into large pieces (about 1 c.)
4 oz fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tbsp honey
Sea salt and pepper to taste
In a heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven, heat the oils over medium heat. Sear the chicken pieces in the hot oils until browned on each side. Remove from the pot and set aside.
Add the leek and onion. Sweat for a minute; then add the garlic, jalapeno, and ginger and cook for another minute. Add the curry powder and cayenne pepper. Stir and toast the spices for a moment, and then add the tomatoes, coconut, chicken stock and browned chicken pieces. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. Reduce heat. Stir in the yam and reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the chicken is fully cooked and falling off the bones and the yam is tender.
Pull the soup off the heat and remove the chicken pieces; let them cool a bit and then shred the meat. Discard the skin and bones. Stir the chicken meat, bananas, cilantro and honey into the pot. Put back on the heat and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. Season with sea salt and pepper.
Nom nom! And impress your friends with a funky sounding but delicious-tasting soup! —Jenn