Curried Tomato and Sweet Potato Soup

It is SPRING! Hope you had a great weekend.

Happy Food Matters Monday. Today’s fabulous recipe is brought to you by the FMP project. The original recipe, Curried Tomato Soup with Hard Boiled Eggs, was chosen by Joanne of Eats Well With Others. This is a simple and delicious version of tomato soup.

Although tomatoes are definitely not in season right now, I luckily still had two mason jars of canned tomatoes in my cellar that I had canned this past summer.  You can easily substitute regular canned tomatoes.

The original recipe called for 3 cups of tomatoes, 2 potatoes, cauliflower, and hard boiled eggs.  Sorry, but the hard boiled eggs on top of a soup kind of freaked me out. If you want to give it a go, try it. I tried to poach an egg in the soup, and it turned out ok. But I probably wouldn’t do it again…but that’s just me.

My version has sweet potatoes that I had stored from the market and a mix of kale and swiss chard from my garden.  This just goes to show you how versatile this recipe, and most recipes, are. You can substitute whatever you have on hand or whatever is in season for most vegetables.

Curry powder and sweet potatoes are a match made in heaven!

Adding coconut milk gives his soup added creaminess.

I also pureed the soup using an immersion or hand blender which makes this soup ever more creamier. You can leave it chunky, if you prefer.

You could also reduce the amount of water in the recipe (use 1 cup instead of 3) and serve this over basmati rice!

Curried Tomato and Sweet Potato Soup (Adapted from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook)

Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger)
  • 2 tablespoons of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 3 cups of diced tomatoes (2 cans) with juice
  • 1 bunch of kale (1 to 2 cups), ribs removed and sliced in 1 inch ribbons
  • 4 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients:

  1. Heat coconut oil in a heavy dutch oven over medium-high heat until melted. Add onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Cook for an addition 1 minute or until spices become fragrant.
  2. Add diced sweet potatoes and carrot. Stir and cook for 2 minutes, coating potatoes.
  3. Add coconut milk, vegetable broth (or water), and diced tomatoes with juice. Bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer with lid on pot for 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  4. Use an immersion blender (hand blender) or a regular blender (or food processor) to puree most of the soup. If using an immersion blender, place the immersion blender into the pot and puree the soup until your get the desired consistency. If you are using a regular blender, remove a few cups at a time and puree in batches. Be careful to not splatter the hot soup. Add the pureed soup back to the pot.
  5. Add kale and cook over medium-low heat for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until kale is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Ladle into 4 bowls. Top with chopped cilantro.

Seared Bean Sprout Salad with Sesame-Orange Dressing

What is a bean sprout? It’s the sprout from a germinated mung bean. Bean sprouts are usually used in asian cooking and provide a bright crunchy texture to a stir fry dish. I originally intended on sprouting my own mung beans (which is really easy), but I didn’t have time. It takes 5 to 7 days of soaking the mung beans in water (changing every 12 hours). But you can easily find bean sprouts at your local grocer or asian market.

Today’s recipe is brought to you by the Food Matters Project, which is a group of foodie bloggers dedicated to cooking our way through Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook. The original recipe was chosen by Dominica of Food Wine Love and was supposed to be Seared Bean Sprouts with Beef and Sesame-Orange Sauce. 

Although this looked both easy and delicious, I was on my way to a dinner party last night and needed to bring a side dish. I decided to turn the recipe into a bright and colorful salad, adding some shredded carrots, diced cucumber, and chopped cilantro. It was really easy to throw together and was definitely unique.

Check the FMP website to see what the other foodies chose to do with this recipe!

Seared Bean Sprout Salad with Sesame-Orange Dressing

Makes: 8 servings (as a side dish)

Salad Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 Tablespoon canola oil or coconut oil
  • 1 lb bean sprouts, rinsed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch of scallions, green and white parts chopped
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 oranges, juiced
  • zest of 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 Tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon tahini paste
  • 1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon honey

Instructions:

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of sesame seeds to a DRY skillet. Cook on medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, lightly toasting sesame seeds. Remove and set aside.
  2. Place 1 tablespoon of oil in skillet and heat over medium heat. When oil is hot (not smoking), toss in bean sprouts and salt. Stir fry for 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove and place in colander. Run cold water over sprouts to stop them from cooking. You want them to still be crips.
  3. Add the sprouts, cucumber, shredded carrot, cilantro, and scallions to a medium serving bowl.
  4. Combine all dressing ingredients into a mason jar or lidded jar. Shake well. Pour over salad and stir.  Chill until you are ready to serve it. Toss before serving and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Broccoli, Fig, and Goat Cheese Pasta

Happy Food Matters Monday! The fourth week of the Food Matters Project brings a very interesting recipe.

I adapted this recipe from the Food Matters Cookbook. The original recipe was Baked Rigatoni with Brussel Sprouts, Figs, and Blue Cheese chosen by Marcia of Twenty by Sixty. I have to admit that I was very worried about this dish. I mean the combo of brussel sprouts, figs, AND blue cheese was just a bit on the odd side.

Number one, I’m not a fan of brussel sprouts OR blue cheese. But, I do looooove figs, both dried and fresh. A note on figs. The most popular dried fig is the black mission fig, but any variety would taste great. I used dried Conadria Figs from Trader Joes. Dried figs are also a great snack and a fabulous source of fiber.

My variation on the recipe was to use broccoli and goat cheese instead of brussel sprouts and blue cheese. Love!

This really was DELICIOUS. An inspired dinner that was perfect and spot on. The original recipe calls for baking the pasta, but I found that this dried out the pasta dish because the goat cheese ends up just soaking into the pasta instead of coating it like you would want. I personally liked it without baking it.

The other major bonus to this recipe is that you can throw it together in under 20 minutes. I cooked the broccoli in a steamer placed over the pot of boiling pasta. Double duty!

This dish just proves to me that Mark Bittman truly knows how to make food matter. If you are curious at other variations, check out the original recipe by Marcia at Twenty by Sixty and other adaptations by the rest of the FMP food blogging gang.

Broccoli, Fig, and Goat Cheese Pasta

Note: The cheese is easily swappable for what you have on hand, as long as it is easily meltable. Also instead of figs, apples or pears would also work well.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 8 oz whole wheat pasta
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1/2 cup of dried figs, chopped
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt and cracked pepper
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • sliced roasted almonds or pine nuts (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring pot of salted water to boil. Place pasta in boiling water. Cook for about 6 minutes. While pasta is cooking, place broccoli in a steamer basket and place over pot of boiling water. Steam for about 3 to 5 minutes or until broccoli becomes bright green. Do not overcook. Remove from steaming and run cold water over the broccoli to stop the cooking process.
  2. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of pasta cooking liquid.
  3. Combine pasta, broccoli, figs, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, and olive oil back in the same pot that you cooked the pasta. Stir and cook on low heat until cheese melts, adding back pasta water as needed a tablespoon at a time. Pour into serving bowl and top with slivered toasted almonds or pine nuts.