Thursday, December 22, 2011

Curried sweet potato, lentil, and spinach soup


After all the cookies and other Christmas treats I've been eating making, I thought that we could use a light and healthy dinner full of fiber and nutrients. The heaviness of winter foods, especially at Christmas, can sometimes get to be too much. I was craving some spicy food along with some greens. Aside from the spinach, all of the ingredients were already in my pantry or fridge (I love when that happens). I try to keep well-stocked on basic cooking items like spices, stocks, dried and canned beans, diced tomatoes, and other items that I use all the time. I also do a lot of menu planning so I know what meals I'm going to be making for the week. I don't want to have to stop at the grocery store everyday on my way home or wonder what we are going to eat. I like to know and plan this out at the beginning of every week. I find that this is especially important this time of year. We are already eating a lot of sweets and other things that we don't eat regularly, so I think it's even more important to have some quick and healthy dinners up your sleeve and all the ingredients at home. This way, you won't be as tempted to get take out during this busy time of year. I think menu planning helps a lot.

While it may not be the prettiest soup, it was satisfying, filling, and very flavorful. It was pitch dark when I took this photo, so if it looks unappetizing, I apologize. It's really quite delicious, I promise. This recipe will make enough for about four large bowls of soup. I reserved about a tablespoon of the coconut milk to drizzle on top.

Curried sweet potato, lentil, and spinach soup
1 tablespoon coconut oil (or olive)
1 shallot, peeled and minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small chili, minced (remove seeds and pith for less heat)
2 teaspoons mild curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through
4 cups vegetable stock
1 can (13-14 oz.) coconut milk
one large bunch spinach (about 4-5 cups roughly chopped)
juice of half a lemon
sugar or honey, to taste, optional

In a soup/stock pot, warm the oil. When hot add the shallot and cook for about 1 minute. Add the garlic and chili and cook for another minute, stirring often. Add the curry powder, cumin, and a bit of salt and pepper. Stir well. Stir in the sweet potatoes and lentils. Continue to cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes.

Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk. Stir well and let the soup come to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly, but let it cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes and lentils are tender (about 30 minutes). Once they are tender, turn off the heat and puree the soup using an immersion blender until it reaches your desired consistency (or, you can do this in batches in a regular blender). I like to leave some texture.

Turn the heat back on low and add all of the spinach. Stir until the spinach wilts down. Add the lemon juice. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper as needed. You can add a little sweetener, if needed, as well. Serve immediately.

What was I cooking one year ago? Pfeffernüsse

2 comments:

  1. That looks so delicious! Believe it or not, I am almost 44 years old, and didn't even TRY a sweet potato until four years ago! Now I love them.

    I love the addition of spinach too! Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!

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