Friday, December 17, 2010

Island Kale and Sweet Potato Soup

Hello friends, I finally have my computer back up and running (stupid broken charger…grrr), and I must say, I’ve missed you. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and houseguests for us. We’ve either been out of town or had friends visiting every weekend for the past five weeks. And while we certainly love spending time with family and friends, it is good to be home with nothing to do but watch tv in our pajamas and spend some time in the kitchen.

I don’t know about you, but after frequent travel and lots of eating out, I start to crave healthy, hearty, soul-warming foods. Especially when it’s freezing cold and raining outside, and the sun doesn’t seem to want to show its face any more than absolutely necessary. You know the kind of days I’m talking about. The ones with gross weather that make you feel sluggish and in dire need of quality time on the couch. The ones that make you turn down socializing for snuggling. The days that are made for soup.

This Island Kale and Sweet Potato Soup is the perfect antidote to all of those heavy holiday meals and nights out on the town. A riff on the Caribbean dish callalou, this soup is simple to make yet has surprisingly complex flavors. Full of nutritious kale, creamy sweet potatoes, rich (light) coconut milk, and a lick of heat, this soup will warm you up on even the rainiest of days.

One Year Ago: Lentil Soup, Sole Meunière, Gougères, Lentil and Bulgur Salad

Island Kale and Sweet Potato Soup
Adapted from Food and Wine

2 T. vegetable or canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, halved, seeds and ribs removed, thinly sliced
1 bunch kale (about 3/4 lb.), any variety, thinly sliced into ribbons
1 1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes (about 2 large), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup canned unsweetened light coconut milk

2 cups hot cooked white or brown rice, divided

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and jalapeno and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.

Add the kale, sweet potatoes, broth, and salt. Turn the heat to high and bring the soup to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, until the sweet potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and cook until just heated through, about 1 minute.

Ladle the soup into 4 bowls and top each serving with 1/2 cup of hot rice.

Serve immediately.

Serves 4.

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