Monday, February 7, 2011

Meatless Monday: Curried Sweet Potato Soup - Chicken Optional

I've decided to streamline my weekly postings so you know what to expect and when I'll be posting.

Sundays: I'll blog the names and a little info about all the recipes I'll be posting that week.

Mondays: I'm going to start posting vege recipes or recipes that can easily be modified to be vegetarian and am naming them Meatless Mondays - thanks for the idea Sara!

Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays-The other 3 days will be a good variety of crockpot meals, soups/stoups/stews ('s cold outside), casseroles, breakfasts, desserts, curries, Mexican, Italian, etc...

I'm striving for a good balance and variety every week (just like in my own life). I already have the next three weeks planned out so stay tuned for some real yumminess! I'll probably pop in posts here and there focusing on single ingredients and continue my favorite tools posts. I really do love cooking and am excited to share my recipes here.

What's for dinner this week?

Meatless Monday: Curried Sweet Potato Soup that can easily be made with or without chicken. It is packed full of veggies you won't even know are there and is perfect for all of these cold nights we are facing right now.

Wednesday: Chicken Tangine - I got this recipe over 8 years ago from a friend of mine in London. I don't know why I haven't made it until now. It was really good and Jordan kept raving about it. It is spicy, but I'll let you know how to turn down the heat level if you need to. I'll definitely be making this again.

Friday: Creamy Chicken Broccoli Bake - This is a really good casserole dish. It makes a huge 9x13 pan full and I'll only be cooking half the portion and freezing the other. It would make a perfect freezer meal for one of those harried days.

Saturday: Minced Chicken Curry - I really can't believe this is curry. It is so mild and perfect for the whole family. We have made this easily a dozen times over the past couple of years and it feels like comfort food.

Just around the corner is Valentine's Day so next Monday I'll be making some waffles with strawberries and homemade whipped cream. A perfect fun dinner to end the day!

See you this week for my latest and greatest meals!!

Curried Sweet Potato Soup
This is a Rachael Ray recipe that I got from her magazine. This soup can easily be made vegetarian. It is perfect with a nice toasted, crunchy piece of french bread to dip into the soup.

The recipe calls for apple cider and I couldn't find anything less than a 2 gallon jug that cost $5 so I opted to use apple juice instead. It probably was a little sweeter but it worked great so feel free to substitute it if you don't have apple cider or can't find a reasonable quantity.

The Ingredients:
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 onion, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
2 teaspoons curry powder*
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup apple cider (or juice)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
½ head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
½ rotisserie chicken, meat shredded - optional

*I used a sweet curry powder from Penzey's that is really delicious!

Prep the following: Dice your onion

Peel and cube your sweet potato (a real sweet potato not the reddish yam that can also be mistakenly called a sweet potato).

Chop your cauliflower

Heat the EVOO over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened - about 5 min. Add the curry powder and cumin and cook, stirring for 3 min. Stir in the cider, scraping the bottom of the pan.

Add 4 cups water and the sweet potato and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower, lower the heat and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 min.

You can either take your soup and do the following:
-Take it in batches and run through a food processor
-Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth
-Add into a blender and blend until smooth - you might have to work in batches.

We got a refurbished Vita-mix for Christmas and I just dumped the whole thing in there at once and it blended it up beautifully.

If you are making Vegetarian just skip this step. Now add your shredded chicken to the pot and cook until heated through. I had leftover shredded chicken from something else I cooked so I added meat from 2 chicken breasts.

If you don't have leftover chicken or a rotisserie chicken then bring to a boil chicken stock/broth and add 2 chicken breasts and then lower to a simmer for about 10-20 min. This will make great chicken to use.

If you are going vegetarian and need something chunky in your soup, you could finely dice up either an additional sweet potato and a few red potatoes and add to your soup at the end. Simmer until they are cooked through. Depending on the size of your dice 15-20 min.



Curried Sweet Potato Soup

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