Thursday, January 10, 2013
she cooks you sweet potato
I have a confession to make. I really don't like sweet potatoes.
Let the groans begin. "What about sweet potato fries?" Nope. "What do you mean you don't have sweet potatoes with marshmallows for Thanksgiving?" Don't like 'em (but if you put a little bourbon on them and bring them to my house with what is essentially bacon fat caramel, I'll have a taste).
So why bother making a Sweet Potato + Peanut Soup with Lentils + Kale for dinner? Well, it was really the peanut part of the equation that drew me in. And everything else just sounded so wholesome and filling and comforting, that I couldn't pass it up.
To be honest, the peanut part was a little disappointing, but that was mostly my fault. I tried to get a lower fat peanut butter, and didn't realize until I got it home that one of the ingredients was something like unfatted peanut flour or something. I mean, I don't even know what that means, but my best guess based on the flavor is that it's not peanuts.
Luckily, this soup didn't need additional peanut flavor to be delicious. The fantastic spices - ginger, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric - really balance out the cloying sweetness I dislike so much. The original recipe calls for only half-pureeing the soup so there are still chunks of sweet potato present, but I pureed it completely. I felt that made it a better vehicle for the lentils and kale.
Sweet Potato + Peanut Soup with Lentils + Kale
slightly adapted from Food52
1 T. olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 T. fresh ginger, minced
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, chopped into 1-inch chunks
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 t. ground cinnamon
2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. ground turmeric
dash of cayenne pepper (or to taste)
salt, to taste
5 c. vegetable stock, divided
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
4 c. kale, roughly chopped
2 1/2 c. Trader Joe's steamed lentils
2 green onions, finely sliced
1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot set on medium head. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and saute until the onion is translucent. Add the sweet potatoes, tomatoes, cinnamon, cumin, turmeric and cayenne, and stir to combine.
2. Add 4 c. of the vegetable stock, or enough to cover everything by about an inch. Bring the mixture to a boil. When the soup boils, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are very tender. Add the peanut butter, and stir well.
3. Using an immersion blender, blend soup until it is all pureed. Stir in the kale and lentils. Thin the soup with another cup of vegetable stock, if necessary. Cook until kale has wilted, and lentils have heated through.
4. Season to taste, and serve immediately with a garnish of green onions.