Sweet Potato & Kale Soup.
I challenge you to find a healthier, more delicious combination of ingredients in one bowl.
Just look at those dark leafy greens and hunks of sweet potatoes. Vitamins galore.
And even though this is vegetarian, good for you food, it also packs some serious flavor.
Coconut milk and a few red pepper flakes give this soup a little kick of Thai flavor. A little brown rice adds a bit of substance to the veggies.
Heath and goodness doesn’t have to be boring or bland. This is some seriously good, knock your socks off soup.
Here’s what you need:
Kale, Sweet Potatoes, Onion, Garlic, Fresh Ginger (not pictured), Red Pepper Flakes, Turmeric, Coconut Milk, Vegetable Broth, Olive Oil, Brown Rice, Salt & Pepper.
If you want to serve this soup with a bit of brown rice (and trust me, you do) be sure to start the rice now so it is ready to go when your soup is ready. This makes 4 generous servings so I cooked 1 cup of brown rice in 2 cups of water. If you need extra help cooking rice, there are step by step instructions included with this fabulous shrimp and broccoli recipe.
Time to do a bit of chopping. First, a medium onion…
and two cloves of garlic – chopped fine.
Then peel and cut 2 sweet potatoes (or yams) into cubes.
Try to keep the sweet potato cubes a little on the bigger side – 3/4 to 1 inch. Otherwise they will fall apart and turn into mush in the soup.
Now for the kale. Rinse a bunch of fresh kale – about 3/4 to 1 pound. Each kale leaf has a tough, woody stem that needs to go. Using a sharp knife, cut up and down both sides of the stem to separate it from the fringy kale leaf.
Once you’ve removed the stems, give the kale a rough chop into large pieces. Like spinach, it will shrink up when it cooks.
My store also sells kale pre-rinsed and trimmed in big bags. However, it is 3 times more expensive than a bunch of regular kale. Since I’m perfectly capable of using a knife to trim, I save myself a few bucks and get the fresher variety.
UPDATE: for you non-kale enthusiasts out there, I haven’t tried it but I suspect that this soup would be equally good when made with lots of fresh spinach.
If you have fresh ginger (I didn’t), peel and finely chop 2 teaspoons from the knobby ginger root.
Grab a large soup pot and heat 2 Tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat. Add the chopped onion and cook until tender but not browned – about 5 minutes.
Turn the heat down to medium and add the minced garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, and 3/4 teaspoon of turmeric.
Turmeric is a spice used in a lot of Indian and Thai cooking. It’s what makes curry powder yellow. It has an interesting yet mild flavor and great, vibrant color.
Hopefully you have fresh ginger. If so, add 2 teaspoons of peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger with the spices. I only had dried ginger so I substituted 1/2 heaping teaspoon.
Cook the garlic and spices for 1 minute until they are extremely fragrant. Then add the cubed sweet potatoes and 4 cups (1 whole 32 ounce box) of vegetable broth.
Add 2 cups of water to the pot and bring the soup up to a light boil or simmer.
Once the broth is simmering, add the chopped kale. Use a spoon to help push the kale leaves into the soup so that they begin to wilt.
Cook the soup for about 20 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are tender and just beginning to fall apart.
To keep this recipe even healthier, I’ve opted to use light coconut milk. Be sure you get an unsweetened variety. Most stores sell coconut milk in the Asian food section.
Once the sweet potatoes are tender, take the soup off the heat and stir in 1 can of light coconut milk.
Because we’re using light coconut milk, to keep the soup from separating it is important that you do not let the soup boil after adding the coconut milk. The heat from the soup will warm the milk. You can keep the pot warm on the lowest setting until you are ready to eat.
Season with salt and pepper (about 1 teaspoon each) and maybe a dash of your favorite hot sauce if you’re feeling especially spicy.
Fluff the rice with a fork and serve the soup with a blob of brown rice in the center of the bowl.
This recipe comes from my favorite cooking website, Joy the Baker. I’ve made this soup several times and even though he’d never had kale before, my husband loved it.
I think it’s a testament to how good this soup really is that of all the fabulous recipes on Joy’s website – biscuits, cobblers, and things full of butter and chocolate – this soup is the recipe from Joy the Baker that I have made the most.
With soup this good and healthy, you don’t need to feel guilty about having a really great dessert!
Here’s the recipe – adapted from the very fabulous, Joy the Baker