Saturday, February 22, 2014

RECIPE: Sweet Potato, Carrot and Coconut Soup

The other night, it was getting close to dinner time and I still hadn’t figured out what I was going to make for the family. I know it’s important to plan meals ahead of time when you’re doing the Whole Life Challenge but it had just been one of those days (you know, a Wednesday). I didn’t want to make the usual meat and vegetables. I wanted something hearty, but still Whole Life Challenge compliant. That’s when I remembered that a friend who’s been doing Whole30 (partly because I’ve been raving about the Whole Life Challenge) had sent me links to a few awesome-sounding recipes. There was one in particular that I definitely wanted to try: SweetPotato-Coconut Soup, from Jan’s Sushi Bar (it’s not a restaurant—it’s an amazing, healthy-eating, mostly Whole30 compliant food blog). So I looked up the recipe and yup, it sounded delicious.

I thought I had all the ingredients in the house but alas, when I looked in the pantry it turned out we only had three little sweet potatoes. I figured I could just cut the recipe by a bit, but then I decided why not use some carrots in place of the missing potatoes. After all, they’re both bright orange root vegetables and ridiculously high in vitamin A—and I’ve always liked carrot soup. I also wound up using vegetable broth in place of the chicken stock in Jan’s recipe (mostly because I didn’t have chicken stock)—making this version 100 percent vegan/vegetarian. The result? It was abso-freaking-lutely amazing! The perfect mix of sweet and savory. My husband and I had two bowls of it and were stuffed. (Full disclosure: My eight-year-old son, who isn’t a huge coconut fan, thought it had too much coconut flavor—so if you’ll be serving this to anybody with a similarly low tolerance for coconuts, you might want to use more broth in place of the coconut milk—possibly even swap in olive oil for the coconut oil, too. Or, you can omit the coconut milk altogether. It winds up being a bit thicker but just as good.) Anyway…give it a try and let me know what you think!

Sweet Potato, Carrot and Coconut Soup
Serves 8
2 Tablespoons cold-pressed/extra virgin coconut oil
1 large onion (approximately 10 oz.), chopped
2 small celery stalks, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon cinnamon
16 oz. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
8 oz. baby carrots
1 large container (32 oz.) low-sodium organic vegetable broth (make sure it’s WLC compliant; I like Trader Joe’s)
1 can (14 oz.) can light coconut milk (again, make sure it’s WLC compliant; I like Trader Joe’s)
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and/or ground nutmeg, to taste

1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and garlic and sprinkle with cinnamon. Cook until vegetables are just softened, approximately five minutes.
2. Add sweet potatoes, carrots and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and carrots are tender, about fifteen minutes.
4. Transfer all solids and approximately half of the liquid to a blender and puree until smooth.
5. Return contents of blender to pot and add coconut milk, stirring over medium heat until nice and hot.
6. Add seasonings to taste and serve.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per 10 oz. serving):
135 calories; 6.1 g fat (4.9 g saturated); 128 mg sodium; 338 mg potassium; 19.4 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 8.6 g sugar; 1.9 g protein; Vitamin A 179%; Vitamin C 16%; Calcium 3%; Iron 5%

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