Sweet Potato Apple Curry Soup

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It’s fall, y’all! And you know what that means?? Fall produce!!! Pumpkins! Sweet potatoes! Apples! Squash! Yes, it’s my favorite time of year for both weather and cooking. So for my breakout seasonal recipe, I decided to adapt this recipe¬†that my friend Sarah sent me after we partook in my other favorite fall activity: apple picking. Make it, eat it, absorb its fally goodness.

SWEET POTATO APPLE CURRY SOUP

(makes about 5-6 bowls of soup)

Ingredients

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, roughly peeled (optional) and cut into small pieces
  • 3 Tbsp vegan butter
  • 1/2 large yellow or sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger* (or small piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated, if you have it)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg (+ more for garnish, if you’re photographing your food for some reason…)
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/3 cups applesauce (apples + cinnamon – check out my recipe here)

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(Ignore the apple cider vinegar – I did not use this)

*I actually used this ginger paste I bought at Trader Joe’s:

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Directions

1) Melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until softened (approx. 5 mins). Add ginger, nutmeg, curry powder, salt, and pepper and cook approx. 1-2 more minutes.

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2) Increase heat to medium high and add the sweet potatoes and broth. Stir, cover, and bring to a boil.

3) Reduce to medium low heat, add applesauce, and simmer, covered, until sweet potatoes are soft (approx. 20 mins).

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4) Pour the soup into a food processor or blender (or both) and blend/process until smooth (less than one minute). Try not to make a mess…I made a huge mess ūüė¶

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5) Enjoy!

This soup tastes good by itself, as a dip for crackers/tortilla chips, or with rice and veggies. Bon appétit!

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Vegan Yellow Curry

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Mostly I made this recipe up, with a little inspiration¬†from my friend Donna. ¬†It’s not really Thai or Indian…it’s somewhere in between, I think. ¬†But it’s delicious–another example of how vegan cooking can be as easy as throwing veggies¬†into a pot and adding stuff to¬†them until they taste good. Bon appetit!

VEGAN YELLOW CURRY

(makes 6-8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp minced garlic¬†
  • 6 small red potatoes, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 3 large carrots, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 2 apples, cut into bite-sized pieces (I prefer something a little sweeter, such as Braeburn or Fuji)
  • 2 cans coconut milk
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced into 1/2in¬†slices
  • Spices, to taste (but lots of each): I used turmeric, ginger, cumin, coriander, curry powder, cayenne pepper, and salt
  • Brown sugar, to taste¬†
  • 2 tsp coconut oil¬†

Directions

1) Heat the oil on medium heat, and saute the onions and garlic until onion¬†begins to turn translucent and garlic begins to brown (about 2-3¬†minutes). ¬†Add the coconut milk, stir, and simmer until it heats throughout (another 2-3 minutes). ¬†Now would be a good time to chop your other veggies, if you haven’t already.

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I bought a bag of multicolored carrots at Trader Joes because they looked cool…

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2) Add spices, to taste: the turmeric is what gives the curry its yellow color. ¬†If you like a more mild curry, you’ll want to add fewer spices and probably eliminate the cayenne pepper altogether. ¬†Additionally, the apples add their own sweetness so I recommend waiting until later to add the sugar. ¬†Just keep spicing¬†and tasting until you achieve a balance that is pleasing to you!

*Tip: for an even more intense ginger flavor, throw in some fresh grated ginger when you cook the onions!

3) Stir in the potatoes, apples, and carrots. Cover and simmer until they are tender (about 30-45 minutes).  Taste about halfway through and continue to season as needed, as the veggies will have soaked up some of the flavor. 

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4) Once your apples and veggies are tender enough for your liking (should be able to easily pierce with a fork), add the squash and simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes until the squash is cooked. ¬†Continue to add spices if it still doesn’t taste right.¬†

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5) Serve with rice!

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Thai Green Curry

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As we age, we begin to appreciate the stupid (aka practical) gifts we once loathed as children. ¬†Warm fuzzy socks which once would have elicited a forced smile at best upon being unwrapped by third-grade me now merit genuine enthusiasm by my adult self. ¬†One of my favorite “grown up” gifts to receive now is kitchen stuff–small appliances, a good set of knives, and a fully stocked spice rack have been some of my favorite Christmas gifts during recent years. ¬†This year, my mom outdid herself and bought me a slow cooker/rice cooker. ¬†This is great because I am inexplicably terrible at making rice. ¬†I always burn it or make it soggy or spill it or ruin it in some way. ¬†Well, I finally tried the rice cooker out last night, and I wanted something to go along with the rice and realized I had all of the ingredients on hand for Thai green curry.

Thai green curry is a deceptively simple dish if you happen to have the ingredients for it. ¬†Recipes that are truly from scratch call for a bunch of different spices that I didn’t feel like buying, but for just a few dollars you can purchase a small jar containing all of the requisite herbs and spices mixed into a paste for your convenience! ¬†I use Thai Kitchen brand, and the paste comes in a little 4oz jar (also available in red curry variety). ¬†You can typically find it in the “international” section of your grocery store.

Much like chili, curry is a nice dish to make because you can put in whatever vegetables you like or happen to have on hand.  So, below is the recipe I used based on the vegetables that happened to be in my fridge.

THAI GREEN CURRY

(yields 5-6 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 4oz jar Thai Kitchen green curry paste
  • 2 13.5oz cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 yellow squash, sliced into 1/4in pieces
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced into 3-in pieces
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into 3-in pieces
  • 4oz sliced water chesnuts, drained (they typically come in 8oz cans so I used half the can)
  • 1/2 package tempeh, cut into small (roughly 2in) pieces
  • 2 tsp oil (I used coconut oil)

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Directions

1)  In a large pot, combine Thai green curry paste, coconut milk, and brown sugar.  Simmer on medium heat until well combined (basically until no lumps are left).  Note: the coconut milk may be separated into liquid and chunky parts when it comes out of the can.  This is normal.

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2) Add mushrooms, peppers, squash, and broccoli.  Simmer on medium high heat (not quite boiling but almost) until vegetables reach desired level of tenderness, about 10 minutes.  Note: I steamed my broccoli in the microwave first by putting it in a microwave-safe dish with about a tablespoon of water and microwaving it for 3 minutes because I like my broccoli to be pretty cooked.

3) While your vegetables are simmering, heat oil in a separate pan on medium heat.  Add tempeh, fry for roughly two minutes or until browned, flip the pieces over, and fry until the other side is browned.

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4) Add cooked tempeh and water chesnuts to your curry, simmer for another 2-3 minutes to allow the tempeh to soak up the flavor.

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5) Serve with rice, quinoa, or whatever other starchy carby side you want.

See, I told you, super easy!  I also typically like to add some fresh basil leaves when I make this dish but I did not have any on hand.  It turned out okay though.  Other ingredients you can add are onion, eggplant, carrots, lime juice, and tofu.

Enjoy!