Island Kale & Sweet Potato Soup

October 10th, 2011 No Comments » Posted in Fall, recipes

Active Time: 10 Minutes    Total Time: 30 Minutes    Serves 4
Inspired by Caribbean callaloo, this tropical, coconut- milk-spiked soup can be mildly or wildly spicy, according to your taste.  If you like it hot, add some or all of the jalapeno seeds or a splash of Tabasco sauce.

2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Jalapeno chiles, seeds and ribs removed, sliced thin
3/4 pound kale, tough stems removed, leaves washed well and shredded (about 1 quart)
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 3), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 1/2 quarts canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup long-grain rice

In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat.  Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the garlic and jalapeno and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the kale, sweet potatoes, broth, and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and just heat through.

Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Stir in the rice and boil until just done, 10 to 12 minutes.  Drain.  Put a mound of rice in the center of each bowl.  Ladle the soup around the rice.

VEGETABLE TIP: Crinkly kale leaves are wonderfully sturdy and flavorful, making them especially well-suited to soups.  Remove and discard the thick stems and then wash the leaves really well before adding them to a dish.  The twists and turns of kale leaves are great places for dirt to hide.

WINE RECOMMENDATION: Foods with a bit of sweetness invite some in the wine as well.  Good choices would include an off-dry chenin blanc from California or a similarly off-dry riesling from Washington State.